15 Music Biopics You Didn’t Know You Needed

Shedding light on music's unsung stories.

Walk the Line, What’s Love Got to Do with It?, and Ray are among some of the best music biopics of all time. You know the stories of Johnny Cash, Tina Turner, and Ray Charles because of these, but which other musical legends have biopic-worthy stories?

We have some ideas, namely Jewel, The Mamas & the Papas, and what went down with Roc-A-Fella Records. Peep our gallery to see which music biopics you didn’t know you needed and why.

  • 1 Ronnie Spector
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    The Ronnettes icon Ronnie Spector appeared in the 1982 movie on her ex-husband Phil Spector, but what about her story? The “Be My Baby” singer was confined to Phil’s California mansion. He would let her out of the house once a month “to go get my feminine stuff, if you catch my drift,” according to Ronnie’s 2014 interview with The Telegraph.

  • 2 Eric Clapton and George Harrison’s love triangle with Patti Boyd
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    It was the late sixties and British model Patti Boyd had captured the hearts of two of rock’s most prominent players. She was married to George Harrison, but close friend Eric Clapton had already fallen in love with her. Both George and Eric wrote songs about Patti, though the love triangle between them was “hellish,” to use Patti’s words, but biopic-worthy.

  • 3 Jewel
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    Jewel’s debut album, Pieces of You, reached 12-times-platinum level, which made it one of the best-selling debut records of all time. But Jewel’s rise didn’t come without a struggle. The Alaskan native once gave up everything to live in her van and play gigs, a decision which eventually helped her land a deal with Atlantic.

  • 4 Björk
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    Björk, who has been putting out music since 1977, has a loyal fanbase, but in 1996, one fan in particular let his obsession with the Icelandic singer get the best of him. Ricardo Lopez tried to kill Björk that year by attempting to send a sulfuric acid bomb to her home. He had filmed a 20-hour video diary over the course of eight months to document the making of the bomb, as well as his eventual suicide.

  • 5 Simon & Garfunkel
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    You know Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel best by their last names, but did you know that the two were childhood friends? They started making music together in the late fifties under the moniker Tom & Jerry, and their song, “Hey Schoolgirl,” made the Top 50. But it wasn’t until the mid-sixties that Simon & Garfunkel, who had already split up twice at that point, would start making the folk-rock music they’re best known for today.

  • 6 Marianne Faithfull
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    Marianne Faithfull’s trials and tribulations start with her four-year affair with Mick Jagger. The two split in 1970 after Marianne had miscarried a child and cheated on Mick with Keith Richards. Marianne had developed drug addictions and also attempted suicide. She postponed releasing new music until 1979, and when she re-emerged with Broken English, she debuted a lower, throatier voice that would help her reinvent her musical style.

  • 7 The White Stripes
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    Meg and Jack White’s joint venture was epic while it lasted, but nothing good lasts forever. The story behind Meg and Jack’s relationship is mystifying. They were married for four years, though many thought them to be siblings. What actually went down between them remains to be fully told, though Jack has given numerous interviews suggesting it was Meg’s idea to call it quits.

  • 8 Bob Geldof
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    Boomtown Rats’ founding member Bob Geldof is one of the major forces behind Live Aid. He co-wrote “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” with Midge Ure, and put together the Live Aid charity concert. Despite all of his efforts to improve the Ethiopian famine, Bob was tragically unable to help his own daughter, Peaches, from her heroin addiction. Peaches died of a heroin overdose in April of 2014 at the age of 25.

  • 9 James Taylor
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    James Taylor wasn’t always the easy-going, soothing presence you know him to be. In his early years, James entered a psychiatric ward after suffering from depression, later became addicted to heroin, and moved to London. There, he was discovered by Peter Asher, who was working for the Beatles’ Apple Records label. James eventually moved back to America, kicked his addiction, and married folk queen Carly Simon. The two later split.

  • 10 John Mayer
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    John Mayer has never liked the limelight, and let’s be honest, he’s probably somewhere in Montana right now chilling on his living room couch. He’s a musical genius nonetheless, and has also undoubtedly had many sexual escapades, the most public of which was Jessica Simpson.

  • 11 JoJo
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    JoJo’s 2004 self-titled debut was major and her 2006 followup, The High Road, was just as promising. It’s been almost a decade since JoJo released new music commercially, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort. JoJo was prevented from releasing new music by her label, Blackground Music, despite her fans’ interest. She has since signed to Atlantic, and we now have Tringle to be thankful for.

  • 12 Roc-A-Fella Records
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    What the hell actually happened between Jay Z and Dame Dash in the case of Roc-A-Fella Records remains a mystery. It’s been about 15 years since Jay and Dame had their fallout, though Beanie Sigel speculated that as Jay started gaining recognition, he began feeling as though Dame wasn’t stepping up to the plate on the business side of things. “The love is still there,” Jay told Hot 97 about Dame in 2013.

  • 13 Milli Vanilli
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    Milli Vanilli’s popularity culminated in their winning a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1990. But their infamous lip-syncing scandal would eventually cause their Grammy to be revoked. Their disastrous 1989 performance made it clear that members Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus had been lip-syncing in their live performances, but it was later revealed that they hadn’t even sung on their All or Nothing album.

  • 14 The Mamas & the Papas
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    The Mamas & the Papas’ John Phillips allegedly had an incestuous relationship with his daughter, according to Mackenzie herself. She wrote in her book, High on Arrival, that she had one night woken up “from a blackout to find myself having sex with my father.” When The New Mamas and the Papas began to tour, Mackenzie joined her father on it and the two started engaging in consensual sex for about 10 years.

  • 15 Fleetwood Mac
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    Fleetwood Mac’s story is a jam-packed one. There’s the curse of the band’s guitarists, the drugs, mental health struggles, the faux Fleetwood Mac, and the time core member Jeremy Spencer left to become one of the Children of God. Fleetwood Mac lineup with Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsay Buckingham, and John and Christine McVie was the 10th the band ever had.

1/2 Cartoon, 1/2 Beyhive.