Finding a mate in 2008: That was the theme for many celebrities as they hooked up with new partners and sealed the deal in undercover weddings. Here’s a look at four notable couplings and one split we all saw coming:
Jen and JohnJohn Mayer has dated everyone from Jessica Simpson to Jennifer Love Hewitt and this year, Jennifer Aniston’s body is his wonderland. Despite Mayer’s player reputation, a shockingly smitten Aniston followed Mayer on tour as his Public Groupie No. 1, not trying to hide under her trusty pashmina. The musician and the movie star have been on and off since last spring; during a break, the loose-lipped Mayer blabbed to the media about how he ended their romance. And yet, she’s taken him back, telling Vogue: “Love just shows up and you go, ‘Oh, wow, this is going to be a hayride and a half.”’
Lindsay and SamAfter a string of go-nowhere relationships and plain bad choices, Lindsay Lohan is still going strong with disc jockey Samantha Ronson. The inseparable duo ignited an are-they-or-aren’t-they media frenzy when they were photographed getting cozy at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Lohan eventually confirmed the romance in a radio interview, saying she’d been dating Ronson “a very long time.” The celeb disc spinner has shown fierce loyalty to the actress as her once-bright career founders (following a trip to rehab and run-ins with the law). Tabloids report they’re on the rocks, but Lohan denied breakup rumors on her MySpace blog, posting the song “Happy Together” to drive the point across.
Jay-Z and Beyonce
Jay-Z liked it, so he put a ring on it. The rap mogul and the singing superstar finally tied the knot after six years of unconfirmed dating in an April ceremony at his Manhattan apartment. The newlyweds tried to keep the lavish affair under wraps, but paparazzi made that impossible, catching arriving guests including Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin. Though Beyonce refuses to dish too much about her personal life, the “Single Ladies” singer told talk-show host Oprah Winfrey that marriage feels great, but “the most important thing is to make sure you have your own life before you’re someone else’s wife.” Cue applause.
Mariah and Nick
Mariah Carey found love again with Nick Cannon, an actor 11 years her junior. And Mimi wasted no time when it comes to affairs of the heart: She married the “Drumline” star at her Bahamian estate in April after just weeks of dating. Like many celebrity couples, they shared (ahem, sold) their wedding album in People magazine, where they talked about tattooing their love for each other. Carey, who sports a “Mrs. Cannon” tattoo on her back, has said that she and her so-called soul mate didn’t consummate their relationship before tying the knot.
Madonna and GuyThe least shocking split of the year, hands down. Madonna and Guy Ritchie weren’t fooling anyone when they denied rampant rumors of marital strife, thereby stoking that golden rule of celebrity gossip: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire! The pop star and the British filmmaker announced in October they were divorcing after nearly eight years of marriage and two children. Ever the workaholic-provocateur, Madonna has poked fun at Ritchie on her “Sticky & Sweet” world tour, and has been spotted with New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez. As she told The Associated Press, “It would be horrible if I was just thinking about getting a divorce and had nothing to do.”