Gregg Allman, the lead singer of the famous rock group The Allman Brothers Band, has died. According to Billboard, the musician had suffered from recent health issues, including a diagnosis of Hepatitis C in 1999, and a liver transplant in 2010. A cause of death is currently unknown. He was 69.
Aside from his prolific musical career, which spanned six decades, Allman was also noted for his countless marriages. He was married a total of seven times during his lifetime, most recently to Shannon Allman in 2013. To lean more about Allman’s marriages, check out these five fast facts.
1. He Was Married Twice In Two Years
The Allman Brothers Band were at their commercial zenith in the 1970s, especially with the release of their 1973 album Brothers and Sisters. Gregg Allman was married twice during this time, first to Shelley Kay Winters in 1971, and then to Janice Blair in 1973. As can be inferred, the union to Winters, also known as Shelley Jefts, was short-lived, as they separated within a year of being married. The had one child together, Devon Allman, in 1972, who followed in his father’s footsteps and become the lead singer of the rock group Honeytribe. Devon occasionally performed with The Allman Brothers Band as well.
Allman’s marriage to Janice Blair, whom he had started dating the year before, was also brief. Still, she played a big part in the creation of Allman’s debut solo album Laid Back (1973), as she appeared on the sleeve artwork riding a horse and inspired the song “Queen of Hearts.” They divorced in 1974. Blair, also known as Janice Mulkey, is the sister of Ron Blair, the bassist for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.
2. He Married Cher In 1975
The most famed of Allman’s six marriages, he was wed to Cher in 1975. The union was as famed as it was troubled, however, spanning over a decade and serving as the basis for tabloid fodder in the media. Having previously been married to Sonny Bono, Cher was reportedly shocked by Allman’s heroin and liquor problems, and they eventually got so that she was unable to handle them. According to the 1986 biography Cher, author J. Randy Taraborrelli wrote that Allman was “so high” he didn’t even understand that she was telling him their marriage was over.
The two released a duet album, Two the Hard Way, in 1977, under the moniker Allman and Woman. “There was no future for us because she has that constant paranoia of (my) going back to alcohol,” Allman told Entertainment Weekly. After their divorce in 1979, Cher dedicated a song, titled “My Song,” to Allman. They had one son, Elijah Blue Allman, who is the singer and lead guitarist of the heavy metal group Deadsy.
Cher released a statement after Allman’s death on her Twitter account:
3. He Married Julie Bindas In 1979
Allman’s fourth marriage was to Julie Bindas. As was reported by People magazine in 1980, “In his continuing battle with alcohol and life, rocker Gregg Allman, 32, has found a new shoulder to lean on: that of his bride of two months, Julie Bindas.” Bindas was significantly younger than her spouse, at 20 years old, and the two had reportedly met at Daytona Beach in 1979, mere months after Allman’s split from Cher. Bindas has previously worked as a cocktail waitress in New Jersey.
Allman’s union to Bindas resulted in his getting sober, as he signed himself into the Palm Beach Institute, a rehabilitation center that allowed family members to live as “co-patients.” Bindas was by his side every step of the way. In a humorous interview, People asked Bindas about what the perks of the newly sobered Allman are, which she replied, “He holds doors open for me and lights my cigarettes, I love being pampered.” The couple had one daughter, Delilah Island Allman, and divorced in 1984.
4. He Married Danielle Galliano In 1989
Allman married Danielle Galliano in 1989, after falling back into his alcoholism and moving to Los Angeles. His music career had taken a nosedive with the release of the album Just Before the Bullets Fly (1988), and felt that he was experiencing his “mid-life crisis.” According to Allman, he said that his main reason for marrying Galliano was because he felt that if he waited much longer, he would be too “old and ugly” to get married to anyone. This decidedly unromantic union was affirmed by the fact that Allman overdosed on the night of their wedding, which started things off, as he put it, “with a bang.”
Despite this hectic beginning, Allman and Galliano were married for a total of six years. They were divorced in 1994, and had no children together. That being said, Allman did father a child during their marriage with radio journalist Shelby Blackburn. Layla Brooklyn Allman, the singer’s youngest, was born in 1993.
5. He Married Stacey Fountain In 2001
Allman’s sixth marriage was to Stacey Fountain in 2001. It was actually a motorcycle accident, one involving Stacey’s father Jeff Fountain, that helped bring the couple together, as her father experienced a similar ordeal to that of Allman’s brother Duane, who died in a motorcycle accident in 1971. “We were on tour at the time,” Allman told the Athens Banner-Herald, “I took the call, so I’m the one who had to tell Stacey.” Allman subsequently performed a benefit concert at Bonita Lakes to help pay for Jeff Fountain’s medical bills. He survived the accident, but the same couldn’t be said for the marriage, as Allman divorced Stacey in 2004.
Allman’s seventh and final marriage began in 2012, when at the age of 64, he got engaged to 24 year old woman named Shannon. In an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN, Allman said that “this time I’m really in love.” Morgan asked how Shannon felt about becoming wife number seven, to which the singer replied “That’s not what she’s becoming. She’s becoming wife number one. I don’t have a wife, I haven’t had one for years.” Shannon would remain Allman’s wife until his passing.