• Culture

The All Time Greatest Muses in the Music World

Behind every love song there exists a story of true love. From John Lennon to Mick Jagger to Peter Gabriel to Bob Dylan, these rockstars owe some of their most popular hits to the ladies behind them. Granted, there have been many male muses (it's rumored that Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" is about Warren Beatty and Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know" is about Dave Coulier), but the majority of history's most famous muses of rockstars have been women. 

Some of these famous musician muses were pivotal in the careers of multiple musicians, like Pattie Boyd (who was a muse for both George Harrison and Eric Clapton) or Courtney Love (who inspired both Kurt Cobain and Billy Corgan). And some muses inspired people who didn't even know them (Neil Diamond thanks Caroline Kennedy for inspiring the biggest hit of his career).

This list includes some of the music's all time greatest muses. They weren't just groupies. They weren't just side pieces. They weren't just flashes in the pan. They were people who helped create some of the best songs to ever be produced, and without them, the world would be missing out on some true musical magic.
  • 5

    Françoise Hardy

    Photo: Joost Evers/Anefo / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 NL

    Françoise Hardy was able to capture the attention of the most illustrious and hard-working musicians around in the 1960s. Her most notable suitor was Bob Dylan, who once refused to come out on stage until she showed up at his concert. He had written a song about Hardy without ever meeting her, and he needed to be introduced to her in person. 

    She also managed to turn the heads of rockers like Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Brian Jones, and John Lennon. She had a magnetic voice, and her own music (generally French) would help to solidify her own personal fame. She slipped into a coma in 2016, only to awake from it two years later and release an album. She's proven to be even tougher than the rock legends she inspired. 

    • Age: b. 1962
    • Birthplace: Paris, France
    • Profession: Singer, Songwriter
    3,616
    1,508
    Is she a remarkable muse?
  • 6

    Bebe Buell

    Photo: David Shankbone / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY 3.0

    During the 1970s, Bebe Buell was known as a rock muse to the likes of Steven Tyler and Mick Jagger, inspiring some of their top hits. Other rock stars she dated or inspired included Iggy Pop, Jimmy Page, Rod Stewart, Todd Rundgren, and Elvis Costello.

    Buell was the basis for the character Penny Lane in the film Almost Famous, and she is the mother of actress Liv Tyler.
    • Age: b. 1953
    • Birthplace: Portsmouth, Virginia, United States of America
    • Profession: Model, Singer
    1,866
    799
    Is she a remarkable muse?
  • Before a 2013-14 recurring role on Ray Donovan, Rosanna Arquette was a musical muse. She was the inspiration behind the Toto song "Rosanna," and, even better, the monumental Peter Gabriel song "In Your Eyes" is actually about Arquette as well. Arquette and Gabriel were lovers at the time, and the song went on to become a pivotal movie song when John Cusack held up the boom box in the classic film Say Anything.
    • Age: b. 1959
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
    • Profession: Film Producer, Actor, Film Director
    1,721
    799
    Is she a remarkable muse?

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  • Photo: Kitchen / The Factory

    True, she was Andy Warhol's muse and became his superstar pet and inspiration for many of his films, but musically, Sedgwick also was a muse for the legendary Bob Dylan. When the two dated, Dylan wrote several songs about the would-be star, including "Just Like a Woman" and "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat." Warhol was livid that Sedgwick had left him to become a muse for Dylan, and it was after this relationship that her substance use spiraled out of control.

    • Age: b. 1943 - d. 1971
    • Birthplace: Santa Barbara, California, USA
    • Profession: Socialite, Model, Actor, Artist
    1,478
    717
    Is she a remarkable muse?

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