Billy Joel (or William Joel, if you're Gwyneth Paltrow) has officially separated from his third wife Katie Lee Joel. Their joint statement announced that it's a mutually agreed-upon decision, though they didn't cite any particular reasons why (though their much-written-about age difference might have been the culprit). I've got a theory, though. Joel retired from pop music more than a decade ago, but came out of retirement in 2006 to record the song "All My Life" for his then-bride. And if Joel has learned anything from history, it's that he should never write a song about one of his wives.
In 1977, Joel recorded and released "Just the Way You Are," which was dedicated to his then-wife (and business manager) Elizabeth Weber. "Just the Way You Are" is a classic ballad, where he insists that the love of his life "don't go changing" and that no matter what, he wants her just the way she is. The tune won a Grammy for Song of the Year, but in 1982 Joel decided he didn't want her whether she changed her hairstyle or not, as they divorced.
It created a huge problem for Joel, as he was expected to play what was one of his hugest hits in concerts, but it was always going to remind him of a woman he divorced. (He later joked that he would always think about something else while he played it, like what he wanted to eat for dinner).
You would think Joel would have learned his lesson, but you'd be wrong. In 1983, Joel recorded "Uptown Girl," which was actually written for then-girlfriend Elle Macpherson but ended up being about wife-to-be Christie Brinkley. Joel and Brinkley were married in 1985 but divorced in 1994. (River of Dreams' "Blonde Over Blue" is also reportedly about Brinkley).
It's three up and three down for Joel, so here's hoping that Joel doesn't pick his pen up for whoever his next wife will be, because it always ends in disaster.