In the few months leading up to the last presidential election, entertainer Lady Gaga was recovering from a broken engagement. She and her longtime boyfriend, Chicago Fire actor Taylor Kinney, had split over the summer of 2016. Though years have passed, her ex was still on her mind when she visited his home state last night. On Nov. 2, the eve of the 2020 election, Lady Gaga opened up about her former fiancé to a campaign crowd.
Gaga was in Pennsylvania to support former Vice President Joe Biden, and she made sure to tell attendees about her personal connection to the state. “Did you all know I used to live here, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania?” she asked the drive-in audience. “Well, I was engaged to a man from Lancaster, Pennsylvania,” she said, referring to Kinney. When the crowd “aww”-ed in sympathy, she continued: “I know, I know, it didn’t work out. You know, I loved him so much but it just did not work out.”
From there, she went on to explain that Scranton native Biden is her new “Pennsylvania guy.” So, despite her fond memories of their relationship, it seems that Kinney has been replaced as her favorite man to hail from the Keystone State. Fittingly, the singer then launched into her song “You and I,” which fans probably remember as being the reason Lady Gaga and Kinney met in the first place. (He starred in the video.) In the middle of the song, she addressed her current partner, Michael Polansky, who was also at the event, saying, “‘To my boyfriend here tonight, I’m sorry I had to do this whole ‘Pennsylvania, I dated a guy here’ thing. I love you so much, but it’s true.”
All’s fair in love and campaigning! Keep reading for a recap of Gaga and Kinney’s five-year love affair, and for the high-profile pair that was huge in your youth, check out This Was the Biggest Celebrity Couple the Year You Graduated.
2011: Kinney and Lady Gaga met on the set of the “You and I” video.
Kinney was cast in the suggestive clip for the pop star’s power ballad from her Born This Way album. But they didn’t hit it off right away.
“I remember I went up, and we’re rolling, and I kissed her and she didn’t expect it,” the actor said during a Watch What Happens Live appearance, per Billboard. “They cut, and she slapped me. And then it was just awkward. And then the next take, I just did it again and then she didn’t slap me.”
Kinney also told the WWHL audience that he and Lady Gaga exchanged information after the shoot, so it seems that the awkwardness was only temporary.
Though they’re over, the video will always be a time capsule of the beginning of relationship. There’s even a wedding scene, which is ironic, considering they never made it to the altar in real life.
For more preserved honeymoon periods, here are 13 Photos of Celebrity Couples When They First Got Together.
2014: Gaga confirmed that it was love.
“When you meet someone who is not intimidated by the amazingly great people around you and the love that is shown for you—that’s love,” she told Fashion magazine, adding that partners weren’t “always happy for [her].” Though she didn’t mention Kinney by name, they’d been known as an item since going public at the end of 2011.
2015: Kinney proposed.
They always seemed to be a couple that saw the value of keeping the romance alive, so it wasn’t a surprise that Kinney chose the most romantic day of the year to ask Gaga to marry him. She shared the news on her Instagram, saying, “He gave me his heart on Valentine’s Day, and I said YES!” Fans went wild for the heart-shaped diamond ring.
For the Hollywood pairs who’ve gone the distance, check out The Longest-Lasting Marriages in Hollywood.
2016: Gaga announced their breakup—or was it supposed to be a break?
In a heartfelt Instagram post, the singer confirmed rampant rumors that the two were taking some time apart.
“Taylor and I have always believed we are soulmates,” she wrote in the caption of a photo of the two of them hanging out backstage. “Just like all couples we have ups and downs, and we have been taking a break. We are both ambitious artists, hoping to work through long-distance and complicated schedules to continue the simple love we have always shared. Please root us on. We’re just like everybody else and we really love each other.”
2017: Fans got an inside look at the end of their relationship.
The documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two was being filmed as Kinney and the pop star’s happiness was starting to fray, giving the public more insight into the triggers that caused their problems. Gaga suggests on camera that her work and success—despite her 2014 comments about Kinney being supportive—were at the root of their fights.
“I sold 10 million [records] and lost Matt [‘Dada’ Williams],” she says in the film. “I sold 30 million and lost Luc [Carl]. I did a movie and lose Taylor. It’s like a turnover. This is the third time I’ve had my heart broken like this.”
Hopefully it was a consolation when she was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar and won the Best Song trophy for her work on A Star Is Born.
2019: Kinney apologized for liking a nasty Instagram comment about his ex.
Eyebrows were raised when Kinney tapped “like” on a comment from a follower saying, “Stoked you got away from Gaga. #Hollyweird.” But he later apologized, claiming that the seemingly shady move “was an accident,” per Cosmopolitan.
“I’m only proud and happy for Stef,” the actor said, referring to the star by the shortened version of her real name, Stefani Germanotta. Hopefully this and Gaga’s rally reference mean that the two stars are on good terms these days.
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