Lady Gaga Talked About Getting Married in a David's Bridal Gown When She Was With Taylor Kinney
Who: Oscar, Golden Globe, and 12-time Grammy-winning musician and actress Lady Gaga, 35, and Chicago Fire actor Taylor Kinney, 40.
How They Met: The pair met in 2011, on the set of Gaga's iconic "Yoü and I" music video.
Things got off to an "awkward" start when Kinney, an actor in the video, made a bold move when the cameras began rolling.
"I remember I went up and I kissed her, and she didn't expect it, and they cut and she slapped me," Kinney told Andy Cohen during a 2015 episode of Watch What Happens Live. "It was just awkward. And the next take I just did it again."
While that doesn't sound like the most winning first impression, Gaga told Ellen DeGeneres that she didn't mind the overture, though she was confused by it.
"I've got these pins sticking out of my head and I'm wearing cork and I've got no hair and I'm bald," she said of her on-set look. "We were in the middle of this scene and I remember that he kissed me and it wasn't scripted for him to kiss me. I was sort of like, 'Uh, you know, was that real or was that fake?' And he just didn't really say anything, and that was fine by me and we just kept filming."
Kinney proposed on Valentine's Day in 2015, first presenting the pop star with a ring pop and then breaking out a heart-shaped diamond.
"First he gave me a Ring Pop. That was kind of amazing and I was crying, I was so excited," Gaga told Access Hollywood of the proposal. "I said, "Yes!" right away and then he pulled out the heart-shaped diamond. First it was candy. I was happy with the candy."
Why We Loved Them:
Though wild child Gaga and straight-laced Kinney seemed to be the media narrative of choice, the singer told DeGeneres that there was more to her network star beau than meets the eye.
Gaga called Kinney a "hidden weirdo" during an interview in 2014. "He is extremely strange, actually," she insisted. "We complement each other's weirdness."
Kinney's protestations about the relationship took a different tack. In 2012, he told TODAY hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb that he and Gaga shared a "normal" relationship.
"I don't have that outside view," he said of the public perception. "I guess it's normal, if you will. For whatever reason, it works … I'm a lucky guy."
Though nothing about Gaga seems casual or subdued, her pre-engagement views on a prospective wedding were positively … ordinary?
"I am the center of attention in my job every single day, the thought of a wedding to me is exhausting," she told Howard Stern in late 2013. "Here's my dream wedding: David's Bridal, grooms go on the men's side, girls go on the female side. We get completely hammered, we get the worst dresses we can find and then we go to the courthouse."
Readdressing the "M" word just two months before Kinney proposed, Gaga told ABC News, "If I get married I'm gonna be like hanging out of a pickup truck in a David's Bridal [gown] while my stylist is screaming at me, trying to put a blonde wig on my head!" In a whirlwind of no.1 singles and meat dresses, David's Bridal remains a constant.
When They Peaked: Gaga and Kinney leaned into the expected weird in 2016 when they appeared on the cover of V Magazine ... naked, covered in paint, atop a canvas they'd painted with their bodies during sex. But hey, it was all in the name of giving back.
"Since we first met, Taylor's been drawing and painting all over me," Gaga wrote in an editor's letter, explaining that years prior the actor had expressed his desire to "make love to me on a canvas."
When she asked for Kinney's help with a fundraising project to bolster mental health awareness through Gaga's Born This Way Foundation, he "brought my attention back to this idea."
"We made love on the canvas on a Sunday in Chicago," she wrote. "We made love amidst chaos. We talked about shootings. We made love amidst terrorism. And we talked about how people's hearts are also suffering all over the world as they watch and witness a swell of violence. We made love amidst violence."
We've all been there, right?
The Breakup: In July 2016, People reported that Gaga and Kinney had split (and, ostensibly, called off the David's Bridal-inspired wedding). One day later, the Art Pop singer shared her own statement via Instagram.
"Taylor and I have always believed we are soulmates," she wrote. "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."
When Gaga's Joanne single "Perfect Illusion" was released that September, fans speculated that the track (with chorus "It wasn't love, it wasn't love / It was a perfect illusion") was written about Kinney. Gaga tempered rumors during a conversation with Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live.
"I love Taylor so, so much, and this song is not a hit out against Taylor," she assured fans. "He's my best friend. This song is just about, I'm sure, not only the feelings I've had, that he's had, that my friends have had ... It's a record about all of us. And I would never use my song or want to use the public to hurt anyone that I love so much."
"We love each other, that's it," Gaga reiterated in an interview with Howard Stern that October. "It's just about life changes, and we all go through different stages and we're focused on different things."
She also claimed to still be "very close" with Kinney and praised the actor for supporting her "no matter what creative transformation" she was undergoing.
That same month she appeared to hint at what had caused the split during an interview with CBS Sunday Morning.
"[Women] just love with everything we have. And sometimes I don't know that that love is met with the type of dignity that we wish it would be met with," she explained. "You know, we're not trying to make you less of a man. We just want you to love us as deeply and as wholesomely and as fully as we love you."
The following year, Gaga commented on the breakup in her Netflix documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two, noting that her professional successes tend to coincide with major breakups.
"My love life has just imploded," she said on camera. "I sold 10 million [records] and lost Matt [Williams]. I sold 30 million and lost Lüc [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."
Despite the split, Kinney sent Gaga flowers on the day of her Super Bowl performance. "Nothing like flowers from your ex-fiancé on the day of the Super Bowl," she joked in the film.
In 2019, Little Monsters went on high-alert when Kinney "liked" a negative Instagram comment about the singer, reading "Stoked you got away from Gaga. #Hollyweird." But the actor cleared things up quickly, responding, "Sorry for the 'like.' It was an accident. I'm only proud and happy for Stef" ("Stef" being an affectionate nickname for Mother Monster, otherwise known as Stefani Germanotta).
Things still seem to be amenable between the exes. Kinney even got a sweet (albeit uncomfortable) shoutout while Gaga was performing at a Pennsylvania rally for Joe Biden before the 2020 election.
"I was engaged to a man from Lancaster, Pennsylvania," she told the crowd. "I know, it didn't work out. I loved him so much, it just did not work out. But I still love my Pennsylvania guy. I love Joe [Biden]! So Joe's my new Pennsylvania guy."
She reportedly apologized to current boyfriend Michael Polansky in the middle of the next song for bringing up her ex.
Where They Are Now:
Gaga has been quietly dating Polansky, a tech investor, for about two years.
The performer's second feature film, House of Gucci, is currently in theaters.
Little is currently known about Kinney's romantic life. The actor continues to star in NBC's long-running Chicago Fire.
#TBT: Check in every Thursday as we throw it back to some of our favorite celebrity couples of all time.