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These Are the Most Notorious Groupies in Rock ‘n’ Roll History


People often reminisce about the good ol’ days of rock n’ roll, when it was okay to be carefree, spending most of your glory days sitting in the back of an old truck, messy haired and starry-eyed, belting out lyrics and zoning out. At concerts, the music seemed to flow through you and help you disappear to someplace else. Some people took their love of music a step further and did whatever they could to become part of the musician’s real lives. They not only experienced their favorite bands’ music; they went along with those bands and musicians for the ride. They experienced the grit and glamor of a rockstar’s life, got their hearts broken by a few rising stars, and even broke some hearts themselves. So who were these women? Read on to learn more about some of rock’s most iconic groupies.

Bebe Buell

Bebe Buell was more than a rock n’ roll groupie. She also established quite the modeling career for herself, becoming Playboy’s Playmate of the Month in 1974. She even moved to New York from her home in Virginia in hopes of quenching her thirst for stardom.

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Her most impactful relationship was perhaps that with musician Todd Rundgren, a relationship that stayed afire from 1972 before fading to a single ember in 1979. While she hooked up with many other rockstars and musicians after that, her most notable fling was perhaps with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, which resulted in a daughter: Liv Tyler.

Pamela Anderson

Yes, even the woman behind Baywatch’s beloved CJ Parker has had a hankering for rockstars. Most famously, she was married to Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee from 1995 to 1998 and had two kids together. She was also linked to Bret Michaels and married Kid Rock in 2006.

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Today, Pamela Anderson has professed to have calmed down somewhat. She does not have too much interest in going back to her old, rock lifestyle, at least the type she once lived. Today, she is perfectly fine fighting for animal rights, advocating for better treatment for all.

Anita Pallenberg

Over the span of almost an entire decade, Anita Pallenberg with her radiant beauty and seductive charm lured many a rockstar to her side. Most famously, she shook the foundation that made up the legendary Rolling Stones and almost left nothing but smoldering destruction in the band’s wake.

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Specifically, she partnered up with two Stones members: Brian Jones, followed by Keith Richards, the latter of whom she had kids with. Sadly, their relationship did not last, but Richards does not harbor any ill will toward Pallenberg. She recently died at the age of 73.

Tawny Kitaen

Tawny Kitaen, or Julie Kitaen, has something of an interesting past. She first stepped into the spotlight as an aspiring actress, snagging some respectable roles along the way, such as the 1984 film Bachelor Party. She also appeared in several music videos, perhaps most notably those for Whitesnake’s “Still of the Night” and “Here I Go Again.”

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In other words, Tawny Kitaen is probably the nondescript woman who comes to mind when you picture a beautiful woman splayed across a flashy car in a music video. But she did more than look pretty for the Whitesnake. She eventually went on marry the band’s singer David Coverdale. The marriage lasted from 1989 to 1991.

Pamela Des Barres

Pamela Des Barres was raised in a household that loved music. Thus, it is no surprise that she spent much of her time fantasizing about some of her favorite musicians. Her favorites were Elvis, Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones, and Paul McCartney of The Beatles. Little did Des Barres know that one day she would get to do more than just admire the greats from afar. She eventually found herself, through the help of friends, daring closer and closer to the rock scene’s elite inner circle.

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Before she knew it, she was babysitting for Frank Zappa. She also spent a lot of time on Los Angeles’s vibrant Sunset Strip, mingling with budding musicians along the way. While her first major rendezvous were with members of both The Rolling Stones and The Byrds, she also managed to get entangled with rockers such as Keith Moon, Jimmy Page, and Jim Morrison. Oh, and if you have ever heard yourself singing along to the Beatles song Penny Lane? She inspired that song. Des Barres was also the inspiration behind Kate Hudson’s character in Almost Famous.

Sable Starr

Hailed as “Queen of the Groupies”, Sable Starr ventured into rockstars’ arms before she even turned 18. She started hanging around this glorified crowd as young as 14. Moreover, these rockstars seemed to be as enthralled by her as she was by them.

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So, who were some of the big names Sable Starr enchanted? She touted quite the impressive list: Alice Cooper, Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, and Iggy Pop, to name a few. She claimed to have extra affection to share for Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant. Sadly, she passed away in 2009 due to brain cancer.

Carmen Electra

Her real name may be Tara Leigh Patrick, but many fans might recognize her as Lani McKenzie from the hit NBC classic Baywatch. Her first serious relationship was with basketball player Dennis Rodman. They married and stayed together for a year. After that she dated a number of rockers.

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She was married to Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro, but he was not Carmen Electra’s first rockstar love interest. She has been linked romantically to Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee. She also has Prince to thank for helping her get her first record out into the world.

Lori Maddox

Considered one of the infamous “baby groupies,” Lori Maddox ventured into the scene when she was hardly older than 14. In fact, it was rumored that she lost her virginity to David Bowie. She might be best known for the strange relationship she had with Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin.

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Jimmy Page was very possessive of Maddox; their relationship faltered over the years and even inspired the Led Zeppelin song “Sick Again.” But eventually even the fun-loving Maddox tired of the fickle life of a rockstar and eventually parted ways with Page–but not before hooking up with Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones first.

Nancy Spungen

Although Nancy Spungen is perhaps best known as the girlfriend of Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, her experience as a groupie was much more extensive than that. She embarked on an uncertain journey to London from her home in Philadelphia at the ripe age of 15, crippled with mental illness and out of options.

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Things were not so rosy for Spungen, sadly. In order to keep herself afloat financially, she had to work as a prostitute. She did manage to get close with such bands as The Ramones, The New York Dolls, and Aerosmith. However, she quickly found herself ostracized by the punk scene in London she so hastily fled to. Eventually, she headed to New York City, where she spent much of her time at the Chelsea Hotel. She died at the age of 20 after being stabbed at the hotel, possibly by her boyfriend Sid Vicious.

Erin Everly

So far this list has covered extensively the women who became part of the inner circle of bands like Motley Crue, Led Zeppelin, and The Rolling Stones. These bands were all wild in their own right, but you might have noticed that there has been little mention of one of rock’s most notorious personalities: Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses.

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That is where Erin Everly comes in. She was married to Axl Rose for some time. For a while, their love was overflowing, unbridled. In fact, Axl Rose was so smitten by Everly that he was compelled to write one of their most famous songs: “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” Everly even appeared in the song’s music video. Sadly, the marriage upended due to the turbulent lifestyle and uncertainty the rock scene brought with it.

Marianne Faithfull

Marianne Faithfull grew up in an upper class family, one that greatly appreciated art and literature. She probably never expected to find herself in the wild world of rock n’ world. However, she has Andrew Loog, the manager of The Rolling Stones, to thank for taking special interest in her singing voice.

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Soon, she was spending most of her time at the side of the inimitable band’s frontman, Mick Jagger. But she certainly had her pick of which Stone she wanted most and actually slept with two others before deciding that she just could not shake her Jagger fever. Of course, the relationship did not last, and she went through many rockstar boyfriends after that. Some relationships wrapped up nicely while others exploded violently in her face. Even so, she is still singing her heart out today.

Pattie Boyd

Pattie Boyd was a natural beauty. She modeled extensively, from Paris to New York and of course closer to home in London. She also graced the cover of Vogue magazine. Patti Boyd was something of a photographer herself. Her photograph collection featuring Eric Clapton and Beatle George Harrison has been exhibited globally.

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Thus, it is no surprise that Pattie Boyd was sought after by many rockstars. In fact, she was George Harrison’s first wife, from 1966 to 1977. After they divorced, Boyd entered a relationship with musician Eric Clapton. The two eventually married. The sensational song “Layla” is actually based loosely on Clapton’s relationship with Boyd. The two ended up divorcing in 1989.

Bianca Jagger

Bianca Jagger had a way of lighting up a room and was the kind of person rockers liked to have around, especially after a long night. She also found her way into quite a few exclusive parties, including the extravagant affairs that went down at the elite Studio 54. She made something as gaudy as riding in on horse (inside the club) appear effortlessly graceful.

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Her first taste of fame came as the first wife of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. The two parted ways after a while, but Bianca Jagger as still managed to stay a fixture of the club scene of the ’70s and ’80s. Today, she is heavily involved with various human rights endeavors and works extensively with the Council of Europe.

Courtney Love

Perhaps best known as the wife of late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love has quite the history as far as hooking up with prominent musicians is concerned. She herself established a fruitful musical career, namely as the lead lady of the band Hole.

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Before there was Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love entangled several other rockstars, including Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins and Michael Stipe of REM. She is still active as a singer today.

Chris O’Dell

Unlike some of the groupies listed here, Chris O’Dell wandered into the world of rock music innocently enough. She was simply an assistant who worked with Apple Labels, who managed the Beatles. However, it did not take long for her to get ensnared in that tantalizing lifestyle.

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Of course, it all started with The Beatles, several of whom she came to know intimately. George Harrison even wrote the song “O’Dell” with her in mind. Eventually, O’Dell severed herself from The Beatles and took up work with The Rolling Stones, but she still had some connection to Harrison–as well as such stars as Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr.

Tura Satana

There was plenty to find alluring about this curvaceous dancer and actress. She has appeared in several different films, perhaps most notably Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! She also has some television credits to her name. Tura Satana originally hailed from Japan but spent much of her life in the United States, dying in Nevada in 2011.

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So, whom did this sensual actress manage to nab during her glory days? Elvis Presley took a liking to her while watching her at work dancing at Follies Theater in Chicago. The two hit it off pretty well and quickly found themselves in a romantic relationship. While they did not last that long, some might argue that Tura Satana was the first woman to get the groupie scene going.

Cleo Odzer

Cleo Odzer had her first taste of the music scene when she secured a gig writing about music acts for a local paper, which got her pretty close to the irresistible chaos that came with being a rockstar. During that time, she met Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

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They developed a relationship that soon blossomed into an engagement. Eventually, though, the two parted ways. Odzer retreated to Goa, India and immersed herself in a whole new atmosphere in which drugs reigned supreme. She died there in 2001 at the age of 50.

Donna D’Errico

It seems the babes of Baywatch really had a thing for rockstars. Donna D’Errico was no different in this regard. Beyond being a Baywatch regular, D’Errico also made a name for herself as a Playboy Playmate of the Month in 1995. Needless to say, D’Errico was quite popular with those passion-hungry musicians.

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She is perhaps best known as a former partner of Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx. The two enjoyed a near-decade long marriage and had a child together before breaking it off in 2007. Today, she continues to work as an actress.

Brandi Brandt

Another past love of Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx was Brandi Brandt. The rock lifestyle came naturally since her mother was a drummer for the band American Girls and she was certainly no stranger to the dark underbelly of rock n’ rock. Brandt went on to distinguish herself as a model and actress.

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If you have ever seen the video for Aerosmith’s “Love in an Elevator,” then you likely caught a glimpse of her. Most notably, she was the October 1987 Playboy Playmate of the Month. She was married to Nikki Sixx for seven years. During that time, she gave birth to three children. The two eventually divorced in 1996.

Bobbi Brown

With her golden blonde hair and impeccable figure, it is not hard to see why Bobbi Brown was popular with the in-crowd. Before even finding herself caught up in the groupie way of life, Bobbi Brown was consistently recognized for her beauty. In 1987, she scored the title of Miss Louisiana Teen USA. She also made a few appearances on television.

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When it came to storming into the busy lives of rockstars and leaving her indelible mark, Bobbi Brown was quite good at that as well. You do not have to look any further than the cover of Warrant’s album Cherry Pie. She also appeared in the music video for the song of the same title.

Connie Hamzy

She might be formally known as Connie Hamzy, but the rockstars she beckoned to her side had a simple but affectionate name for her: Sweet Connie. That is because she worked hard to maintain an image as the amicable, Arkansas gal whom the big stars could always trust to deliver a certain sunny Southern warmth.

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In fact, she became such a prominent name in the inner rock world that even the band Grand Funk Railroad had a lyric about her to spare in their song “We’re an All American Band”: “Sweet, sweet Connie, doin’ her act. She had the whole show, and that’s a natural fact.” Some of her most memorable rockstar encounters included Keith Moon, Alice Cooper, and John Bonham. She even wrote an autobiography about her experiences, entitled Rock Groupie: The Intimate Adventures of “Sweet Connie” from Little Rock.

Kendra Jade

At the height of her career as a burlesque dancer and an adult entertainment star, Kendra Jade had no problem catching the eye of many rockstars. She immersed herself into this scene in her early 20s, a confused Massachusetts girl desperate to make it in California.

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She found it at the glamorous parties, in the roving spotlight and in the dim bar lights. Eventually, she settled down  and married Canadian rocker Lukas Rossi in 2007. Unlike many of the relationships chronicled here, the love story of Lukas Rossi and Kendra Jade seems genuinely happy. The two are still going strong today.

Josie Stevens

Josie Stevens never exactly got to lie at the sides of such rock legends as Mick Jagger or Axl Rose. Still, she found her place as a vivacious groupie, especially during the ’80s. She also enjoyed a rather lucrative modeling career, scoring pin-up gigs and even Playboy at one point. She was also an accomplished makeup artist.

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Eventually, she settled down with guitarist Steve Stevens of Billy Idol. They married in 2008, and from then on Josie Stevens helped the guitarist manage his career. Additionally, she released her own clothing line in 2011, which proved to be quite popular with many big names, including Paris Hilton and Nicki Minaj.

Heather Locklear

Heather Locklear has quite a few accomplishments to her name but also had quite a wild side. She is known for her role in the ’90s soap opera Melrose Place, for which she scored her four Golden Globe nominations. She also mastered the acting craft on the shows Dynasty and Spin City, the latter of which earned her two more Golden Globe nominations.

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But even though she seemed so put together in her career, Heather Locklear still chased her share of rock stars. For instance, she married Tommy Lee of Motley Crue in 1986. The marriage came to an end in 1993, at which point Locklear pursued other potential partners and ended up with Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi.

Audrey Hamilton

Today, Audrey Hamilton keeps a relatively low profile. You probably will not see her boarding a rowdy tour bus any time soon, her arms locked around a sweaty drummer’s neck. Still, she had arguably the time of her life back in the ’70s.

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Specifically, she spent a whole lot of time with Led Zeppelin, gravitating toward Robert Plant in particular. They dated for a while but then saw their relationship fragment when Plant lost his son in 1977. From there, Hamilton went on to date Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley and eventually even had a child with him.

Kathleen Dorritie

Perhaps better known by her moniker Cherry Vanilla, Kathleen Dorritie got her first taste of the rock star life as a publicist for David Bowie. Apart from that, though, she took part in her share of ambitious projects, perhaps most notably the play Pork, by famed artist Andy Warhol.

Indy Week

In fact, Dorritee may be unique from other groupies listed here in that she did not just hang with rockstars. She was also a good friend of Andy Warhol and assisted him in many different projects. That does not mean that she did not have her share of rock star flings, however. Perhaps most notably, she was pretty close with John Lennon.

Cathy Smith

Cathy Smith has had something of a troubled history. She traipsed about the music landscape of the ’60s, snagging many an admirer along the way. She is perhaps most famous for her close relation with The Band. In fact, the band’s song “The Weight” makes some reference to Smith.

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Beyond this, Cathy Smith also caught the attention of Canadian folk singer Gordon Lightfoot. He also was moved to write a song about his experience with Smith. The song is entitled “Sundown,” but it did not exactly show Smith in the most favorable light. Their relationship ended rather sour, rife with addiction and deceit.

Cynthia Albritton

Cynthia Albritton is perhaps better known as Cynthia Plaster Caster–and for a good reason. When it came to mastering the groupie life, Cynthia Albritton went beyond simply throwing herself at rockstars in desperate hopes they would reciprocate their passion. She got right down to business and created something for them.

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Her claim to fame is for making plaster casts of different rockstars’ private parts. Musician Frank Zappa encouraged her to pursue her unusual talent and even helped her get to Los Angeles from Chicago, so that her abilities could be put to better use. Her first notable (and very brave) subject was none other than Jimi Hendrix.

Roxana Shirazi

Although a native of Iran, Roxana Shirazi fled to England with her family when she was still just a child. At that time, the revolution was beginning to erupt within her home country. Thus, Shirazi would come to know London, England as her home.

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When it came time for her to seek employment, she took up several gigs as a belly dancer in some of London’s nightclubs. It was this single taste of the limelight that gave Shirazi the confidence and platform she needed to pursue up-and-coming musicians in need of love and affection on the road. She hooked up with members of some pretty high-profile bands, including Black Cherry and Guns N’ Roses. She details some of her experiences in her memoir The Last Living Slut.

Pleather

Yes, male groupies do exist, even if they have not been given the same amount of attention as many of their female counterparts. Perhaps of the most notorious male groupies is Pleather, and much mystery surrounded him.

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It was not always clear what his motive was, other than perhaps just to say that he managed to hang with some big names. He had a particular fascination with Courtney Love and The Bangles. Whatever his ultimate goal, he managed to remain prominent in the groupie scene for over a decade, from the ’80s to the ’90s.

Uschi Obermaier

Prior to becoming a sex icon and leading the sexual revolution, German beauty Uschi Obermaier was an internationally famous model. During her time living the West Berlin left-wing commune named Kommune 1, or K1, she caught the eye of Jimi Hendrix and the two quickly fell in love. The commune was, of course, all about sex, drugs and rock n’ roll.

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The movie Last Experience features a scene with her kissing and cuddling Hendrix outside a West Berlin hotel. Obermaier was known for being completely open to the media about her relationships and sexual encounters, helping spur the sexual revolution. Obermaier also famously went on tour with the Rolling Stones in 1975 and had affairs with both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

The Mystery Girl

The woman in this iconic photo with Elvis Presley remained a mystery for 60 long years. On the 60th anniversary of the photo being taken, the woman revealed herself to be Barbara Gray, a happily married real estate manager from South Carolina. She may have only been a groupie for a day but she certainly left a historical mark on popular culture.

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The photo was taken backstage at the Mosque Theater in Richmond, Virginia prior to a performance and became one of the sexiest photos in rock and roll history. Gray explained that she had called Elvis’ hotel on a dare and ended up speaking to him for around an hour. Elvis then invited her to one of his concerts in Richmond, where the photo was snapped.

Judy and Karen

Judy Wong and Karen Seltenrich stand out from other groupies given the fact that they were fashion moguls and single-handedly fueled fashion trends in many bands and other performing groups. Wong owned a San Francisco clothing store and together, the duo rose to fame for their unique fashion style.

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Famous designers fought tooth and nail to get their clothes into Wong’s store. Seltenrich even landed herself a cover image on the February 1969 issue of Rolling Stone magazine. The two are best known for furnishing clothing to The Cockettes, a gender-bending, LDS-infused theatrical group of mostly men who performed in drag.

Winona Ryder

You may know her as the amazingly beautiful actress or perhaps the not so stealthy cat-burglar but Winona Ryder certainly fits the modern groupie profile. Maybe she just a specific type but Ryder has dated a long list of musicians.

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Some of her conquests include Jack White from The White Stripes, Dave Grohl from Nirvana (and later on the Foo Fighters), Conor Oberst from Bright Eyes and she also reportedly dated that one guy from Green Day, among numerous others. Although, Ryder is known for keeping a tight lid on her personal life, so it’s possible some of the men are mere rumors.

The Sanchez Twins

The Sanchez twins, Laura and Lynn, will go down in history as forever being part of the “groupie elite.” They could frequently be found hanging with some of the world’s most famous musicians.  After all, what rock star wouldn’t be drawn to a pair of bombshell identical twins?

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“These ladies were different from all the girls I knew – all the women I knew – and Jann [Rolling Stone editor] agreed it was a good idea; it ultimately became so interesting and extensive that it became an entire issue,” Rolling Stone photographer Baron Wolman reminisced.

The GTOs

Groupies didn’t just hang around musicians for the fame or the drugs, most did so out of a passion for the music. Fittingly so, a number of groupies formed their own all-girl band called The GTOs. The band consisted of seven girls, formed by Frank Zappa.

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According to one member, the band was “a really outrageous, loud group of girls who just wanted to turn heads and have fun.” They remained together for two and a half years before finally disbanding in 1970. The group only released one album, entitled Permanent Damage.

Pamela Manning

This blonde beauty traveled with Guns N’Roses but she wasn’t exactly a groupie, at least not in the literal sense. Pamela Manning was paid to dance onstage with the band and even showed up in a few of their music videos and photo-ops.

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Manning has stated in interviews that the press’ obsession with her and being deemed a groupie has hurt her career. In fact, she stated that the band members actually followed her around and jokingly asked whether she should start calling them the groupies.

Nico

Nico may have found her way into the industry as being a groupie but she took full advantage of those connections and became a full-fledged rock star herself. She starred as a vocalist on the debut album for rock band The Velvet Underground & Nico, on the insistence of Andy Warhol.

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The German-born singer was well-known for her star-studded relationships, including; Iggy Pop, Jim Morrison, Jackson Browne and Lou Reed. She tragically died of a heart attack in 1988, at the age of 49 while in Ibiza.

Rachel Hunter

Supermodel Rachel Hunter could have any guy she wants. Turns out, she wants musicians. Hunter was married British rock star Rod Stewart for 16 years and prior to that dated Kip Winger from the rock band Winger. She has also dated singer-songwriter Robbie Williams. Seeing a pattern yet?

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The divorce reportedly left Stewart “emotionally broken.” When the two married she was a mere 21 and Stewart was 45. He moved on and married another model named Penny Lancaster in 2007. Currently, Hunter is making a return to modeling and is the face of Australian women’s fashion brand Jacqui E.

Cher

Before Cher was known as the Goddess of Pop she could be found hanging out in clubs along Hollywood’s Sunset Strip making herself known to the important people. She introduced herself to performers, managers and agents, much like any good groupie.

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Cher met Sonny Bono in 1962 and actually started working for him as a housekeeper. Shortly after, the two grew close and Sonny used Cher as a backup singer in his recordings. She eventually began recording her own music, leading to her breakthrough into the music industry.

Trixie Merkin

Trixie Merkin, not her real name, was photographed along with the Rolling Stone issue of groupies. Although she certainly didn’t classify herself as a groupie, she was a bass guitarist. She famously showed up to Wolman’s photoshoot topless, without any input from the photographer.

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The photo just furthered a rumor that she always appeared topless during band performances but that has proven to not be true. Trixie is still making music to this day and reportedly plays bass guitar in the bands Monkey Siren and Mister Sister.

Madonna

The Queen of Pop isn’t exactly a groupie but she has certainly had a wildlife and gone through her fair share of superstar musician boyfriends. She got her start in the business as a backup singer and dancer for Patrick Hernandez.

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Some of her superstar relationships include Lenny Kravitz, Stephen Bray and Tupac Shakur, just to name a few. Her relationship with Tupac ended in 1994 and just one year later he admitted that he ended the relationship because Madonna was white.

Lacy

Little is known about the mysterious groupie called Lacy apart from her striking photos in Rolling Stone magazine that earned her international recognition. She brazenly sat down on the floor and lit up a joint while reading the magazine for a Christmas card that was sent out to subscribers.

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Magazine photographer Wolman stated that he fell in love with Lacy instantly and just couldn’t stop shooting her. Her bold character radiated through Wolman’s photos and inspired women to embrace their sexual identity long before it was en vogue. Even those who knew Lacy in the 60s aren’t sure what happened to her or where she is today.

Morgana Welch

Morgana Welch is best known as the ringleader of groupie clique “The LA Queens.” She started hanging out in the Sunset clubs at a very young age, rubbing up against some very famous rock stars. In fact, she was a preferred groupie of Led Zeppelin.

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After her groupie days, Welch went on to write a book about her experiences with the bands called, Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story Of Rock-and-Roll’s Legendary Neighborhood. The last anyone heard from Welsch, she was working as a web consultant in Arizona.

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Sources: BeatThe Richest, Ranker

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