Stop The Presses!

January 23-29: Seal Announces Divorce, Releases Breakup Album. Coincidence?

Stop The Presses!

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Heidi Klum, Seal. Getty Images, Jerold Harris

We didn't want to believe initial reports that favorite celebrity couple Seal and Heidi Klum would be calling it quits after a seven-year marriage that included annual vow renewals. But they released a statement Monday confirming the news.

"While we have enjoyed seven very loving, loyal and happy years of marriage, after much soul-searching we have decided to separate," they said.

The announcement was a surprise because the pair didn't appear to have the typical Hollywood union marred by tabloid reports of extramarital affairs.

PHOTOS Heidi out with the kids

But a rather strange coincidence occurred this week that could possibly offer some insight as to why they "have grown apart"—Seal released a new album, "Soul 2."

Seal's 11-song album released Tuesday, a follow-up to his 2008 "Soul," could be considered a breakup mixtape as each entry is a cover of a famous 1970s record about heartache. The track listing is telling, including picks like Rose Royce's "Wishing on  Star" and "Love Don't Live Here Anymore," Teddy Pendergrass's "Love T.K.O.," Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," and Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On."

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The songs address every relationship woe imaginable, making listeners ponder whether the selections reflect any aspect of his marital problems. The O'Jay's "Back Stabbers" is about a wife cheating on her husband with his friends. Smokey Robinson's "Ooh Baby Baby" is a man's admission of infidelity and a plea for a second chance. Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," the song that also received a recent boost after President Obama sang a clip during a fundraiser for the Apollo Theater, is about weathering the storm.

Based on Seal's candid talk show interviews this week, "Soul 2"'s final song can be interpreted as a summary of his current mindset. On his rendition of the Stylistic's "Oh Girl," the British pop artist sings, "Oh girl, pain will double if you leave me now."

In an interview with "Piers Morgan Tonight," Seal said he was hopeful of reconciliation. "It may happen, I can't speak for her," he said.

Seal also explained why he is still wearing his wedding ring: "What this means to me and what it stands for [is] respect, it stands for loyalty, it stands for incredible memories, and it stands for these four little miracles -— and Heidi, making five -— that have come into my life."

The ring and the split also stand for marketing genius. Seal and Heidi's impending divorce is just the publicity the musician needs to increase sales interest in his heart-wrenching set. Well, we wish Seal the best, both on the charts next week and at home with the wife.

WATCH Seal and Heidi's racy music video "Secret"

It appears that Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin may have been inspired by Seal's depressing album as she revealed this week that she and her fiancé of three long weeks will not be walking down the aisle after all.

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Public viewing for Etta James.

The funeral for legendary blues singer Etta James takes place Saturday in Los Angeles, bringing closure for her family, friends, and fans. Country superstar Garth Brooks has been awarded $1 million in a lawsuit against an Oklahoma hospital that reneged on using his $500,000 donation to build a women's center and name it after his late mother.

And in reality TV news, Simon Cowell and Will Smith shared this week their plans to launch a talent competition for DJs. Let's hope that Will Smith is bringing on board turntable master DJ Jazzy Jeff, the other half of their DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince 1980s hip-hop duo.

Check out the links below for more info on this week's news. See you next week.

THIS WEEK'S TOP 5 MUSIC NEWS STORIES

1) Big Pay Back -- Garth Brooks wins $1 million lawsuit against Oklahoma hospital.

2) You Better Think -- Aretha Franklin and fiance call off wedding plans.

3) Paying Respects -- Christina Aguilera and Stevie Wonder sing at Etta James's funeral.

4) Party Rockers -- Simon Cowell and Will Smith plan DJ competition show.

5) Love T.K.O. -- Seal and Heidi Klum announce separation.

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