If you believe their fans, Beyonce and Jay Z are about to kill real love.
Rumour has it that Beyonce and Jay Z will get divorced when they finish their Mr and Mrs Carter world tour. They're travelling with relationship counsellors, and they've both been seen without rings. Cheating and beating rumours have been around a long time, but this time it's different. This time it's louder. There's momentum.
With so many fans chanting, "Don't do it, Beyonce!" you may not be able to hear what I'm going to say next. It may surprise you. It might actually make you angry.
Because while millions of people want the Mr and Mrs Carter fairytale to endure, I'm yelling, "Run, Beyonce. Run! Get out, get out, get out."
Judging by the emotional tweets of their fans, perhaps it's just me and Solange Knowles who think Beyonce would be better off without Jay Z. The consensus out there seems to be that if Bey and Jay can't make it, nobody can. Romance is dead, love is over, all hope is gone, etc.
But before we mourn the possible end of Bey and Jay, let's get real about their relationship. Their public romance has been painstakingly manufactured, but not even Bey's publicist can make rumours of infidelity, dysfunction, and aggression disappear completely.
We're talking about one of the most powerful couples in the world. They're friends with the Obamas, they make more than $63million a year, and they can dominate the international news cycle for six days with one well-timed elevator fight that wasn't even directly between them.
Together, they've got 27 Grammys, 20 Billboard Music awards, $1billion in personal wealth, 112million social media followers, 11 houses, seven fragrances, two world tours and one very cute child.
But all of their success and the angst about them splitting is based on a very questionable idea: That Shawn 'Jay Z' Carter is a good person.
I dispute that.
Jay Z has spent the past decade rebranding himself, forcing the world to forget that he can be a terrible human. It's one of the most stunning public transformations in pop culture history - the young criminal who turned himself around from rough beginnings, became a rap god, and married the undisputed queen of pop.
This isn't just about bad boy made good. Of course people can change. But there are many who believe Jay Z hasn't actually changed. He's just done a very good spin job.
Don't underestimate Beyonce's halo effect on Jay Z's image - being married to a strong, beautiful, wealthy feminist is an astoundingly smart business move.
Sure, Jay Z rides the subway to concerts (which is conveniently captured for social media) and chats to old ladies (ditto). When his daughter, Blue Ivy, was born, he publicly promised to stop using the word 'bitch' in his lyrics. And he cultivates a real good-guy image, popping by the White House to visit President Obama, being a dad, and touring with his wife.
But Jay Z's also the guy who shot his brother with a shotgun when he was 12, dealt cocaine for years, and got three years probation for stabbing record producer Lance "Un" Rivera in 1999 with a nine inch blade. That's only 15 years ago.
He's the guy who punched and shoved a young female fan backstage at one of his concerts, when she asked for an autograph. He's the guy who defiantly sang about domestic violence in his duet with Beyonce, compared himself to Ike Turner, tried to get a coke dealer out of jail to work with him, and stands by fully clothed while his wife gyrates on-stage in her underwear. And he still uses the word 'bitch' in his lyrics.
Despite a $63million-a-year income, it appears Jay Z rarely donates to charity or does philanthropic work of a visible kind. In an interview with Rap Radar journalist Elliot Wilson, Jay Z explained this lack of generosity: "My presence is charity. Just who I am. Just like Obama's is. Obama provides hope. Whether he does anything, the hope that he provides for a nation, and outside of America is enough. Just being who he is."
Oh, and there was that time he said something so vile, his sister-in-law Solange Knowles fly-kicked him in the elevator of a hotel. Whatever that was.
Look, making judgments about a marriage - whether it's between famous strangers or friends - is not really possible. Divorce is devastating, especially when there's a child involved. We will never truly know what goes on between Beyonce Knowles and Shawn Carter... But enough people have whispered bad things about Jay Z now (rumours we cannot publish here but have gained a certain level of credibility because independent sources have verified them), it's possible that Beyonce would be better off without him.
Beyonce's fans worship her in an almost cult-like way. She's such a prominent role model, she has the genuine ability to affect the way people think and behave. If she's in a relationship that's affecting her negatively, she needs to get out.
Because if she can get out, so can the women who worship her.
This post was originally published on mamamia.com.au