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‘Too Much to Bear’: Dionne Warwick Says Being the Breadwinner Ruined Her Marriage

Dionne Warwick spoke about a slew of topics during a recently published interview with The Guardian, where her ex-husband William David Elliott came up.

The couple first got married in 1966, then split in May 1967. They rekindled their relationship soon afterward and remarried in August of 1967, before parting ways for a second and last time in 1975.

Dionne Warwick said being the breadwinner ended her marriage. (Photo: Marcus Instagram/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images)

Like Warwick, Elliott, who died in 1983, also was in show business, being an actor and a drummer. But due to her success, she was the breadwinner of the family, which put a burden on the marriage.

“I was the major earning power in the family, and that is very difficult for the male ego,” Warwick explained. “It just got too much to bear for my husband, and we decided that it would be best for us to part ways.”

A little earlier in the interview, Warwick, who’s 79, talked about not being heavily involved in the civil rights movement when it was going on.

Warwick said her contribution to the movement was breaking barriers in entertainment, and she referenced her very first Grammy win, which came in 1969 for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. It was for the song “Do You Know the Way to San Jose.”

“I’m not a marcher, I’m a doer,” she labeled herself. “I believe I was the first [Black woman] to win a Grammy in the pop arena, which was basically almost designated for white people, so it was kind of unheard of. I was probably the first person in a lot of areas.”

Before the interview was over, Warwick also touched on the hologram shows based on the music and images of her late cousin Whitney Houston and called them a “waste of time.” She also talked about the current state of the world and said it’s in “the most chaotic state ever.”

Plus, there was a part of the interview where Warwick talked about appearing in infomercials for the Psychic Friends Network in the ’90s and how it was done just to pay bills.

“That’s exactly what it was,” she explained. “It was during a period of time when I was not recording. You know, it kept the lights on in my house and food on my table. It was an earning power. I earned money that I normally would have earned if I was on the road. It’s very simple.”

Warwick — who’s fresh off appearing on “The Masked Singer” — also implied that she wasn’t a deep believer in psychics. But at the same time, she doesn’t regret taking the job and considers herself a pioneer in that space.

“Everybody put a boo-boo on that,” said Warwick about the infomercials. “‘What are you doing, ratting on about that?’ But now that’s all you see on TV or hear people talk about. I’m known to be the first to do things.”

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