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Where Is Maxine Feibelman Now? Truth About Bernie Taupin Ex-Wife

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  • Post last modified:May 12, 2022
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A former seamstress Maxine Feibelman became widely popular as the ex-wife of English songwriter Bernie Taupin. Her ex-husband is mostly famous for his collaborations with Sir Elton John.

Bernie’s ex-wife Feibelman being the muse for John’s hit song “Tiny Dancer” made her yet another topic in the media attention. In fact, the lyrics of the song were by her ex-husband Taupin, which was a sort of a celebration of his feeling toward her.

However, only 5 years into their marriage, it was torn apart in 1976 as the news of Maxine’s extra-marital affair came out. The post-divorce trauma led the English songwriter to release many break-up songs. Let’s get details on Maxine Feibelman’s current status and personal life.

Maxine Feibelman Is Currently In Her Late 60s- When Is Her Birthday?

Feibelmanwas born in 1952 in the United States- her birthday falls on November 22. As of 2022, the former celebrity spouse is 69 years old, with her 70th birthday due in November this year. Her birth name is Maxine Phyllis Feibelman, but often went by her ex-husband Bernie’s surname as ‘Maxine Taupin’.

Reportedly, her father Max Feibelman was a retired US air force, Lt. Colonel. Though other particular details on her family members remain under wraps.

Maxine Feibelman Met Her Ex-Husband Bernie Taupin In California As A Teen

A high school graduate, Maxine worked as a seamstress for Californian bands. It was in 1970 when she and Taupin would cross paths with each other; then Feibelman was only 17, while the latter was 20. Reportedly Bernie and Elton John were in Southern California for the concert of their newly formed band Elton John Band.

And as the story goes, the band’s drummer Nigel Olsson needed a hairdryer, and a friend who managed it also brought Feibelman along. This would result in the encounter of Maxine and Taupin- she would accompany him in group events  & so came the dating story between the two.

They Married After Only A Year Of Relationship- Why Did Maxine Divorce Bernie?

A fast-forward to a year of dating, the American seamstress Maxine and the English songwriter Bernie married on March 27, 1971, at Holy Rood Catholic Church, in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, the UK. The ‘Rocketman’ singer as well as Bernie’s best friend Sir Elton John served as the best man, while Maxine’s father Max walked her down the aisle.

At the wedding, Mrs. Feibelman wore a traditional white gown with gold irises embroidery, while the groom Taupin set steps with a white suit with earrings. As for the best man, John donned a white suit with red and yellow roses embroidery along with a white hat- it was reportedly made in Los Angeles by the same tailor who designed suits for music legend Elvis Presley.

Maxine Feibelman and her now ex-husband Bernie Taupin in their wedding along with Sir Elton John (served as the best man)
Maxine Feibelman and her now ex-husband Bernie Taupin in their wedding along with Sir Elton John (served as the best man)

Due to scheduling conflicts with Elton’s tour, Bernie Taupin along with Maxine flew to the United States for the tour shortly after the wedding, and later honeymooned in Hawaii.

Moreover, in 1973, Mrs. Feibelman even appeared in the documentary ‘Elton John Bernie Taupin Say Goodbye Norma Jean and Other Things’, about production details of Elton John’s album “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”.

After marriage, Maxine Feibelman even changed her name to Maxine Feibelman Taupin, but later relinquished her husband’s surname following their divorce.

Extra-Marital Affair Led To Divorce

After 5 years of marriage, Bernie and Maxine divorced in 1976; the cause of the divorce was the extra-marital affair of Mrs. Feibelman with the band’s bassist Kenny Passarelli. As reported, Passarelli was Taupin’s best friend at that time.

While Feibelman didn’t make any comments on the issue, the Madman Across the Water songwriter commented that he was on good terms with her, and reportedly told, “She’s very happy with my bassist.” The incident became Bernie Taupin’s inspiration for heartbreak songs.

During a 2019 interview with Rolling Stone, she confirmed that she has not spoken with her ex-husband in many years.

Where Is Maxine Feibelman Now? Is She and Kenny Passarelli Still Together?

No, even after opting for Kenny over Bernie, her relationship with the bassist was not a forever story. However, the exact date and actual reason for their break-up were never made into the highlight.

Ever since her divorce from Taupin, Maxine went relatively low-key about her personal life. Feibelman never shared any children. Not to mention, she is not active on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Reportedly, she lives in California and has lived in Mobile, Alabama.

On the other hand, the Elton John Band bassist Kenny is in a relationship with a retired lawyer named Amy Loper. As per an article in Bass Magazine in December 2021, the two met 6 and a half years back, i.e. around mid-2015.

Kenny Passarelli and his youngest daughter Maria
Kenny Passarelli and his youngest daughter Maria

He is also a father to 2 daughters: Pilar O’Connel (b. 1988), an artistic director, and Maria Passarelli, who works in The Lede Company. But the baby-mama of his kids is yet to be out.

Maxine Feibelman’s Ex-Husband Is Married For Four Times

As for a fact, Feibelman is the first wife of songwriter Bernie Taupin. After their divorce, he married three more times and currently lives with his 4th wife Heather Lynn Hodgins Kidd in Santa Barbara County, California.

According to IMDB, the duo married on March 27, 2004, after dating for a year, having met in 2003.

In an Instagram post on December 31, 2021, Taupin wished Heather on her birthday is allegedly in her late 30s. She goes by the Instagram handle @heathertaupin.

Feibelman's ex-husband Taupin with his fourth wife Heather and two daughters
Feibelman’s ex-husband Taupin with his fourth wife Heather and two daughters

Together, Bernie and Kidd share 2 daughters: Charley Indiana (b. May 18, 2005) and Georgey Devon.

Earlier, he was in a marital relationship with Toni Lynn Russo (second wife), the sister of actress Rene Russo. They married in 1979 and divorced after a decade in 1991. Then, the ‘I Want Love’ songwriter exchanged vows with Stephanie Haymes-Roven (third wife) on August 21, 1993, only to divorce after 5 years.

Stephanie is the daughter of late Argentinean-Irish actor Stephanie Haymes-Roven and American singer & dancer Fran Jeffries. While together, Bernie was step-father to the former’s daughters: Zoë Oakes and Hayley Oakes, from her first ex-husband Bill Oakes.

Maxine Feibelman Net Worth: Lyrics Auction Made Her Millionaire

As of 2022, Mrs. Feibelman is allegedly in the millionaire’s club. Her estimated net worth is $1.8 million. At the time of the divorce, Bernie Taupin was on the way to climbing the music height, so possibly, the divorce alimony or settlement didn’t get her much.

But her hands into the hand-written lyrics of Elton John and her ex-husband Bernie’s iconic songs showed her way to money showers. Though Maxine confessed to Rolling Stone that she didn’t have any idea how she got those valuable lyrics.

Reportedly, on December 9, 2019, she auctioned those hand-written lyrics in Los Angeles, which had a value of $1.7 million collectively. The Daily Mail reported that amongst those lyrics included Marilyn Monroe (valued at $260,000), Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road ($260,000), Bennie and the Jets ($150,000), and Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting ($210,000).

Comparatively, her husband Bernie Taupin owns $200 million according to Celebrity Net Worth. The fortune includes his ownership of the 30-acre ranch Santa Ynez Valley, which he listed for sale in 2017 for 4.7 million.

“Tiny Dancer” Is About Feibelman- Any Other Songs About Her?

The 1971 hit song Tiny Dancer from Elton John’s album Madman Across the Water is a muse about the former celebrity spouse. The lyrics were written by Bernie Taupin, and when asked whether it was about Maxine Feibelman, the songwriter confirmed it in both 1973 & 1974.

Even more, Feibelman herself confirmed the claim during a 2019 New York Post interview. She told, “I knew the song was about me. I danced ballet as a little girl, and I sewed the patches on Elton’s jackets and jeans.”

Reportedly, while Elton would be in bad mood, Maxine jokingly used to say “oh, the bitch is back”. It later became a source of the 1974 album Caribou’s track “The Bitch Is Back.”

After her divorce from Taupin, she became an inspiration for the songwriter’s heartbreaking songs too.

The song ‘I Feel Like a Bullet’ from John’s 1975 album Rock of the Westies was about Bernie and Maxine’s relationship deterioration. And after her extra-marital affair with the band’s bassist came up, it led to the release of ‘Between Seventeen and Twenty’; the lyrics read:

“I wonder who’s sleeping in your bed tonight
Whose head rests upon the bed
Could it be a close friend I knew so well
Who seems to be so close to you instead?”

The Blue Moves album tells the story of Bernie’s marital difficulties with Maxine, while the songs ‘Love Sick’ and ‘I Cry at Night’ were about the divorce & breakdown of their relationship.