Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Instagram

Stephen King Reveals ’90s Radio Hit Almost Ended His Marriage – ‘My Wife Threatened to Divorce Me’

Photo Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Stephen King may be a popular author, but that doesn’t mean he solely focuses his life on the literary world. Like you and I, he’s known to delve into popular music. He once had a deep love for the Lou Bega hit “Mambo No. 5,” and his enjoyment of the track was such that it caused his wife to threaten him with divorce if he didn’t stop listening to it.

Stephen King is a best-selling author

Stephen King sitting in front of a microphone
Stephen King, 2013. (Photo Credit: Jim Spellman / WireImage / Getty Images)

Arguably one of the most famous authors alive today, Stephen King has terrified readers for decades with such works as It, Pet Sematary, Carrie and The Shining. The majority have been turned into big-budget films and/or television series.

King began writing when he was “about six or seven,” when he would copy comic book panels and make up his own stories for them. His first professional tale, The Glass Floor, sold in 1967, while his first published novel, Carrie, hit bookstores six years later.

The author’s works are known for their spine-chilling plots and supernatural elements. He’s able to take characters and objects with innocent origins and turn them into something nightmare-inducing, and his stories are steeped in metaphor and references to his own life.

This all comes together to create riveting tales that have enthralled bookworms for decades.

A mega-hit for Lou Bega

Originally released in 1950 by Cuban pianist Dámaso Pérez Prado, “Mambo No. 5” didn’t become a worldwide smash until it was sampled by Lou Bega. The German pop artist released the single as part of his 1999 album, A Little Bit of Mambo, and it was an immediate hit, peaking at #3 on the Billboard Top 100.

Over the decades since its release, “Mambo No. 5” has gone platinum in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia and Germany. The song was so popular, in fact, that Disney even got in on the action, having Bega re-record the song with lyrics centered around the company’s core characters: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, Goofy, Huey, Dewey and Louie.

(And yes, the music video for that version is just as amazing as you’d expect.) 

Stephen King couldn’t get enough of ‘Mambo No. 5’

Portrait of Stephen King
Stephen King, 1999. (Photo Credit: Mike Albans / NY Daily News Archive / Getty Images)

In an interview with Rolling Stone to promote his 2023 book, Holly, Stephen King revealed that his love for “Mambo No. 5” was so strong that it almost resulted in the dissolution of his marriage to wife, Tabitha.

“My wife threatened to divorce me,” he revealed when asked about his obsession with the song. “I played that a lot. I had the dance mix. I loved those extended play things, and I played both sides of it. And one of them was just total instrumental. And I played that thing until my wife just said, ‘One more time, and I’m going to f*****g leave you.'”

He added that he was writing 11/22/63 at the time, and that the Lou Bega hit wasn’t the only music he was listening to, to get his creative juices flowing. In fact, it’s part of his writing routine to have all types of tracks playing in the background.

More from us: Michael Jackson’s Nephew Looks Just Like Late Singer In Upcoming Biopic, Says Director

“When I write, there are things that I can listen to a lot,” King said. “And a lot of it is techno stuff or disco stuff, but techno in particular, there’s this group called LCD Soundsystem, and I love that. Fat Boy Slim is somebody else. I can just listen to that stuff.

“If you tried to write and listen to Leonard Cohen, how the f**k would you do that? Because you’d have to listen to the words and you’d have to listen to what he’s saying,” the author continued. “But with some of the techno stuff, or KC and the Sunshine Band, Gloria Gaynor, it’s all good.”

Clare Fitzgerald

Clare Fitzgerald is a Writer and Editor with eight years of experience in the online content sphere. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from King’s University College at Western University, her portfolio includes coverage of digital media, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the Founder of the true crime blog, Stories of the Unsolved, which garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views annually, and a contributor for John Lordan’s Seriously Mysterious podcast. Prior to its hiatus, she also served as the Head of Content for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare likes to play Pokemon GO and re-watch Heartland over and over (and over) again. She’ll also rave about her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

Writing Portfolio
Stories of the Unsolved