Van Morrison’s 1967 hit song “Brown Eyed Girl” was one of the songs he wrote that reflects the ups and downs of his romantic life. When he got married for the first time, Van Morrison’s wife became the source of inspiration for his music.
Renowned musician and multi-instrumentalist Van Morrison was only married twice in his life. Although both of his marriages were unsuccessful, his ex-wives significantly impacted his life and his successful career.
The 1960s were pivotal in Morrison’s rise to prominence in the Irish music scene, where he first gained mainstream attention. Before pursuing a solo music career, he was the lead vocalist of the Northern Irish R&B band called Them for many years.
Van Morrison plays an acoustic guitar at a Bang Records recording session on March 28, 1967, in New York, New York. | Source: Getty Images
Morrison met his future first wife, Janet Rigsbee, who was only 19. They met following a performance by a band. He and Rigsbee pair continued to spend time with one another in New York City.
Immediately, the pair were completely smitten with one another. Morrison married Rigsbee in 1968, not long after they met, even though he was on the verge of being deported at the time.
Rigsbee, whom Morrison affectionately refers to as “Janet Planet,” became Morrison’s muse and the source of his musical inspiration. Unfortunately, the couple’s marriage ended in divorce in 1973.
Van Morrison and his first wife Janet Rigsbee, also known as Janet Planet, pictured on October 10,1967. | Source: Getty Images
Shanna was the former pair’s only daughter. Little is known about Morrison’s first wife, who appears to have lived a private life far from the limelight.
Van Morrison’s Second Marriage
After his marriage to Rigsbee ended, Morrison rediscovered another joy in his life. In the early 1990s, his friend Desmon Guinness threw a party at Leixlip Castle, where he met his second wife, former Miss Ireland Michelle Rocca.
Rocca had been married once before. When the former beauty queen first met Morrison, she was in the middle of a rough breakup with her then-fiance, Cathal Ryan, whom she was suing for alleged assault.
When he learned about Rocca’s difficult situation, Morrison kept the Irish celebrity company as much as possible. He even appeared in court alongside Rocca daily until the case was settled.
Michelle Rocca smiles at a fashion shoot in the Westbury Hotel on March 24, 1988, in Ireland. | Source: Getty Images
The couple married in 1992 and enjoyed a long union. However, in 2018, at 72, Morrison revealed that he had been granted a divorce from Rocca in Dublin. The renowned musician said to Irish Times:
“At my age, I have found it to be a hugely wearying, protracted experience and I’m relieved that it has finally reached a conclusion.”
He then expressed gratitude to his family and close friends for providing him with a refuge from “the storm” for the past eight years. This was not Morrison’s first public statement about his wife, as he made another shocking revelation a few years ago.
Van Morrison and his second wife Michelle Rocca attend the Brit Awards 1994 at Alexandra Palace on February 14, 1994, in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
In 2015, Morrison had to clear his name after Rocca reportedly issued a press release mentioning his privacy following a high court case she was involved in with their neighbors in Dalkey, Dublin.
When Rocca’s claims occurred, Morrison was no longer living with her. Morrison revealed that they had been “legally separated” since September 2013. Rocca later dropped the case.
The hitmaker and Rocca share two children: daughter Aibhe Rebecca and son Fionn Ivan Patrick. It’s unclear what the children are doing now for a living because the former couple remains private about them.
Do Van Morrison Have Grandchildren?
Morrison reportedly has no grandchildren. Shana, Morrison and Rigsbee’s only child, is now a successful singer who remains a single woman with no kids.
He also has no grandkids from his marriage to Rocca as well. His daughter Aibhe was born in 2006, while his son Fionn Ivan was born in 2007, which means they are still teenagers now.
While Morrison keeps his family life private, he continues to make music for the public. Like his contemporaries Bob Dylan and Neil Young, Morrison continues to create music that will endure for generations.