How Did Dan Fogelberg Meet His Wife?

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Key Takeaways:

  • Dan Fogelberg met his third and final wife, Jean Marie Mayer, in 1996 at a small cafe where she was performing.
  • Jean Marie Mayer is a musician, fine artist, and traditional darkroom photographer.
  • Fogelberg had been married twice before, but found lasting love with Mayer.
  • Their meeting and marriage came later in Fogelberg’s life and career.
  • Fogelberg credited Mayer with inspiring his creative renewal in his final years.


Dan Fogelberg was one of the most successful singer-songwriters of the 1970s and 80s, with hits like “Longer”, “Leader of the Band”, and “Same Old Lang Syne”. Over the course of his musical career, Fogelberg was married three times. His third and final marriage was to a woman named Jean Marie Mayer, whom he met under charming circumstances in 1996. Their meeting came later in Fogelberg’s life, after two previous marriages that ended in divorce. His relationship with Mayer was one of creative renewal that lasted until his untimely passing. This article will explore the details of how Fogelberg met Mayer, the background of their relationship, and the inspiring impact she had on him personally and professionally in his later years. Read on to learn the romantic story of how Dan Fogelberg met his third wife, Jean Marie Mayer.

How did Dan Fogelberg and Jean Marie Mayer meet?

How Did Dan Fogelberg Meet His Wife?

Dan Fogelberg met Jean Marie Mayer, his third and final wife, in 1996 at a small cafe in Maine where Mayer was performing as part of the musical entertainment. According to Fogelberg, it was love at first sight. He was immediately captivated by not only her music, but her beauty, intellect, and spirit. In an interview with the Morning Call, Fogelberg shared, “She was performing at a little cafe in Kennebunkport, Maine, where I’d gone to live after my second divorce. I walked in and knew she was the one.” Mayer has said she was equally smitten in their fateful first encounter. After the performance, they struck up a conversation over coffee that lasted hours and both felt an instant connection. Fogelberg later discovered that Mayer was not only a gifted musician but also an accomplished fine artist and traditional darkroom photographer. This shared passion for the arts was a cornerstone of their relationship. Within a year, the couple married in a quiet ceremony in Maine on Valentine’s Day 1997. Their serendipitous first meeting over Mayer’s music was the beginning of a deep, creatively inspiring partnership that endured until Fogelberg’s death in 2007 at the age of 56.

What was Dan Fogelberg’s relationship history prior to Jean Marie Mayer?

Dan Fogelberg had been married twice before he met Jean Marie Mayer. His first marriage was to Maggie Slaymaker, a dancer from Nashville, whom he wed in 1982 after a whirlwind romance. The marriage only lasted a couple years before ending in divorce in 1985. Fogelberg later reflected that the relationship was sparked by intense passion but lacked a true depth of connection. After his split from Slaymaker, Fogelberg eventually remarried in 1991 to Anastasia Savage, an artist from Louisiana. His second marriage also proved short-lived, with the couple divorcing in 1996 after 5 years amidst rumors of infidelity. Ending two marriages back-to-back left Fogelberg disillusioned with love and relationships. Meeting Mayer the same year as his second divorce was unexpected, but their instant rapport convinced him to give love another chance. This time, the connection was real. In an interview, Fogelberg said of Mayer, “She’s a tremendous talent and the smartest woman I’ve ever met. And it’s a great, mature love.”

Who is Jean Marie Mayer, and what is her background?

Like Dan Fogelberg, Jean Marie Mayer was already an established artist before the two met. Born in 1954 in Fort Wayne, Indiana as Jean Marie Emily Charlotte Mayer, she began playing guitar and writing songs as a teenager. She attended art school and honed her skills in photography and painting. She eventually relocated to Maine in the early 90s to focus full-time on her music and art. By the mid-90s she was performing locally in Maine as a solo folk musician and winning acclaim for her artwork. Like Fogelberg, she has cited Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez as musical influences. In addition to music and visual arts, Mayer also previously worked as a creamery owner, massage therapist, and dance instructor. When she met Fogelberg in 1996, Mayer was coming into her own both personally and professionally. Her diverse talents and free spirit were a breath of fresh air for Fogelberg after two failed marriages. After they wed, Mayer continued nurturing her artistic passions while supporting her husband’s career.

How did Mayer impact Fogelberg’s music and creativity?

According to Fogelberg, meeting Jean Marie Mayer catalyzed a renewal of his music and creativity as an artist. Despite his previous successes, the 1990s had been a low point as grunge rock displaced his style of mellow, introspective folk-rock. His personal life was also in disarray after two divorces. Mayer’s presence inspired him both emotionally and artistically. Fogelberg said of their connection, “She pulled me back into a lot of things I had let slide. She just opens you up again.” With Mayer’s support, Fogelberg found his passion for music again. In 2003, he released the album “Full Circle” which was regarded as a return to form. Multiple songs directly addressed his love for Mayer, like “Ghosts” and “Love Gone By.” Reviewers noted the joy and romance permeating the lyrics. Fogelberg said of the inspiration, “A lot of that happiness has to do with having found the right woman, and it shows up all over the record.” Tragically, as Fogelberg’s career was reinvigorated by Mayer, he was privately battling advanced prostate cancer. But he continued recording music with his wife’s collaboration until the very end. Dan Fogelberg and Jean Marie Mayer’s profound musical and emotional connection gave comfort and creative energy to the singer-songwriter throughout his final years.

What inspired Fogelberg to write “Sometimes a Song”?

One of Fogelberg’s most beloved love songs was inspired directly by his marriage to Mayer. “Sometimes a Song”, released in 2003, expresses his feelings about unexpectedly finding true love and happiness again with Mayer. Fogelberg said the lyrics asking “How could it happen, where did we go right?” reflect his wonderment about how he was so fortunate to meet Mayer after prior failed relationships. In writing the song for his wife, Fogelberg shared it was “the most personal song I’ve ever written.” The single’s moving music video features black-and-white home movie footage of the couple dancing tenderly in their living room along with scenes of them embracing outdoors. It provides a poignant visual representation of the joy Mayer brought Fogelberg even as his health declined. “Sometimes a Song” has become an enduring musical testament to Fogelberg’s deep gratitude for the love he found with Mayer later in life when he least expected it.

How did Mayer support Fogelberg through his cancer diagnosis and treatment?

In 2002, Dan Fogelberg was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. He underwent surgery and aggressive treatment, all while keeping his illness private outside his family and inner circle. Throughout the difficult journey with cancer, Jean Marie Mayer was by Fogelberg’s side providing unwavering care and support. Though the prognosis was grim, Mayer maintained hope and did everything she could to nurture her husband physically and emotionally. Fogelberg said of her support, “She gave me the space to go through the emotional and painful moments of the disease but at the same time was there for me when I needed her.” Mayer put her own artistic career on hold as she became Fogelberg’s primary caregiver during his treatments and recovery. Tragically, Fogelberg’s cancer proved terminal and he passed away at the age of 56 on December 16, 2007 at his ranch in Maine. But Mayer’s devoted partnership gave him strength and comfort in his final years. Not long before his death, Fogelberg reflected, “A lot of life has come to me at the end and it would be a shame to miss it.” His time with Mayer was a gift.

How has Mayer honored Fogelberg’s musical legacy since his passing?

Since Dan Fogelberg’s death, Jean Marie Mayer has worked tirelessly to honor and preserve his artistic legacy as a musician. She has served as the steward of his extensive catalog of recordings, while also completing unfinished work by her late husband. Mayer executive-produced a collection of Fogelberg’s love songs and a live greatest hits album, helping to keep his music alive for longtime fans and new audiences. In 2017, she helped launch the tribute album “A Tribute to Dan Fogelberg” featuring covers of his classic songs by prominent Nashville artists. Mayer also fulfilled Fogelberg’s wish of establishing a nonprofit foundation to support music education and arts programs for youth. Through her efforts, Dan Fogelberg’s indelible musical impact lives on. Mayer shared her commitment by stating, “I want Dan to be remembered as one of the great songwriters and performers of his generation, which he was.” Her love and dedication have ensured her husband’s rich creative contributions are still celebrated today.


Dan Fogelberg’s iconic music defined the soft rock sound of the 1970s and beyond. While he achieved great fame and success as an artist, his personal life was a more complex journey. After two failed marriages, Fogelberg had given up on finding lasting love until an extraordinary meeting with musician Jean Marie Mayer in 1996. Falling in love with Mayer late in his life brought Fogelberg unexpected joy and creative renewal that profoundly shaped his career’s final decade. Mayer served as friend, muse, caregiver, and keeper of Fogelberg’s musical legacy until the very end. It was a true love story that began unexpectedly in an intimate cafe performance. Through her devotion as Fogelberg battled illness, Mayer fulfilled her vow to “stand by this man.” The love between Dan Fogelberg and Jean Marie Mayer weathered all storms and remains an inspiring example of the power of love, partnership, and the enduring nature of music.

Frequently Asked Questions about How Dan Fogelberg Met His Wife Jean Marie Mayer

What were Dan Fogelberg’s biggest musical hits?

Some of Dan Fogelberg’s most popular and enduring hits include “Longer”, “Leader of the Band”, “Same Old Lang Syne”, “Hard to Say”, “Run for the Roses”, and “Missing You”. His 1979 album “Phoenix” also reached platinum status and #10 on the Billboard charts. Overall, he released over 20 albums that collectively sold over 15 million copies.

How many times was Dan Fogelberg married?

Dan Fogelberg was married a total of three times over the course of his life. He first married Maggie Slaymaker in 1982, followed by Anastasia Savage in 1991 after divorcing Slaymaker. Both marriages ended after just a few years. Fogelberg found lasting love with his third wife, Jean Marie Mayer, whom he married in 1997 until his death in 2007.

Where did Dan Fogelberg and Jean Marie Mayer get married?

Dan Fogelberg and Jean Marie Mayer married on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1997 in a private ceremony in Kennebunkport, Maine. This was where Mayer lived and performed at the local cafe where she and Fogelberg first fatefully met. The two chose to keep their nuptials intimate and low-key.

What kind of cancer did Dan Fogelberg have?

In 2002, Dan Fogelberg was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. Despite surgery and aggressive treatment over several years, the cancer ultimately metastasized and spread elsewhere in his body. He fought the disease in private for years before sadly passing away from prostate cancer in December 2007 at his home in Maine.

What was Jean Marie Mayer’s background and occupation?

Jean Marie Mayer was a multi-talented artist who dabbled in music, photography, painting, and other creative pursuits over her life. When she met Dan Fogelberg, she was focused on her folk music as a solo acoustic guitarist and singer. She had also owned an arts-related business and worked as a dance instructor and massage therapist before settling in Maine in the 1990s.

How has Jean Marie Mayer kept Dan Fogelberg’s legacy alive since his death?

Since Fogelberg passed away, Mayer has worked as the steward of his musical catalog. She has released unfinished recordings, tribute albums, and greatest hits collections to promote his enduring legacy as an artist. Mayer also started a foundation supporting arts education in Fogelberg’s memory and has shared her late husband’s music through interviews and documentary profiles

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