Jay Z and Beyonce – The Sundem/Tierney Unified Celebrity Theory gives the royal couple of hip-hop and pop music great odds of making it to their five year anniversary next year. The chances of them still being together in 15 years? 55 percent, based in part on their long courtship (6 years) and Jay waiting to marry until age 38. Pretty good odds by famous people standards.
Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz – The good news: statistical model gives the musical duo strong odds of making it for five years. The bad news? The odds of the twosome, who wed in 2010 after he broke things off with his ex, lasting 15 years drop to just 11 percent.
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon The couple, who wed in 2008, are the parents of twins. And despite Cannon’s health problems, they seem to be going strong. The duo renewed their vows in 2010, and according to the statisticians, have at least one more year in them. However, the formula puts their chances at a 15th anniversary at just 5 percent.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith – After 13 years of marriage, the couple long since made made the formula’s 71 percent odds of making it 5 years. But the equation gives them just a 24 percent chance of getting to 15 years. And rumors of a split are all over the tabloids.
Usher and Tameka Foster – Usher and his ex should have consulted the New York Times science page before getting hitched in 2007. The couple, who have two sons, split in 2009. The stats had their odds of lasting even five years at just 49 percent.
Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom – The reality show couple may or may not make great TV, but the Tierney/Sundem model gives them short odds on going 5 seasons (41 percent) and just 1 percent odds of making it to their 15th anniversary. The two wed in 2009.
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A New York Times science columnist says that he and a statistician have created a statistical model that accurately predicts whether a celebrity couple will stay together, and for how long.
The model, first published in the Times science section in 2006, has gotten an upgrade, and reporter John Tierney says a number of factors really can influence whether a celebrity duo can go the distance. Among the factors in the Sundem/Tierney Unified Celebrity Theory: the length of the couple’s courtship, their relative ages, each party’s marital history, and the woman’s “sex symbol factor” (too many sexy pictures of her online indicates narcissism, apparently.) And it also turns out that it’s the fame level of the wife that matters most.
Tierney says the equation, which he and statistician Garth Sundem have updated with brand new variables (such as the number of mentions in the New York Times divided by the number of items on the celeb couple in the National Enquirer,) successfully predicted that Britney Spears and K-Fed wouldn’t last (say it isn’t so!)…and that Will and Jada were in for trouble (the jury’s still out on that one.)
So how did some of the hottest black celeb couples fare? Tierney and Sundem applied their theory to several famous couples, and found the following odds of them making it to the five-year mark:
Read the full NYT celeb list here
What couples would you like to see put to the statistical test?