Rockstar Finds Love Again 8 Years After Wife’s Death

Rockstar Finds Love Again 8 Years After Wife’s Death

Jim Babjak, guitarist for The Smithereens, proposed to Cindy Sivak on Christmas. She said yes, and now they’re engaged. Babjack shared the news on Instagram, writing, “On Christmas night, I asked Cindy Sivak if she would like to grow young with me. She said…” The caption was alongside a photo of Sivak’s hand, donning a sparkly engagement ring, underneath an ornament of a Santa and Mrs. Claus embracing on a Christmas tree.

“Some people say the relationship is destiny or written in the stars, and I love astronomy, but I disagree,” Sivak told “We wrote our own story, and we’re still writing it. It’s an unlikely pairing, and here we are.”

Sivak, 63, who previously worked at MTV, Sirius satellite radio, and more music companies, had resolved never to marry a musician.
“I worked in the music industry for the past 40 years and I’ve seen a lot of bad behavior,” Sivak told the outlet. However, she said there was something different about Jim.

“I got to know him – we were more acquaintances in recent years,” Sivak said. “I got to know him as a father. I got to see how he is with his sons – he was a devoted dad then and still is. He’s a great son to his parents, who live in Arizona. He calls them every week. From a distance, I observed his marriage to his late wife Betty, and they had a wonderful union.”

Then, in 2016, Betty Babjak, Babjak’s wife of more than 30 years, passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 56, and Pat DiNizio, Smithereens’ lead singer, passed away in 2017 at the age of 62.

“Life is short. I know it’s a cliche,” Babjak, 66, told “When stuff like that happens, it really makes you think and it changes your whole outlook on life. You’re thinking, ‘Man, I want to live life to the fullest.’ I want to have a happy life and I want Cindy to be a part of it.”

With hits like “Blood and Roses,” “Behind the Wall of Sleep,” “Only a Memory,” “House We Used to Live In,” and “A Girl Like You,” the Smithereens, which also include Dennis Diken and Mike Mesaros, have continued to work on with rotating lead singers, primarily Marshall Crenshaw and Robin Wilson of the Gin Blossoms.

The connection between Babjak and Sivak dates back to Carteret High School in New Jersey, where he was a senior, and she was a freshman when they met on the school’s soccer field. The two have remained friends for decades. During the 1980s, when The Smithereens began to gain popularity, DiNiizio asked Sivak to help book New York City shows.

Meanwhile, Babjak would go on to raise three sons with Betty, Max, Alex, and Tom while performing with the Smithereens.
After the tragic loss of Betty, Babjak approached Sivak for help arranging a memorial show for her.

A year later, Babjak and Sivak reconnected and began dating. “I always admired Cindy’s independence. She’s a smart woman and we just hit it off,” Babjak said. “We have similar tastes in many things, and this history of friendship, too.”

A date for Babjak and Sivak’s wedding has not yet been announced. “I’m a lucky guy to find love at this age,” Babjak said. “We cherish our time together and try to live our best lives.”


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