celebrity

A secret wedding and a performance that changed everything: The notoriously private life of Adele.

When Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was three years old, her father left.

Her mother had fallen pregnant at the age of 19 after meeting her dad the year before in a North London pub.

Adele’s father moved to Wales, took up drinking, and didn’t participate in her childhood at all. In fact, Adele said in 2017: “I didn’t know what a dad was supposed to do because I never had one.”

Adele loved music from the moment she could talk, and by age four, she was singing all the Spice Girls songs.

Her mother, Penny Adkins, worked three jobs so she could afford to send her daughter to music classes.

By the time she was 14, Adele had been accepted into the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Adele (@adele) on

When she was 18, a record label came across some of her demos on MySpace and signed her.

Her first album 19 came out shortly afterwards and an appearance on Saturday Night Live singing ‘Chasing Pavements’ and ‘Cold Shoulder’ in 2008 catapulted her into global stardom. The SNL episode not only became the highest-rating episode in 14 years, the day after her debut album soared on the US charts. She went on to win a Grammy Award for Best New Artist that year and sold more than seven million copies of 19 worldwide.

Watch: Adele’s first performance of ‘Chasing Pavements’ on Saturday Night Live in 2008. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Video by SNL

At the time, she was dating a man who had been nicknamed “Mr 19.” Her album spoke of how she fell in love with him and then broke up with him after witnessing him “making a pass” at one of her male friends, reported The Sun.

His identity was never revealed but he apparently demanded royalties for the songs that were about him.

51st Annual GRAMMY Awards - Red Carpet
Adele at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards in 2009 after the release of her first album 19. Image: Lester Cohen/WireImage/Getty.

Adele's second album, 21, was inspired by photographer Alex Sturrock who she dated for a year in 2008, reports Heat Magazine. The album sold 17 million copies worldwide and stayed on the top of the charts longer than any album had in 20 years.

According to The Mirror, Adele discovered Alex was engaged and a few months after their split, she wrote the smash hit 'Someone Like You'.

In 2011, Adele suffered a devastating blow at the height of her career. She damaged her vocal cords while singing live on a French radio show. She had to cancel her tour and undergo surgery.

She came back stronger than ever and won all six of her nominations at the 2012 Grammy Awards.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Since this is a vocal award, I want to thank my doctors, they brought my voice back," she told the audience that night.

54th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals
Adele at the 2012 Grammy Awards. Image: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty.

In 2011, Adele met charity entrepreneur Simon Konecki and in October 2012 they had a son, Angelo, when the singer was 24.

The couple kept their relationship very private, even suing a UK-based photo agency for publishing paparazzi images of their son when he was one years old.

Adele suffered from postnatal depression after the birth of her son, telling Vanity Fair it made her feel like she'd made the "worst decision of her life".

"My knowledge of postpartum – or postnatal, as well call it in England – is that you don’t want to be with your child; you’re worried you might hurt your child, you’re worried you weren’t doing a good job. But I was obsessed with my child. I felt very inadequate, I felt like I’d made the worst decision of my life… it can come in many different forms," she told the publication.

In 2015, Adele released her third album 25 at the age of 27, telling her fans: “25 is about getting to know who I’ve become without realising, and I’m sorry it took so long but, you know, life happened."

ADVERTISEMENT

Her single 'Hello' debuted at number one in countries all over the world, and once again brought Adele global success.

Adele and Simon wed in a secret ceremony in 2016, with their marriage only officially confirmed with brief mentions of her "husband" during her 2017 Grammy acceptance speech. In the same year, she told an Australian crowd: "I'm married now."

The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Backstage And Audience
Adele and Simon Konecki in 2012. Image: Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty.

In 2016, Adele opened up to 60 Minutes Australia about her family, saying: “It’s only because of [Simon] and because of our kid and stuff that I’m all right.”

"There was quite a long time when I didn't believe in myself. I'd lost my confidence and I couldn't find myself for a while because I was just a mum," she added.

In 2017, after more vocal cord damage forced her to cancel shows, Adele announced she was taking a break. She became a full-time mum, and also spent time lobbying for the victims of the Grenfell Tower blaze - lending her voice to a charity aiding survivors of the disaster.

ADVERTISEMENT
Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service
Adele attending the Grenfell Tower national memorial service in December, 2017. Image: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty.

After eight years together, Adele and Simon announced their divorce in April 2019.

"They are committed to raising their son together lovingly. As always they ask for privacy. There will be no further comment," a statement read.

Adele's fourth album is due to be released in September 2020. In an Instagram post on her 31st birthday last year, she wrote: "30 will be a drum n bass record to spite you."

After the release of her third album, she also said her next album would be the last reflecting her age at the time of writing.

“I believe in trilogies, yeah. The next one is just gonna be ‘Adele'," she told James Corden in an episode of Carpool Karaoke a few years earlier.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

This is 31...thank fucking god ???? 30 tried me so hard but I’m owning it and trying my hardest to lean in to it all. No matter how long we’re here for life is constant and complicated at times. I’ve changed drastically in the last couple years and I’m still changing and that’s okay. 31 is going to be a big ol’ year and I’m going to spend it all on myself. For the first time in a decade I’m ready to feel the world around me and look up for once. Be kind to yourself people we’re only human, go slow, put your phone down and laugh out loud at every opportunity. Learning to REALLY truly love yourself is it, and I’ve only just realized that that is more than enough. I’ll learn to love you lot eventually ???? Bunch of fucking savages, 30 will be a drum n bass record to spite you. Chin up eh ❤️

A post shared by Adele (@adele) on

ADVERTISEMENT

This week, Adele again shared a photo to Instagram on her 32nd birthday, which she celebrated amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

But the response to Adele's birthday's post has been more focused on her weight loss, rather than her message of thanks to the world's first responders during this health crisis.

A few weeks ago, she posted the comment "I used to cry but now I sweat" on her Instagram, next to a laughing emoji, making reference to her newfound love for exercise.

Her son Angelo is now seven, and according to PEOPLE, Adele decided to cut down on drinking and take up Pilates, to become the "healthiest mum possible".

After a rough 2019 thanks to her divorce, a source told The Sun, in 2020 Adele is enjoying a "new lease on life".

Feature image: Getty/Saturday Night Live 

00:00 / ???