AFTER six years away, Adele is back with new single Easy On Me, due out next week.
And in a 21-second teaser clip yesterday, she looked a far cry from her beginnings as a working-class Londoner performing in chunky jumpers to punters in pubs.
Over the 13 years since releasing her debut album 19, the 33-year-old has shed seven stone, ditched the frumpy dresses and taken on the healthy Californian lifestyle of her new home.
Her fourth album is expected to be titled 30 – her age when she wrote the songs – like previous releases 25, 21 and 19. Grant Rollings looks at how she has changed over the albums and years.
HEARTBREAK GIVES BIRTH TO HIT SONGS
LOVE LIFE: Adele struggled to write enough songs for her debut album in 2008 until, she revealed, “I had my heart broken”. Track Daydreamer was written about an un-named man who went off with one of her gay friends shortly after she had declared her love for him at her 18th birthday party.
When the failed love partner learned he was the inspiration for her songs, he cheekily asked for a cut of the royalties. Adele said: “He really thought he’d had some input into the creative process by being a p***k. I’ll give him this credit: He made me an adult and put me on the road that I’m travelling.”
HOME: Adele wrote her first hit Hometown Glory about the suburb of West Norwood in South London where she lived in a flat above a discount store with her mum Penny.
After signing with record label XL Recordings, she moved to a flat in trendy Notting Hill, West London. Her friends included Noisettes singer Shingai Shoniwa, who was a neighbour in West Norwood and fellow Brit School student Kate Nash.
IMAGE: At gigs Adele sat on a stool in a baggy jumper or flowery dress and during interviews she smoked cigarettes. She could swear like a trooper, too. Playing to as few as 20 people in pubs and cafes, by the time the album was released, she had been lined up for the Glastonbury Festival.
WEALTH: Adele’s mum Penny had three jobs, and made financial sacrifices to help Adele’s dreams come true. They moved from rented flat to rented flat around South London.
A NEW BABY AND MOVE TO COUNTRYSIDE
LOVE LIFE: Adele started dating Eton-educated charity boss Simon around the time her second album was released in 2011. A year later, she was so in love she decided to put her career on pause, saying, “If I’m constantly working, my relationships fail”.
She sported an engagement ring at the Brit Awards in February 2012 and in October that year gave birth to their son Angelo.
HOME: Shortly after releasing 21, Adele bought a £7million mansion in West Sussex to add to the £800,000 pad she owned in Notting Hill. But she remained down to earth, swerving a glitzy Brits nomination ceremony to attend a 40th birthday bash for ex-EastEnder Sid Owen.
The move to the countryside allowed her to escape prying eyes and she joked that she looked forward to having a “vegetable patch”. Gradually, Adele spent less time at showbiz bashes and more time with her family.
IMAGE: Late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld cruelly described Adele as “a little too fat.”. She retorted: “I don’t make music for eyes. I make music for ears.”
The jumpers had been replaced by elegant, flowing dresses, such as the Burberry one she wore at the Brits. At those awards she spoke about how she was, “So proud to be British and to be flying our flag”, before her acceptance speech was cut short. Her response was typical Adele – she flipped the finger.
WEALTH: Worth an estimated £8million following the success of 21, which became the best selling album ever by a solo artist in the UK.
MARRIAGE & POST-NATAL DEPRESSION
LOVE LIFE: After five years together Adele and Simon got hitched at a private ceremony in Los Angeles in 2016, shortly after her third album was released.
The couple had endured some tough times by then, with Adele revealing she suffered post-natal depression following the birth of Angelo in 2012. She said: “I was obsessed with my child. I felt very inadequate. You’re worried you might hurt your child, you’re worried you weren’t doing a good job.”
HOME: Adele started recording 25 in 2013, splitting her time between her ten-bedroom home in the English countryside and Los Angeles, where she rented Sir Paul McCartney’s old home for £47,000 a month. She splashed out on artwork by Andy Warhol to adorn its walls, too.
In Britain, her friendship circle included chat show host Alan Carr and Robbie Williams’s wife Ayda.
IMAGE: Online trolls compared the green dress she wore to the Grammy’s in 2017 to Princess Fiona from the movie Shrek. But she hit back: “I don’t f***ing care. It was Givenchy couture. They can say what they want.” By this time Adele had quit smoking because she feared her 25-a-day habit would kill her.
WEALTH: Even before 25 was released in November 2015, Adele was earning £41,000 a day. A world tour playing to nearly three million fans added £130million in ticket sales.
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