If there’s a more down-to-earth, but feisty, star than Adele, we’d love to meet them. The 27-year-old Londoner is an Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy winner, but famously retreated from the spotlight after the success of Skyfall, to focus on family and motherhood. However, with a short advert, which quickly went viral, at the end of last year, she has now returned to say, “Hello.”
Not the kind of celebrity you’ll find rolling out of clubs and bars; while she does count the likes of Jennifer Lawrence and Beyoncé as friends – or people she’s “friendly with” – she is happiest at home with her family. Her return to the spotlight has been fuelled by her son, Angelo, three, someone she wants to be a strong role model for.
“Towards the end of the 21 stuff, I couldn’t remember why I was doing it any more. I couldn’t answer the question, ‘Why am I halfway around the world? On my own?’” the Hello singer said when reflecting upon the success of the second album, 21.
“But then, after I had my son, I thought, ‘Yeah, that’s why I did it all. I’m not motivated by much, certainly not by money – but I’m motivated by that. I want my child to see his mum running a proper business again. Being a boss again. Hopefully smashing it again.”
When it comes to influences, the quick-witted singer is someone for everyone, not just her son to look up to. “I’m a feminist,” she told Rolling Stone frankly. “I believe that everyone should be treated the same, including race and sexuality.”
LOVE, LIFE AND MOTHERHOOD
The mother-of-one’s heartbreaks of the past are well documented in her first two albums, 19 and 21 – two albums she has dubbed “Polaroids” of her life. But now in her late-20s, she has happily settled down with Simon Konecki, CEO of charity Drop4Drop, with whom she has her son.
“It sounds obvious, but I think you only learn to love again when you fall in love again,” the famously guarded star said of her former love. “I’m in that place. My love is deep and true with my man, and that puts me in a position where I can finally reach out a hand to the ex. Let him know I’m over it.”
This protective nature is typical of the singer, who will only refer to both Simon and Angelo as “my man” and “my son”.
When asked by The Observer Music what Simon makes about her more personal and honest lyrics, she frankly said, “My man is loyal, my man is strong. So we spoke early on, and he said, ‘Your writing isn’t anything to do with me.’ He’s fine with it. And it takes a strong man, I think, to be like that.”
But you rarely see the singer shine as much as she does when talking about her son, Angelo, who she has fought to keep private and maintain a life for, away from the public eye.
“I never really thought much of myself, in terms of what I’ve managed to create and what I’ve managed to pull off and how far I’d managed to bring myself,” she said when pondering how motherhood gave her a new purpose. “When I had him everything, my whole life, made sense. Like oh, I get it. This is what I’m here to do; I’m here to be his mum. This world just made sense to me at that point. I feel so great having given birth to a human being, I feel very powerful. I feel like I can do anything.”
TAKING CHARGE OF HER OWN CAREER
“Why is someone in a boardroom, who has never written a record in their lives, making decisions for me?” the singer quipped of business-minded industry heads, who she has fought for creative control of her work. “I think everyone assumes I don’t like where I am, or what I’ve done, or what I’ve become. But actually I love it. Because I’m an artist, I have an ego, and it likes to be fed.”
And this year her ego will be fed, as she embarks on her first tour since 2011. The tour – which sold out almost instantly – is taking her everywhere from London to Mexico and New York, from March until November, which means she’ll be away from home and her partner for nine months.
“It’s such a long time to be travelling so Simon can’t come to every show,” a source told The Sun of the singer. “As well as his charity work with Drop4Drop, he also has another child from his marriage so he’ll be popping to and from the tour as and when he can.”
When it comes to expanding her celebrity empire, she is very strict about what she will and won’t put her name to – something that made headlines recently when presidential hopeful, Donald Trump, used her song Rolling In The Deep at a rally.
“What have I said no to? Everything you can imagine. Literally everything. Books, clothes, food ranges, drink ranges, fitness ranges ... that’s probably the funniest. They wanted me to be the face of a car. Toys. Apps. Candles,” she quipped. “It’s like, I don’t want to endorse a line of nail varnishes, but thanks for asking. A million pounds to sing at your birthday party? I’d rather do it for free if I’m doing it, cheers.”
STAYING FIRMLY DOWN TO EARTH
“I started shopping at Waitrose,” she jokes when asked about her success, and the financial stability she has found with that. But that is the key to Adele, normality and a low-key lifestyle.
“I’m not a recluse,” she insisted of her life now to The Observer Music. “Can we clear that up, please? I didn’t stop going to shops. To parks. To museums. I just wasn’t photographed while doing it.”
And never has her down-to-earth nature been clearer than when she did Carpool Karaoke with James Corden, and arrived holding a mug of tea which she sipped – and spilt on herself – throughout the chat and singalong.
The When We Were Young singer has admitted that there could be more to her professional future than just singing, saying, “After doing my music video [for Hello], I’m sure I’ll get some flak for this, but I actually would like to act after working with Xavier Dolan who is truly amazing and his films are incredible. I would be in a film for him definitely.” Before adding, with a hint of selfawareness, “I don’t like it when those singers start acting, it makes ‘em mediocre. But I don’t quite know what I’d be cast as anyway.”
But the bright lights of Hollywood – and the celebrity lifestyle that comes with it ‒ just haven’t appealed, even if she has considered acting.
“I’m not tempted in the slightest by anything that being famous has to offer,” she concludes of the matter – a refreshing sentiment in a generation of reality TV-made stars. “It’s really lovely and it’s a great luxury to dip in and out of it and to experience it, and I’m forever grateful for that, but that ain’t real. I’d rather live a real life and be a real person.”