Hello from the other side, I must have called a thousand times…” First debuting her vocals to the world after a friend published three of her songs on Myspace in 2006, English singer and songwriter Adele Adkins received the call of a lifetime when XL Recordings offered her a record deal. In the whirlwind that surrounds a star in the making, Adele launched her first album, 19, just two years later in 2008 to widespread success not to mention two wins at the Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
The world couldn’t get enough of Adele and, by 2011, she followed up with another smash hit album, 21, which landed her half a dozen Grammy Awards to tie the record with Beyonce for most won in a single night. Then, in the midst of her incredible career, Adele did the unthinkable and vanished from the spotlight. With her vocal cords damaged, the world’s favorite Brit had no other choice but to take a hiatus from music to heal.
By 2012, Adele confirmed that she was back in the studio again, this time writing and recording the theme song for the James Bond film, Skyfall. But, that wasn’t all she was up to. By November 2015, Adele surprised her fans with the unexpected release of her newest album, 25, whose hit single, “Hello”, debuted at number one in the United States and the United Kingdom, not to mention it sold over one million digital copies within its first week in the United states.
So, now that Adele is back in a big way, it’s no surprise that she is the hottest topic in the entertainment industry. The world wants more of Adele and so do we, which is why we found and uncovered 16 dark secrets that Adele is hiding from the world. Are you curious? From her childhood and hobbies to her bad habits and harshest critics, let’s take a look at the darker side of our favorite British chart topper!
#16 – She Doesn’t Read, She Just Sings
So much music to make, so little time! Many celebrities love to share their favorite things with their fans whether it’s hobbies and movies to songs and books. Speaking of which, do you remember Oprah’s annual favorite things giveaway episode? Well, when it comes to Adele, the singer has many favorites, but books simply aren’t one of them (sorry, Oprah!). There’s just not enough time to fit reading into her busy schedule as an artist and mom.
Opting for movies like Scarface and The Godfather, Adele says that it’s been quite a long time since she last read for fun. So, how long has it really been? The singer admits that she was probably six years old when she read her last book, which just so happened to be Matilda by Roald Dahl. Although her lack of interest in books might shock some, we’re happy she spends more time reading sheet music than anything else.
#15 – She Won’t “Sell Out”
“Should I give up or should I just keep chasing pavements?” When a musician first makes it big, they often get dozens of offers from record labels and production companies who want to change or improve their music. Accepting these deals, musicians are then forced to change their art, sound and image to make more in the money-making machine known as the music industry. But, you won’t find Adele playing the “sell-out” game anytime soon.
Artists like Adele with a unique sound are diamonds in the rough in a music industry that is filled with pop sensations known for quick dance beats and catchy lyrics. Adele, however, despises artists who give in and change their sound to appeal to wider audiences, thus making more money for labels. Instead, she remains true to herself and her art, saying “I think it’s shameful when you sell out. It depends on what kind of artist you want to be, but I don’t want my name anywhere near another brand. I don’t want to be tainted or haunted.”
#14 – She Hates Large Venues
“Round my hometown, memories are fresh.” Although most musicians dream of playing in front of massive sell-out crowds and feeling like the biggest stars in the world, Adele once again proves she’s not like everyone else. Along the same lines of never becoming a “sell-out” when it comes to her sound, Adele prefers to play in smaller venues where her performances are more intimate and memorable.
Once offered to play in London’s famous O2 Arena that has a capacity of 23,000 seats, Adele declined. “I’d rather do 12 years at the Barfly than one night at the O2,” the singer said. The show would have undoubtedly been a sell-out, earning Adele an easy $1 million in one evening. However, it’s not about the money for England’s favorite songbird as she would obviously rather take a couple hundred bucks after playing a local bar than stand in the glaring spotlight in front of thousands. And for that, we can’t say we blame her!
#13 – She Wears Spanx
From the recording studio and the music video set to the red carpet, Adele always looks stunning. So, how does she do it? Adele knows that people are always watching or snapping a photo so her stylist makes sure that Spanx are always readily available for the star as she prepares to walk the red carpet or perform. As a matter of fact, it was reported that Adele actually wore three to four pairs of Spanx at the 2012 Grammy Awards where she swept the stage with wins.
Adele’s stylist, Gaelle Paul, told the Mirror that Adele doesn’t wear Spanx because she thinks she looks bad. Instead, Paul emphasized the importance of good underwear so that it can smooth one’s figure. “Adele is really OK with how she looks. I don’t think she ever lacked confidence. She doesn’t have the insecurity that a lot of other people I dress have,” Paul said. Why would she? She’s not only talented, she’s gorgeous and confident as well.
#12 – Love Has Made Her Do Crazy Things
“There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do, to make you feel my love.” Love makes people do crazy and bizarre things, which can be regrettable if a relationship ends in heartache. Adele admits that even she has done some crazy, stupid things all in the name of love. In fact, Adele canceled her United States tour dates in 2008 just because she wanted to spend more time with her boyfriend, who is now her ex.
Hindsight is twenty-twenty of course and, as Adele looked back on the decision, she said, “I can’t believe I did that. It seems so ungrateful…I was drinking far too much and that was kind of the basis of my relationship with this boy. I couldn’t bear to be without him, so I was like, ‘Well, I’ll just cancel my stuff then.’” So, whatever happened to the guy who stole Adele from the United States in 2008? Well, according to Adele, he recently received an “F** You” song to let him know that she’s over him for good.
#11 – She Compared the Gym to Hell
From running on the treadmill and doing laps in the pool to hitting the weights or joining a Zumba class, going to the gym can be a nice way to start or end the day. However, for some people, including Adele, going to the gym just isn’t as much fun as exercise nuts claim. In fact, after avoiding the gym like the plague for the first two decades of her life, Adele has since changed her habits but still says the gym is more like hell than anything else.
Adele recently said, “I’m not, like, skipping to the f***ing gym. I don’t enjoy it.” Admitting that she does enjoy lifting weights while she’s there, Adele hates looking in the mirror. She says, “Blood vessels burst on my face really easily, so I’m so conscious when I’m lifting weights not to let them burst in my face.” Sounds like even Adele’s workouts are intense, if you ask us!
#10 – She Can Handle Criticism
“I’d rather have lunch with my friends, than go to a gym.” Known by her curvy figure, Adele doesn’t quite look like cookie cutter pop stars Katy Perry or Selena Gomez and that’s just fine with her. Others, unfortunately, are quick to criticize her about her looks. Adele, however, has proven she can handle the criticism and even laughed off her biggest critic, Joan Rivers, who told audiences in 2013, “Let’s face reality – she’s fat.”
Adele responds to her critics by saying what most women already feel, “I like looking nice, but I always put comfort over fashion. I don’t find thin girls attractive; be happy and healthy. I’ve never had a problem with the way I look.” Adele also said that she’s never wanted to look like a model nor does she dedicate her free time to trying. “I represent the majority of women and I’m very proud of that.”
#9 – Still, She Has Worked On Her Figure
Despite being able to gracefully handle the criticism and for always encouraging women to be proud of their appearance, Adele’s figure has changed since the release of her debut album 19 in 2008. Arriving on the red carpet in 2012, Adele looked much slimmer than ever before and told audiences that it was nothing more than cutting back on sugar. Don’t count on Adele to hit the gym more often, however, as we already know her feelings on that particular hell.
Adele has gone on record saying, “I will only lose weight if it affected my health or sex life, which it doesn’t.” This leaves many to believe that the fluctuation of her weight over the past few years is simply a result of her busy schedule and life as a mom to her and Simon Konecki’s three-year-old son, Angelo. Whatever the reason, we think she’s looking better than ever!
#8 – She is Insecure
Who doesn’t have insecurities? It’s only natural because even someone as talented as Adele can be insecure at times. Yet, while many celebrities try to save face and hide their weaknesses from the public, Adele works to overcome them in her own way. “I have insecurities, of course, but I don’t hang out with anyone who points them out to me. “
Mostly criticized for her figure and fighting the pressure to be thinner like so many other celebs, Adele has proven that she can handle the criticism but it doesn’t mean that she isn’t insecure. “I’ve seen people where [being thin] rules their lives…and how it wears them down. And I don’t want that in my life.” Even the lead singer of Blur, Damon Albarn, admitted that Adele showed some of her artistic insecurities during their collaboration on her latest album, 25.
#7 – She Loves Wine
Pour a glass of wine, turn on Adele’s newest album and relax in your favorite chair – sounds like the perfect evening, doesn’t it? A self-proclaimed wine enthusiast, Adele recently admitted that much of her early success was marred by her constant drinking. Canceling her 2008 tour in the United States to spend more time with her former boyfriend, much of their relationship involved alcohol and only ended in heartbreak.
Adele’s drinking got to the point where she was having trouble balancing and stage and even forgot some of the words of her own songs in the middle of her performances. In her biography written by March Shapiro, it was said that “Adele would drink more than normal to salve the heartbreak” and that “midway through her first tour, she allegedly had a drinking problem.” Thankfully, her nerves are calmer these days and her heart has healed, leaving her more time to focus on making music.
#6 – She Doesn’t Do Festivals
Much like Adele refusing to be a “sell-out” when it comes to her sound or her venues, she doesn’t much care for festivals either. Four years ago after releasing the 21 album, she wanted to travel the world performing and, of course, people were willing to pay top dollar to book Adele live on stage. However, when the Glastonbury Music Festival offered her their largest stage and highest payday, she surprisingly turned it down.
Adele was appreciative of the offer but has since said, “I will not do festivals. The thought of an audience that big frightens the life out of me. I don’t think the music would work either. It’s all too slow. I’d hate to book a festival and have a f***ing anxiety attack and then not go on stage.” With festivals being known for having larger and rowdier crowds, Adele has a point and we can’t help but give her props for staying true to herself and her music.
#5 – Black is Her Favorite Color
Have you ever noticed that Adele usually wears black? While many choose to wear black because it is flattering and slimming, Adele actually has a different meaning for wearing her favorite color. Instead of trying to look thin or dramatic, she simply wears black as a tribute to one of her favorite singers.
Adele’s stylist said that she “always wants to wear black because she loves Johnny Cash and he wore black. She also loves June Carter Cash because she and Johnny were so much in love and they had this wonderful marriage.” Wearing a stunning black dress for her unforgettable performance of “Rolling in the Deep” during the 2012 Grammy Awards, Adele rocked the house to a heartfelt standing ovation and took home an impressive six awards, making black her lucky color.
#4 – She Will Never Be Used to the Spotlight
Performing in front of a sold-out audience for the first time can be intimidating for any singer but, many get used to it as the adrenaline starts pumping and they forget about the thousands of fans watching. Adele, however is not one of those people as she has never gotten comfortable on the stage or in the spotlight. She doesn’t even enjoy hanging around fellow celebrities because the spotlight burns far too bright for her liking.
Grateful for her fame and the opportunity to share her music, Adele says, “I’m not sure if I’ll ever not feel a bit overwhelmed when I go places where there are loads of stars. I always feel like I’m going to get thrown out. Or, it’s going to turn out to be some, like, hidden camera show, like someone’s going to send me back to Tottenham.” Not to worry, we don’t think anyone is planning on sending Adele home anytime soon.
#3 – She Thinks “Less is More”
Who made headlines this week? Was it Miley, Bieber or Gaga? While many singers and celebs tend to go over the top to grab as many headlines as possible with the hopes of boosting record sales, Adele has a far subtler and much classier approach. Believing in the “less is more” theory, Adele refuses to lavishly promote herself and, instead of trying too hard, lets her music speak for itself.
The world has even taken notice as one editor remarked, “What’s become lost in the Lady Gaga era is the confidence in the idea that less is more. A large element of Adele’s success is that she remains something of an enigma and we don’t know everything about her.” She hasn’t been plastered all over the tabloids for a DUI or photographed wearing next to nothing on stage in front of thousands…or a meat suit for that matter. One thing is for sure: don’t expect Adele to change her “less is more” approach anytime soon.
#2 – Her Father Left Her at a Young Age
It’s fairly common for celebrities who were previously estranged from one of their parents to face the emotional turmoil of their return into their lives once they see their child has become rich and famous. This was no different for Adele whose father, Mark Evans, left her and her mother when she was just four years old. Raised by a single mother who worked as a furniture maker, Adele told a reporter that if she ever saw Evans again, she would likely spit in his face.
In the height of Adele’s success in 2013, Evans publicly announced that he had cancer but had yet to meet his grandson because Adele didn’t want him in her son’s life. Evans said, “I still haven’t met Angelo, Adele’s son, and I’m facing the fact I may never. It could be over for me before I get to make my peace with Adele.”
#1 – She Was a Chain Smoker
It’s time for a smoke break! It seems like everyone has a vice that they can’t seem to shake and, smoking cigarettes is probably at the top of the list for many. Not even Adele, who makes her fortune on her killer voice, can break the habit and put down the butt. In 2011, Adele tried and failed to give up smoking. She said, “I gave up smoking for two months. It was f***ing grim. I had laryngitis about a week before the album came out and it was so frightening.”
Although Adele claimed that her voice sounded better when she smoked, it’s still hard to believe as she was forced to take a break after she developed a polyp on her vocal cord that affected her voice. Since having surgery, Adele has kicked her chain smoking habit for the most part, after having been caught on more than a few occasions with a cigarette in hand and a smile on her face.