Adele – one of the biggest pop stars of the 2010s – has so far achieved four Billboard chart-topping singles with her timeless soul sound. But records aren’t the only thing that the singer-songwriter has shifted throughout the course of the decade. Yes, as the Londoner showed off at a party hosted by fellow hitmaker Drake in 2019, Adele is now almost unrecognizable from the balladeer who emerged on the scene ten years previously.
It’s no surprise, then, that Adele made plenty of headlines for her appearance after she attended Drake’s birthday bash at Hollywood’s Goya Studios. And, based on the pictures that have since been released, the “Someone Like You” vocalist certainly seemed to enjoy herself at the star-studded event. Adele even shared a glamorous – yet slightly cheeky – photo that proved she can pout with the best of them.
But the image actually raised eyebrows online because of how much it showcased Adele’s radical, recent transformation. And it appears that this dramatic change has been inspired by a major shake-up in the singer’s personal life. In the spring of 2019, you see, the multiple Grammy winner and her husband, Simon Konecki, separated – with reports of an official divorce emerging just six months later. So what happened? Well, here’s a closer look at Adele’s remarkable rise to fame and her surprise reinvention.
Anyone familiar with Adele’s back catalog will not be shocked to learn that Adele was raised in London by her mother, Penny. After all, the singer has often drawn upon her early experiences in her music. Her breakthrough hit, “Hometown Glory,” was inspired by a stint in the capital’s West Norwood district, for instance. And Adele reflected on her time showcasing her musical talents to her friends in Brockwell Park in the 2015 track “Million Years Ago.”
In 2006 Adele graduated from celebrated performing arts academy the BRIT School, where she had been classmates with fellow chart-toppers Jessie J and Leona Lewis. Yet the star initially intended to pursue a career in developing artists. But after one of her friends uploaded one of the singer’s demo to MySpace, Adele became an in-demand talent herself.
Adele swiftly signed with indie label XL Records, and just a year later she appeared on screen for the first time as a guest on Jools Holland’s long-running BBC show. The star was then named the Brit Awards Critics’ Choice in 2008 and soon justified all the hype with her debut album. Spawning the hits “Chasing Pavements” and “Cold Shoulder,” 19 reached the top spot in the U.K. in its first week on the charts.
Audiences across the pond also soon became intrigued by Adele’s talents. For instance, Billboard magazine wrote, “Adele truly has potential to become among the most respected and inspiring international artists of her generation.” And after the star brought down the house on Saturday Night Live, her stateside profile skyrocketed. A year later, she even took home the coveted Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards.
But it was with her 2011 L.P. that Adele truly asserted herself as a pop superstar. Inspired by the roots and country sounds of Nashville, 21 reached pole position in no fewer than 30 different countries worldwide. Emotional performances of “Someone Like You” at both the BRITs and the MTV Video Music Awards appeared to propel much of the record’s monumental success.
“Rolling in the Deep” and “Set Fire to the Rain” also peaked at number one on the U.S. Hot 100. And 21 eventually surpassed Back to Black by Amy Winehouse as the U.K.’s highest-selling 21st-century album. Then, in 2012, Adele picked up an incredible six gongs at the Grammys, including Record, Song and Album of the Year.
Adele’s remarkable winning streak continued when she provided the theme tune to the 2012 James Bond flick, Skyfall. In fact, the track picked up Best Original Song at both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. But Adele then later took a well-earned break from the industry – before returning in style in 2015 with the final part of her age-related album trilogy.
Unsurprisingly, then, 25 proved to be just as phenomenally popular as its two predecessors. It broke first-week sales records on both sides of the Atlantic, in fact, and within just a few months had shifted an astonishing 17.4 million units across the globe. Its lead single, “Hello,” also topped the charts worldwide, while Adele helped promote the album with an hour-long BBC special, a return to Saturday Night Live and a televised gig at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
Adele subsequently embarked on a world tour that wrapped up at London’s Wembley Stadium. In 2016 she also took to the stage of the iconic Glastonbury music festival for an acclaimed set that she hailed as “by far the best moment of [her] life.” And in 2017 Adele reigned supreme at the Grammys once again, picking up five awards and also performing a heartfelt tribute to one of her musical heroes: George Michael.
Throughout much of her ascent to superstardom, though, Adele had been supported by Simon Konecki, a charity entrepreneur. The pair had actually first entered into a relationship in 2011. And a year later, the seemingly happy couple welcomed son Angelo into the world. But unlike many stars of her ilk, Adele prided herself on keeping her private life completely separate from her public persona.
In 2013, for instance, Adele and her husband sued a photo agency based in the U.K. after discovering that pictures of their son had been published without their consent. The pair were later awarded damages for the intrusive act as well. News about Adele and her family life subsequently remained relatively scarce. That is, until 2017 when rumors surfaced that she and Konecki had gotten hitched.
And Adele proved that all the speculation had been true when she picked up Album of the Year at the 59th Grammy Awards. While accepting the award, the star said, “Grammys, I appreciate it. The Academy, I love you. My manager, my husband and my son – you’re the only reason I do it.” Adele also further confirmed that she and Konecki had walked down the aisle at a gig in Brisbane, Australia, just two months later.
“I was trying to remember how it was I felt at the beginning of the relationship that inspired that record,” Adele told the crowd in reference to 21. “Because as bad as a breakup can be and as bitter and horrible and messy as it can be, that feeling when you first fall for someone is the best feeling on Earth, and I am addicted to that feeling. Obviously, I can’t go through with those feelings because I’m married now.”
Yet while Adele was busy conquering the globe with her music, her husband was busy helping to try and save it. Formerly an investment banker, Konecki actually quit his position at Lehman Brothers in the mid-’00s to form Life Water. The company focuses on funding ethical water plans worldwide alongside Drop4Drop, its charity associate.
But alas, Adele’s marriage would not have a happy ending. In April 2019, you see, representatives for Adele confirmed that the singer and her husband had parted company. And just five months later, the star was reported to have filed for divorce. Yet the pair will supposedly still continue to work together to bring up their son, Angelo.
The news apparently didn’t come as a shock to their nearest and dearest, however. A source reportedly told U.K. newspaper The Sun, “This is a very sad situation. Adele and Simon had been living separate lives for some time. It was well known amongst their friends that this time they simply were not going to sort it out. They had been trying for years, but eventually you have to accept that something just isn’t going to work.”
This isn’t Konecki’s first experience of divorce, either. In 2004 the former banker had married Clary Fisher, a stylist, but the pair had split up four years later. Rumors in fact surfaced that Adele had started seeing Konecki before his divorce papers had gone through. But the star furiously denied this claim in a 2012 blog post.
And the normally private Adele also took to Instagram just 11 days after news of her split from Konecki emerged. The star uploaded two photos of herself, one in which she’s turning on the waterworks and another of happier and feistier times. She captioned the images, “When you catch yourself in your feelings then you remember who you are.”
Adele also appeared to reference her split from Konecki in another Instagram post uploaded on her 31st birthday. In May 2019 she captioned a photo of herself, “Thirty 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.”
“Thirty-one is going to be a big ol’ year, and I’m going to spend it all on myself,” continued Adele. “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.”
Apparently, though, Adele didn’t waste much time moving on. In September 2019, in fact, the star got tongues wagging when she was pictured helping grime icon Skepta celebrate his 37th birthday at an immersive game experience in London. And some believe this was a sign that the pair are an unlikely item.
“Adele and Skepta have been there for each other a lot after both their relationships split up,” an insider reportedly told The Sun. “They have a close bond, and there’s definitely a special connection. They’re spending more and more time together. Some of their friends are hoping and predicting they could end up being a great couple one day.”
Whatever may or may not have happened, Adele and Skepta have actually been pals for quite some time. In a 2016 interview with ES Magazine, the rapper revealed, “Adele texts me all the time and keeps me in check. She speaks to me about how things are going.” That same year, the pair also expressed their admiration for each other on Twitter.
Yet a budding relationship with a grime pioneer wasn’t the only thing that Adele surprised everyone with in 2019. In October that year, you see, the Grammy winner attended Drake’s 31st birthday party in Hollywood’s Goya Studios. And she subsequently nearly broke the internet with an Instagram photo that showed off her dramatic image reinvention.
Wearing a glamorous velvet off-the-shoulder outfit, Adele drew digital gasps from her followers as she displayed her new slimmed-down figure. Also putting on her best Kardashian-style pout, the star completed her look with a sleek ponytail, open-toe heels and retro make-up. She captioned the photo, “I used to cry, but now I sweat.”
Unsurprisingly, then, the attention-grabbing post quickly racked up millions of likes on the photo-sharing site. More than 18,000 people also took to the comments box within the first 12 hours of it going up – and the response was very much a positive one. “OMG, she looks bomb!” wrote one particularly impressed follower.
“I want this look,” added an equally enthusiastic fan. Another responded, “Adele, you look amazing! Truly I’m looking forward to hearing more from you! Can’t wait for the next album to come out!” But how exactly did the chart-topping star manage to shift a significant amount of weight in such a seemingly short space of time?
Well, according to reports, Adele has received help from the wife of another British pop superstar. Ayda Field, who’s married to U.K. chart-topper Robbie Williams, has apparently been teaching Adele the art of reformer pilates. And this type of exercise has allegedly enabled the singer to lose more than 14 pounds.
Another insider reportedly told The Sun, “[Adele] has been loving her new workout regime, and it really works for her. It’s a bonus that she has shifted some weight. Her mates are glad she’s letting loose, and there’s nothing but good feelings towards her. She’s got a new lease of life.”
Of course, Adele’s remarkable body transformation has actually been something of a steady development. The star has, for instance, apparently been watching what she eats ever since Angelo was born in 2012. And having suffered a worrying vocal hemorrhage in 2011, Adele has continued to remove various other vices too.
In a 2011 interview with Australia’s 60 Minutes, Adele admitted, “It’s… boring, but I don’t think you take your voice seriously until you’ve had an accident. I’m frightened all the time I’m going to damage my voice.” And as a result, Adele reportedly no longer drinks ten cups of sweet tea a day and has also quit smoking, reduced her alcohol intake and cut out tangy, citrusy and spicy foods.
Adele also made a more conscious effort to lose weight in 2016, ahead of her world tour. She told Vogue magazine, “Now I fit into normal, off-the-shelf clothes, which is a really big problem for me.” And during the following year, it emerged that the star had lost nearly 30 pounds – apparently largely thanks to eating her greens.
You see, the star has – according to reports – been following the Sirtfood Diet. The new trend encourages people to munch on plant-based goods such as buckwheat, turmeric and kale. That’s because these particular foods apparently stifle appetite and help the body to process sugar and fat. Yet dieters can supposedly still enjoy the odd glass of red wine and mug of cocoa alongside their favorite cheeses too.
An advocate for the diet told the Daily Mail, “[It’s] all about losing weight and feeling fantastic through eating great-tasting food. It’s based on extensive research into the power of key plant foods, which when added to our diet turn on fat burning and improve wellbeing.” Supermodel Jodie Kidd and Olympian Sir Ben Ainslie are also said to be fans of the diet.
Yet while reformer pilates may have helped Adele in her weight loss quest, she’s certainly not a fan of hitting the gym. In 2016 the star even told Rolling Stone magazine that she finds it a major chore every time she goes. She said, “I mainly moan. I’m not, like, skipping to the f–ing gym. I don’t enjoy it.”
“I do like doing weights,” Adele added. “I don’t like looking in the mirror. 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. And if I don’t tour, you’ll catch me back down at the Chinese!”
Speaking of which, fans of Adele will no doubt be hoping that they get to see the results of Adele’s weight loss efforts more often in the near future. And according to various rumors, the star has been in the recording studio working on the follow-up to 2016’s 25. But so far, Adele is keeping tight lipped about when we will get to hear it.