ADELE’S incredible voice and emotional songs have turned the singer-songwriter into the biggest selling recording artist of the 21st century.
But her phenomenal success round the world has not come easily. Although she had a loving, caring mother, her father was absent most of her childhood.
Her parents, Marc Evans and Penny Adkins, met in a North London pub in 1987. He was in his mid-20s, she was an 18-year old art student. They moved in together and she soon fell pregnant. Adele was born on May 5 1988.
Marc walked out on mother and daughter in 1991 when she was just three, leavingPenny to bring up Adele on her own.
Her parents’ attitude to parenthood was poles apart. Her father moved from London to South Wales, drank heavily and was so taken up with his own needs he failed to contribute to her upbringing emotionally and financially.
Not surprisingly he and Adele have not been close. Adele has said: “I didn’t know what a dad was supposed to do because I never had one.”
Her mother, on the other hand, was determined to do everything she could for her little girl, including putting aside her own artistic ambitions to become a painter.
As a result mother and daughter have a strong, loving, secure bond.
Part of Adele’s childhood was spent in a socially deprived area in south London. Nonetheless it was here, in a run-down apartment above a discount store, that Adele wrote her early hits.
Adele was passionate about music from an early age. Her mother took on three jobs, freelance masseuse, furniture-maker and organiser for adult learning activities, so she could afford to send her to music classes most nights of the week.
Adele originally attended a local comprehensive school but it didn’t suit her and she played truant. Luckily her musical talent was such that at thirteen she was awarded a place atthe renowned BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology. Her debut album, 19, on which she played piano, guitar and bass, made her a star. Her second album 21, sold an eye-opening 31 million copies worldwide and led to her winning multiple Grammys. Adele also received a songwriting Oscar for the James Bond track "Skyfall."
Adele is a big personality and has no time for fools. Professionally her unique ability to communicate intimate details of love and loss through her songs has no doubt been cathartic for her and any fan with similar experiences.
Personally she was silent about her own childhood. Her relationship with her father only became public knowledge in 2011 when he gave an interview to the Sun newspaper and admitted: “I was a rotten father at a time when she really needed me.” He also talked about being an alcoholic.
He has subsequently claimed more than once their difficult past is behind them and they now get on well, but Adele has not confirmed this. Instead she made it clear that she fell out with him in 2012 when he insensitively commented that she struggled to find love because of her abandonment issues – an indication he didn’t put her wish for privacy first.
Instead she found a substitute father role model who is stable and supportive. Following the release of her multi-award winning album, 25, she publicly praised her long-time manager Jonathan Dickins for his help and compared him to the father she wished she had.
She said: “We’ve been together for 10 years, and I love you like you’re my dad….I love you so, so much. I don’t love my dad, that’s the thing. That doesn’t mean a lot. I love you like I would love my dad.”
Adele has also formed a strong intimate relationship with Simon Konecki, an investment banker turned philanthropist who she met in 2011.
She gave birth to a son, Angelo, a year later when she was 24. In 2016 she revealed how important Simon and Angelo were to her on 60 Minutes Australia saying: “It’s only because of [Simon] and because of our kid and stuff that I’m all right.” They married later that year. Adele returned to the charts in autumn 2015 with the ballad "Hello," the lead single from her comeback album, 25, which relates the painful break-up with an anonymous ex. She subsequently won five Grammys.
Despite her ongoing issues with her father her international success is a triumph for both her and her loving mother to whom she remains very close.