Adele’s latest single, Easy on Me, is out today and will soon be followed by a new album, 30. Between 2009 and 2019, the 33-year-old earned an estimated £290m through record sales and concerts.
Rolling in the cash – but hasn’t she spent a lot of it?
Yes, she’s down to her last £140m. This may have something to do with getting divorced, California-style. In 2016 Adele tied the knot with charity boss Simon Konecki, an old Etonian she’d been dating since 2011. Their son, Angelo James, was born in October 2012. But the relationship fell apart after they married, there was no prenup agreement, and in America’s Golden State, marital assets are split 50/50 – so a judge ordered her to pay Konecki a whopping £140m. Happily, her new boyfriend comes with his own stash of money. The aptly named Rich Paul, an American sports agent and founder of Klutch Sports, is worth £73m.
Old Etonians aside, what does she splash her cash on?
Chasing pavements – ie, property. Adele is thought to have spent £11m on two townhouses in Kensington early in her career. She snapped up an art-deco beachfront house in Hove for £2.5m, then splurged on a £5.2m Malibu beach house in 2015 (it sold at a loss two years later) and a £4m Tudor manor in West Sussex in 2017. Today she lives in a Beverly Hills mansion acquired from her friend Nicole Richie for £7.3m this May. She owns two other houses on the same street, one of which she gave to her ex-husband so he could be near their son. In the past she has happily paid £42,000 a week to rent a New York penthouse – and, according to The Sun, once spent £15,000 on a playhouse for Angelo, complete with turrets, electricity and a balcony.
Why does she live in LA when culturally she’s such a Londoner?
This month she told Vogue that she abandoned London for the “fresh air and sky” of Tinseltown because most of her life is spent in a car or inside a building – the sorry lot of the super-famous. A few years ago she became an ordained minister so she could officiate at comedian Alan Carr’s wedding in the privacy of her LA garden. “Also, once I had Angelo, in England if you haven’t got a plan with a young child and it’s raining, you’re f***ed.”
She hasn’t lost her north London parlance, then
You can’t take Tottenham out of this girl. Judging by an a 41-minute Instagram livestream with her fans earlier this week, gargantuan wealth has done little to elevate her tastes. Asked about her favourite TV soap, she said: “EastEnders any day over Corrie!” Snack? “Prawn cocktail Walkers – or just ready salted Walkers with loads of Worcestershire sauce!” Go-to brunch? “Aperol spritz, babes.” Still, she’s not immune to a few acquired LA habits, including a morning facial and a personal trainer three times a day. Not your average Tottenham resident’s routine.
Tell me more about those roots
She was born Adele Laurie Blue Adkins in May 1988 to an English mother, Penny Adkins, and a Welsh father, Mark Evans, who bolted when she was a toddler. By four she had begun singing, obsessed by the voices of Mary J Blige and, later, Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald. Stage school beckoned and she was signed by XL Records in 2006 after a friend posted her three-song demo on MySpace. Her first album, 19, named after her age when she wrote the songs, shot straight to No 1 in January 2008.
Exactly how successful has she been?
Mega. Since she started doing gigs at 16, Adele has amassed 140 awards, including 18 Billboard Music Awards, nine Brits and 15 Grammys. Her second album, 21, sold more than 3.4 million copies in the UK, overtaking Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black to become the biggest-selling album of the 21st century. Her third album, 25, had the best single sales week in the modern era and reached No 1 in 32 countries. In the US alone, it sold 3.38 million copies in the first week. She is the bestselling British female artist of the 21st century.
And the new album is expected to be another goldmine?
Without doubt. Rumoured to be coming out in mid-November, 30 is all about explaining her divorce to her son, Angelo. Adele told Vogue: “I just felt like I wanted to explain to him, through this record… who I am and why I voluntarily chose to dismantle his entire life in the pursuit of my own happiness.” It could also be seen as an opportunity to recoup some of that hefty alimony she paid out. Yet considering she’s made a fortune mining her tragic love life, she carries her fame lightly. She once told Vanity Fair: “I swear to God I laugh at every big thing that happens in my career. I laugh out loud because I think it’s f***in’ ridiculous. At some point the director of The Truman Show is going to come and say, this is a sequel.”
That’s the difference between us. And a million miles