Nobody does a breakup quite like Adele.
While us normals are eating our feelings, posting not-so-thinly veiled deep thoughts to Instagram and fighting the urge to drunk text our ex, she's in the studio churning out some of her most celebrated work.
And, okay, she's admitted to not being entirely sober while doing it, but if she wants to gift us the likes of "Chasing Pavements", "Rolling in the Deep" and "Turning Tables", we're not here to question her methods.
So prolific are her breakup ballads that people were concerned when she seemingly settled down for good with now-estranged husband Simon Konecki. As much as fans were rooting for the singer to have the happy ending she so richly deserved, enough expressed concerns about how her contentment might affect them, she felt the need to remind them she's not just a commodity, but an actual person living her actual life.
"How I felt when I wrote 21, it ain't worth feeling like that again...I was very sad and very lonely," she asserted to i-D in 2015 of not looking to create a repeat of her second disc. "Regardless of being a mum or a girlfriend, I didn't want to feel like that again."
That's not to say people were hoping she and Konecki would split. The parents to 7-year-old Angelo seemed, outwardly, at least, to have a good thing going and it's hard not to want the best for someone who's been open about past relationship struggles and how tough this whole love game is. Not to mention someone who's just so darn likable.
But a little more than a year removed from their divorce announcement the Billboard chart-topper seems to be doing pretty okay.
For a self-professed homebody, who told Rolling Stone, "I'm not sure if I'll ever not feel a bit overwhelmed when I go to places where there are loads of stars," her social calendar seems to be filled—more often than not with the type of celeb-filled outings the singer-songwriter inexplicably worries she'll be kicked out of. "She's so busy, but her life is better-rounded than it was before," an industry source told People.
This year alone, before social distancing made any plans irrelevant, the fun-loving Brit enjoyed a New Year's holiday in Anguilla with pals James Corden and Harry Styles, made a surprise appearance (dressed in gold) at both Madonna and Beyoncé's post-Oscar fetes and gifted the guests at friend Laura Dockrill's February wedding with an impromptu performance.
And fans are so waiting-on-pins-and-needles excited for her follow-up to 25—hello, she's turning 32 today—a simple Instagram Story from her makeup artist is enough to send them all into a tailspin.
As for the British transplant, now loving her life in Los Angeles, it's time with her son that whips her into a frenzy.
Time off from school last summer afforded them a trip to Utah where, a source told People, they "took a boating tour on Lake Powell and hiked the slot canyons. Adele very much enjoys U.S. nature and wanted to show Angelo around historic sites."
But she also fit in a historic moment of her own back in her native U.K., attending the final show of the Spice World—2019 Tour at Wembley Stadium in June. "Oiii last time I saw the Spice Girls at Wembley was 21 years ago!" she wrote on Instagram. "Tonight with my nearest and dearest I cried, laughed, screamed, danced, reminisced and fell back in love with my 10 year old self."
Sharing a snap of her with Geri Halliwell, the Spice Girls superfan continued, "It's no secret how much I love them, how much they inspired me to run for my life and never look back. I finally got to meet Ginger, I got drunk with the girls and quite frankly I can't believe how far I've come."
Which, true, she's a long ways from Adele Laurie Blue Adkins of London's Tottenham neighborhood. But she could also be referring to the changes she's made just this year, shifts that had insiders describing her to People as "alive and happy" and "perky as hell."
No doubt she was a good time in Rhode Island, celebrating Jennifer Lawrence (the two met at the 2013 Oscars and have been pals ever since) as she wed Cooke Maroney Oct. 19. And she was committed to the theme weeks later when she turned up to Drake's 1920s mobster-themed birthday bash at Goya Studios in L.A. where poker tables, slot machines and other casino games were set up for guests such as Kylie Jenner, Chris Brown and Sean "Diddy" Combs. Clad in a look reminiscent of Ginger McKenna, Sharon Stone's character in 1995's Casino, Adele gravitated toward the DJ, a source telling E! News, she was "dancing and talking to people."
It was her appearance, though, evident in an Instagram she posted from the Oct. 23 event that got others talking, commenters falling all over themselves to mention how svelte the singer looked.
Which may be just why she's been trying to keep the weight loss on the down low. Because it was never about the aesthetics, feeling perfectly comfortable with her shape, as a source told People. Quite simply, "as a mom," a friend told the mag, "she wants to be the healthiest she can be for Angelo."
That meant hiring a trainer (speculation on just who she tapped has run the gamut from British high intensity interval training pro Joe Wicks to Dalton Wong, who helped Lawrence get in shape for one of her films) and signing up for Pilates classes and sessions at Rise Nation, the stairmaster-based class that attracts Jessica Biel and Emma Stone.
She goes early in the morning and meets with her trainer," a source shared with E! News in February. "She gets her workout in first thing. She works out for about an hour and leaves drenched in sweat and looking like she worked very hard."
No surprise, the singer, who told Rolling Stone in 2015, "I'm not, like, skipping to the f--king gym. I don't enjoy it," was nervous about making such a life overhaul. "At first, she was very hesitant about keeping a workout routine. It was like she was questioning if she was gonna enjoy it enough to stick with it," an insider told People. "But she has been incredibly dedicated. She continues to work out with a trainer. And she looks fantastic."
Now that she's in the groove, she's fully committed keeping her menu as healthy as possible during the week to allow for flexibility on Saturdays and Sundays. "On the weekends and for special events, if she wants a cocktail she will have one!" a source told the mag. "She just has a healthier mindset." Very serious about improving herself, a source told People, "She was instantly a changed person with a different mindset."
That includes keeping her motivation at the forefront. More than wanting to collect compliments on Instagram, a source said, she "wants Angelo to know that working out and treating your body right is the way to go. And she wants to be a mom with more energy."
Perhaps she'll need it for a forthcoming tour at some point?
With a sighting of her entering an NYC studio last March, naturally, fans are chomping at the bit to see how the wordsmith will translate the unraveling of her relationship into the type of music ready-made for a good cry. That yearning is why people were so quick to fall for the collaboration chatter, all of which turned out to be jokes, the likes of One Republic's Ryan Tedder and Nicki Minaj eager to attach their name to the artist known for practically minting Grammys.
Asked about a joint project last fall, Minaj replied in the affirmative, later having to walk it back telling people "I thought everyone could clearly see I was being sarcastic."
Which, we get, but when you say "Adele made me swear to secrecy that I'm not allowed to tell anyone that I'm working with her, and we already shot a video, and it's an epic song," well, we really want to believe you. So don't make us continue to chase pavements, okay?
Styles denied that their Caribbean getaway was a working vacation, but insiders insist that future heartbreak anthems are in the works. "She is definitely getting ready both mentally and physically to promote new music," one source told People. "She talks about last year as a very difficult year, and she's said in the past that creating new music is almost like therapy. You can tell that she is ready to share with her fans."
Adele, we're ready when you are.
(Originally published Nov. 8, 2019, at 8:45 a.m. PT)