Hasn't the girl done well: As she scoops six Grammys, Adele – who was raised in a dingy flat – moves up in the world
Her ten-bedroom, grade-II listed home has two swimming pools and 25 acres of land
She was raised by a single mother in a series of down-at-heel apartments in the London hinterlands. Even in the first flush of fame, with a multi-platinum selling album and a raft of awards to her name, Adele Adkins chose to live with her mum, Penny, in a poky flat above the This, That And The Other Discount Store in West Norwood.
And even when she did get her own place it was a bedsit. Now, after picking up six Grammy Awards this week, we can see a seismic shift in the circumstances of our nation’s most celebrated vocal talent.
Those pragmatic surroundings may have been the ideal environment to inspire the songs of heartbreak which make up 21, the show-stopping second album which has established her as the biggest star in the music business bar none; but there is nothing understated about her latest billet.
Living the dream: Adele shows Anderson Cooper, from American talkshow 60 Minutes, her new 6million Surrey mansion, complete with 25 acres of stunning gardens
At the tender age of 23, this plain-spoken Londoner has recently taken up residence in a ten-bedroom, grade II-listed mansion in the Home Counties.
Complete with a brace of swimming pools — inside and out — the sprawling estate is set in 25 acres of prime West Sussex pasture, along with tennis courts and a self-contained staff cottage.
Success: Multi-platinum selling Adele Adkins who has swapped south London for a Surrey mansion
How much use these facilities will receive remains to be seen (she jokes that nine of the bedrooms won’t be used), but there can be no mistaking the statement: Adele has very much arrived. As if to drive home the point, the notoriously private singer invited Anderson Cooper, the doyen of U.S. TV celebrity interviewers, to tour her spectacular new home.
This, lest we forget, is a woman who has jealously guarded the identities of the errant lovers who inspired her two smash hit albums, 19 and 21. The girl who says of her absent father, after he gave an interview about her troubled childhood: ‘If I ever see him I will spit in his face.’
Not that you could have imagined that from the fulsome welcome laid on for Mr Cooper. She’s seen baking cupcakes for him in the state-of-the-art kitchen and gives him a tour of her bedroom, lingering to show off her collection of wigs (which she gives names like Jackie Collins and June Carter).
Adele, who was born in Tottenham and brought up around the Brixton area, is clearly proud to be renting the 15,000-a-month pile — just half an hour away from her boyfriend Simon Konecki’s home in Brighton.
The handsome red brick home, which was sold for 1.8 million in 2004 — and is now said to be worth around 6 million — was built at the end of the 19th century and was originally designed as an aristocratic family house with its own ballroom.
The house originally belonged to the wealthy Harvey family. Their daughter was the first wife of Donald Campbell, who was killed in 1967 while trying to break the world water speed record in Bluebird K7.
The estate, which boasts glorious views of the South Downs, has its own helicopter landing pad. Briefly converted into a convent in the Seventies, the house was extended to include a private chapel and nuns’ quarters. Adele’s bedroom suite features marble washbasins, a marble fireplace and elaborate floral murals.
Should she break from tradition and write a record not inspired by heartbreak (her current relationship is understood to be very happy), there will be ample space to work in her own music room and then relax by a huge baronial fireplace embossed with a coat of arms.
Not that the house is in any way ready for such activity. During his visit for CBS show 60 Minutes, Mr Cooper noted the absence of furniture and the sprawl of open suitcases in the master suite.
Humble beginnings: A flat above a South London bargain shop where Adele used to live with her mother
ADELE: IN HER OWN WORDS
On her weight
I’d rather weigh a ton and make an amazing album than look like Nicole Richie and do a s*** album. My aim in life is never to be skinny.
On stage fright
I’m scared of audiences. At a show in Amsterdam I was so nervous I escaped out the fire exit. I have anxiety attacks a lot.
On her estranged father
I was ready to start trying to have a relationship with him [before he sold his story]. He’s blown it. He will never hear from me again. If I ever see him I will spit in his face.
On losing her voice
It was literally like someone switched a click off in my throat; my voice went so much deeper. I felt like something popped in my throat.
I find it quite difficult to think 20 million people are listening to an album I wrote very selfishly to get over a break-up.
Despite this, a disarmingly relaxed
Adele spoke freely about a range of subjects, including her body image
(an issue very much in the spotlight given Karl Lagerfeld’s insensitive
remarks last week, when he described her as ‘a little too fat’).
bluntly that she had no desire to be a ‘skinny Minnie’, Adele said:
‘I’ve never seen magazine covers and music videos and thought I need to
look like that. To sell more records I don’t even need to — I’m selling
‘I don’t find that attractive and even if I did have, you know, a Sports Illustrated body, I’d still wear elegant clothes. I ain’t lookin’ like no “slapper”. Exploiting yourself sexually is not a good look, I don’t think.’
With obvious modesty and considerable charm, she also spoke of how easily, to this day, she becomes starstruck, recalling her amazement when Beyonce and Jay Z recognised her at the Grammys. ‘That blew my mind,’ she said. ‘So then I went out onto the balcony, fell to my knees and cried. I was all red eyed.’
Her story is all the more extraordinary given her background. Her mother, Penny Adkins, was an art student living in Tottenham when she met a womanising Welsh plumber, Mark Evans, in a pub in 1987.
In an interview, he recalled: ‘For me, it was love at first sight.’ They moved in together within a few months, and she was pregnant within a year. Evans said the baby wasn’t planned, but he asked his 18-year-old girlfriend to marry him because he was sure that they’d be together for ever. She turned him down on the grounds she was too young.
Rolling in the deep end: The star's huge indoor swimming pool at her mansion
Plush property: Adele shows Anderson Cooper around her new 10-bedroom property. She has joked that nine of the bedrooms will be empty
Her father said: ‘After Adele was born, I’d lie on the sofa all night, cradling her in my arms and listening to Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone. I’m certain that is what shaped Adele’s music today.’
Adele would probably snort at such a suggestion. /02/16/article-2101830-11C01610000005DC-832_634x421.jpg” width=”634″ height=”421″ alt=”Country home: The mansion has 25 acres of stunning but secluded gardens” class=”blkBorder” />
Country home: The mansion has 25 acres of stunning but secluded gardens