Personalities | Adele | London Girl

Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was born on 5 May 1988 in Tottenham, a deprived part of North London with a high rate of unemployment. Her mother, Penny Adkins, was just 18 and an art student when her daughter was born.

Adele’s father, Mark Evans, exited Adele’s life when she was aged three, leaving mother and daughter to fend for themselves. The singer has had limited contact with him since. Now living in Cardiff, the former alcoholic has yet to really know his child. Adele was openly furious when she found out that her dad had sold a story about their relationship to The Sun tabloid in 2011. In the article, Evans talks of courting Adele’s mother, stating, ‘For me it was love at first sight.’ He told the newspaper he asked Penny to marry him but that she had turned him down, saying she was too young.

Not A Daddy’s Girl

Evans even seemed to link himself to his daughter’s extraordinary talent by suggesting he was responsible for Adele’s musical taste: ‘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.’ While he concedes in the same interview that Adele would ‘probably snort’ at the afore-mentioned suggestion, he professes how much he regrets having been a self-described ‘rotten’ parent. Following publication of the article, the singer said publicly that she wanted nothing to do with him. She suggested she was on the brink of forgiving her father for the past when he sold out. In typical Adele style, she declared she would ‘spit in his face’ if she ever saw him again, stating he had no right to talk about her and that he didn’t even know her. She would later use the same ‘spit in his face’ tactic when expressing her anger towards her ex-partner.

Moving Around

As a young, single woman with a daughter to support, Penny Adkins worked various jobs. The tight little family unit moved around often, depending on work. Penny’s former vocations included masseuse, furniture maker and office administrator. Adele has spoken of her mother’s large family being a big bonus while growing up. ‘My mum is one of five and everyone’s got kids and all the kids have started having kids, so when I say nieces and nephews I mean my second cousins really,’ she told Vogue. ‘Mum’s side is massive. All brilliant. Dominated by women and all really helping each other out, so even though she brought me up on her own, it was kind of a team effort.’ Adele credits her large extended family with making her such a strong force: ‘You had to fight to get your voice heard because everyone was screaming and chatting at the same time.’

Although born in North London, she spent much of her childhood south of London’s famous Thames. Time was spent...

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Source: Adele: Songbird, by Alice Hudson


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