Adele covers Out Mag & the interview will break your heart


Adele is the June cover girl for Out Magazine. In previous posts, I’ve let my feelings about and for Adele run rampant – I think she’s magnificent. I love her voice. I love her attitude. I love that she exists. I love that there’s a significant portion of the population who “get” Adele. Like her Rolling Stone interview, Adele talks freely, and she shows that while she’s not the most intellectual of girls, she’s very street-smart, world-weary, and yet funny, kind and… the world that comes to mind is “real”. She’s not some processed pop star. She’s not some focus-group creation. She’s just a talented young woman who can write and sing some damn good music. The Out Mag piece is really, really long (and worth it, if you like Adele) – you can read it here. Here are some highlights:

On being called a “singer”: “I always say I’m a singing lady, rather than a singer,” says Adele. “Singer is a big word for me. My interpretation of a singer is Etta James and Carole King and Aretha Franklin.”

She’s still smoking: It is a sunny day in Amsterdam, and Adele is in her pajamas, her long hair splayed out around her head, a cigarette dangling from one hand (she smokes 20 a day).

On her new-found super-stardom: “We’re playing Shepherd’s Bush in London, and I didn’t even think I’d sell that out,” she says of the 2,000-capacity venue. “It went in about 10 seconds. It’s still hard to take it all in. Every now and then I wonder when it’s going to slow down.” She says she’s lost a few friends “who just don’t get it and treat me weird,” but that she has managed to maintain her identity and keep sight of the things that count. “I’ve met people I admire, and people I don’t admire who are completely affected by their success, and I f-cking hate them,” she says. “There’s so many people who believe their own hype and treat people like sh-t, and if I was ever like that I would absolutely stop doing what I’m doing for a while and go and find myself again. I find it grotesque when people change because of it, but maybe it’s because they’re not as good at keeping in contact with the people who love them for a reason.”

Her Grammys: She walked away from the 2009 Grammys clutching two awards — for Best New Artist and for her single “Chasing Pavements.” Her shoes were off and her belt was undone when the announcement was made. “I had just come back from the toilet, so my Spanx weren’t even all the way up,” she recalls. “Then I won Best New Artist, and it was like time slowed down, and I was hovering over myself, pissing myself laughing. It was amazing.”

Adele the songwriter: For someone who hasn’t read a book in more than 10 years — “and that was a Jacqueline Wilson [children’s] book”—Adele has an uncommon gift for writing. She thinks it may have something to do with the way she learned to express her feelings as a child. “I don’t know if it’s because I’m an only child, but I was never, ever good at saying how I felt about things,” she says. “From the age of about 5, if I was told off for not sharing, or I didn’t tidy my room, or I spoke back to my mom, I’d always write a note as my apology.” Those notes, hundreds of them over the years, became a mechanism for examining her feelings, and a forerunner of the two albums that would spin those feelings into gold. What else are the songs that fill her first, 19, and second, 21, but letters of regret and disappointment?

Her mother introduced to her music: Adele Adkins, to use her full name, was 3 years old when she saw her first concert, accompanying her mom, Penny, to see the Cure. One of their numbers, “Lovesong” — a hit for the band in 1989, the year Adele was born — would end up as a cover on 21, a tribute to the mother whose musical enthusiasms have done so much to instruct and inspire her daughter. Growing up in the London borough of Tottenham, one of the most impoverished communities in England, was not easy, and mother and daughter struggled alongside everyone else. Music was a way to escape the grind. “Even when I was 10 and 11, I knew my mom had brilliant taste in music — I just wasn’t ready to embrace it,” says Adele. “Now they’re my favorite artists.” She has thought about recording a cover of “Troy,” by Sinéad O’Connor, the first song that ever made her cry, and another favorite of her mom’s, but doubts her ability to deliver it. “As an artist she is everything I would like to be—it’s all about the song,” says Adele. “She moves me when I hear her.”

On Beyonce: Adele thinks she might still be singing Beyoncé trills (“not that there’s anything wrong with that — she’s my f-cking idol — but still you need to branch out”) if not for her early musical education.

The ex that inspired it all: “I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself for not making my relationship with my ex on 21 work, because he’s the love of my life,” she says, before adding that she would have been willing to give up everything for him. Everything? “Well, I would still be singing in the shower, of course, but yeah — my career, my friendships, my hobbies. I would have given up trying to be the best.” Instead of giving up her career she has cemented it. “He made me really weak, but at the same time really f-cking fearless, so I managed to channel that. I don’t know if I’ll ever beat this album in terms of how people connect to it.”

Recording 21 in Malibu: “I was hoping to make some local friends, maybe find a nice organic café, things like that,” she says. “Everyone lives behind a gate, and they’re so f-cking rich they never have to leave, so I didn’t meet anyone.”)

Fan mail: “I get a lot of mail from people who tell me that I make them really happy to be themselves, and really comfortable with who they are, which I love,” she says. “I would hate it if someone was, like, ‘I wish I was you’ because I’m as insecure about myself as the next person.” In what way? “Just that I’m not good enough — in my music, in my relationships, and that I’m never going to be brave enough to tell someone how I feel.”

Adele is the anti-Gaga: Against the flash and splash of Gaga, Katy Perry, et al, the stripped-back, soulful style of Adele risked being lost. In fact, the volume of everything else has made her spare, acoustic sets all the more striking. “My music’s not stylized—it’s not sold by image, or by my sexuality, or aloofness, or anything like that,” she says. “I think it would be really bizarre if I started doing gimmicks and stunts—it wouldn’t suit my music.” Nevertheless, she finds performing nerve-wracking and won’t do big festivals like Glastonbury. “I’ve got lots of friends who are artists and they love it. They’re, like, ‘I was born to perform,’ and I’m like, ‘F-ck off—no one’s born to perform.’ ” She points to the canal bank opposite: “That’s like standing over there naked.”

[From Out Magazine]

Adele also talks a lot about how no one really expected “Someone Like You” to become a single, much less a hit song, much less one of Adele’s new standards. She performed the song at the BRIT Awards several months ago in a sparse performance with only a piano accompaniment, and it quickly became one of the most iconic moments of her career (video of the performance is below). Adele says that while she was performing, she pictured her ex (who she wrote the song for) sitting at home, watching her and thinking “Wow, right under my thumb, she is.” She says about her ex: “He was my soul mate. We had everything — on every level we were totally right. We’d finish each other’s sentences, and he could just pick up how I was feeling by the look in my eye, down to a T, and we loved the same things, and hated the same things, and we were brave when the other was brave and weak when the other one was weak — almost like twins, you know—and I think that’s rare when you find the full circle in one person, and I think that’s what I’ll always be looking for in other men.” Adele’s new mantra: “You will hurt until you stop hurting… I’m trying to make that my new motto — it will hurt until it stops hurting.” I feel like crying. You know what? Screw it, I am crying. You have to read those quotes as you listen to this:


Out photos courtesy of Out.

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62 Responses to “Adele covers Out Mag & the interview will break your heart”

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  1. the original bellaluna says:

    She has such a lovely, powerful voice. Adele is one of my new(ish) favourites. It also sounds like she has a good head on her shoulders. And she’s breath-takingly beautiful.

    I heard an interview of hers where she spoke about how “Rollin’ in the Deep” was actually a love song. Then the breakup happened and she said “Why not turn it into a breakup song?” or something to that effect.

  2. Elj says:

    Anyone know why her and the ex broke up?

  3. Addie says:

    She makes REAL music in a world where music has lost it’s meaning.

    And hell yeah she is the anti Gaga/bieber/K Perry and whoever else has been propelled into the limelight to annoy us all.

  4. Kim says:

    I’m totally addicted to her 21 cd..played it non-stop since I got it.

  5. TXCinderella says:

    She has a kick-@$$ voice and she is so beautiful!

  6. Ruby says:

    She is so pretty. Beautiful voice, talented and just a star. I can’t remember the last time I was enamoured with a celeb. I have a girl crush!
    Sad about the heartbreak though. Been through it but came out the other side a better person than before- cliche I know! Lol. Love her

  7. Sarah says:

    ok, I cried a little reading that last part too. I absolutely LOVE this girl. The more I read, the more I listen, the more I love.

  8. mdf says:

    Fuck!ng LOVE her. Someone Like You is my most favorite Adele song…and she’s just stunningly beautiful.

  9. Spanx says:

    I just love her! I’ve been addicted to her CD since I bought it. She’s so refreshing from the auto-tuned “look at me strut my naked body on stage b/c I really cant sing” types that are forced upon us.

    I read or heard a rumor that her ex is now suing her for a ton of money since he ‘inspired’ her music, not sure if there’s any truth to it or not but if it is, I really feel for her.

  10. klimp says:

    I’m so hormonal, I’ve just cried watching that video, not even just a little. I remember feeling exactly that way.

  11. Praise St. Angie! says:

    “I had just come back from the toilet, so my Spanx weren’t even all the way up,”

    how can you NOT love a girl who would admit that in a major magazine interview?

    she’s got an unbelievable voice and she is gorgeous! I hope she stops smoking, though…it could ruin her voice in the long run. 🙁

  12. gee says:

    She needs to quit cigarettes, but never change anything else. And I have such hair envy it’s not even funny.

  13. tanya says:

    How refreshing is she? What a lovely girl, in every aspect. Very articulate and organic – none of what she says feels contrived. I love so much of what she has to say and what she represents.

    Also, how cool is it that she got to see The Cure as her first concert? I’m super jealous!

  14. Anastasia says:

    God, that song. And she got all choked up at the end, which made me cry. LOVE HER.

  15. Isa says:

    Love, love, love her.
    Even my uncle watched her preform and was humming her song. Said he wanted it as a ringtone. 🙂

  16. Testarosa says:

    I think she’s a bit of an “old soul” — and I mean that in the most complimentary of ways. I hear her and I think of Lulu, Dusty Springfield and others who had/have highly powerful and totally unique voices. More power to Adele — something different and real for a change!

  17. S says:


  18. Julia says:

    She is absolutely gorgeous – and seems like a kind, good person as well. Just a great human being all around.

  19. Abby says:

    Absolutely incredible. I’m happily married, but that song instantly took me back to the hurt of past breakups. What an amazing song. I love her so much.

  20. Roma says:

    I listen to “21” every time I get ready to go out on the weekends. Except it’s counter productive because songs like “Someone Like You” make me cry, which means I then have to fix my eye makeup…

    My bf is not impressed but I love, love, love Adele. More Adele, less Lady Gaga.

  21. Maritza says:

    What a great song, she is so talented and very pretty. She made me cry…

  22. TQB says:

    Just when you think the entertainment industry is all hype and people are becoming sheep, someone with such pure talent and soul comes along.

    Her wild success with so many different audiences gives me just a little glimmer of hope for us all.

  23. Wif says:

    Spanx, I’m pretty sure you can’t sue someone for inspiring your art. Only if you directly steal content from them that could impact what you are marketing.

  24. aenflex says:

    i really didnt know much about her until the 2nd album dropped. she’s very pretty though, and very attractive as a person.

  25. TQB says:

    @Wif, as stupid as it sounds, I heard this too – he at least called her up and threatened to sue. I mean, no, he can’t win or anything. But doesn’t that just suck – she’s talking about him as the Great Love of Her Life and he’s being an opportunistic sleazebag?

  26. lucy2 says:

    Love her! I’m addicted to 21 too, and happy to see it’s still #1. Maybe more record companies will take note and promote real musicians and singers, rather than pop-tarts. She is really pretty, isn’t she? She has a great look.
    I too hope she quits smoking though, that voice is a gift and she should try to avoid anything that could hurt it.

  27. guesty says:

    Love her. But more than that…I respect her because she keeps it real.

  28. Katie says:

    I didn’t really care for her first album. I download Set Fire to the Rain b/c Lainey Gossip said it was amazing. It was amazing enough that I bought the actual physical CD and EVERY SONG IS GOOD. There are very few albums where I like every song. The first time I listened to Someone Like You I cried. The album is amazing. It has songs like that, that are so vulnerable, and then songs like Rumor Has It that are actually funny. It’s just a fantastic album. And anyone who loves Lovesong enough to cover it is okay in my book.

  29. Lucy says:

    I absolutely love her music and I cannot believe I couldn’t go to her concert Last Sunday in Boston. Her US tomorrow is completely sold out.She is fantastic, simple and real!

  30. RHONYC says:

    she really is a gorgeous girl. classic beauty.

    my daughter love, love, LOVES her stuff as well. 🙂

  31. bluhare says:

    I cottoned onto Adele late. People were telling me to listen to her, but these are the same people who told me I had to listen to (insert name of pop twinkie here) and they were all awful, so I ignored them. For once they were right.

    She’s dead on about Sinead O’Connor. I don’t know Troy, which surprises me so I’m gonna go find it, but anyone who can listen to her sing This Is A Rebel Song and not bawl like a baby is tough! I really think Adele should cover that one. She’d kill it.

    Love Adele. Rolling In The Deep is my new shower song, to the chagrin of my husband who said I’ve ruined it for him. 😕

  32. Kate says:

    absolutely ADORE her & her music

  33. kwoww says:

    she came right on time. i had almost given up on finding another chick singer/songwriter i could relate to since lily allen retired.

  34. Mei says:

    @kwoww I was at the same point! I liked Lily.

  35. samanthalous says:

    Went to see her on 5/14 in Philly the Electric Factory, cried when she talked to the crowd asking if anyone had ever loved someone that didnt love them back. This woman knows pain, there really was not a dry eye in the place.

  36. Becca says:

    why should this interview break my heart??

  37. sandy says:

    love her and her music, she is pretty, i have been there and done that, good luck to her.

  38. Kisha says:

    She is so freaking gorgeous and she has so much soul and depth. Hearing her sing makes my heart ache.

  39. XIOnce says:

    Just when you think there are no more words that can possibly explain how much your heart hurts after a break up, Adele comes and sings it all out. That entire album is AMAZING.

  40. mzjask says:

    you suck. now i AM crying ;p

  41. fizixgirl314 says:

    this lady is the personification of everything Anti-Hollywood… I hope she does well!

  42. truthzbetta says:

    She’s deep. There’s still hope for the world.

    Although Running with the Deep will not leave my head. I know that sounds like a good thing but I need a break from good stuff too.

  43. Amanda G says:

    She is amazing. Her album is amazing. Someone Like You is one of my favorites off of it. I love that so many people “get” her….and I love how her album has kicked so much ass on the charts. It gives me a little faith that females that sing well, sing live and write their own songs can still be successful.

    I wish I could tell her she’s still very young and can still find her “soul-mate.”

  44. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    I will slap the cigarette out of her hand if she can’t do it herself. Don’t go all Full Houston on us.

  45. ADS says:

    That is one gorgeous gorgeous woman. With a gorgeous gorgeous mouth.

  46. ol cranky says:

    @Elj: considering her ex is suing her for a cut of her profits, I’m guessing she dumped him because he’s a douche.

  47. Erin says:

    This song embodied my life when my ex-husband and I got divorced. He absolutely was and still is my soulmate, which is why we got back together and re-married last August. But I remember that anguish and deep hurt – ick!
    LOVE Adele…BEAUTIFUL voice and a BEAUTIFUL woman!

  48. C-DUB says:

    If it’s meant to be, then it will. Until then, make a whole bunch of music about it and make that paper doing what you love.

    I love her voice. She will definitely be around for long time.

  49. LakeMom says:

    “There’s so many people who believe their own hype and treat people like sh-t, and if I was ever like that I would absolutely stop doing what I’m doing for a while and go and find myself again. I find it grotesque when people change because of it, but maybe it’s because they’re not as good at keeping in contact with the people who love them for a reason.”

    Christina Aquilera…are you listening?

  50. original kate says:

    such a beautiful gal and so talented. i still cannot believe goop had the audacity to cover “chasing pavements” with her tinny, emotionless voice. ugh.

  51. CeeCee says:

    a true talent in every sense of the word! More of her and less Gaga!!

  52. gee_gee says:

    LOVE. HER. Such a breath of fresh air compared to just about everyone else out there.

    Bitch is gorgeous too.

  53. peachthief says:

    Oh my god I will lay down and DIE if she covers “Troy”, my all time favorite Sinead song!

    Can’t wait to see her in Berkeley next month (even though I practically had to sell my first born child to get tickets).

  54. cutesygoose says:

    Great interview, but what a shame people don’t realize just how much it detracts from the quality of their words by peppering everything with f— and s—. Geez, I’m no prude but is there any celeb who can give an interview or hold a conversation without so many vulgarities?

  55. Bunnywabba says:

    Thise cigarettes will f*cking kill you adele. If they don’t kill you, they will make you sick and remorseful. My boyfriend’s grammy said to me, “when ted was dying of the damn cancer my heart broke more and more every day. When he died i swore out loud! I said, ‘fuck ted, you could’ve quit those damn cigarettes and i wouldn’t be alone right now.’ he should have never died at 60. I miss him every day.”

  56. WYIJM says:

    Love ’21’ and Adele, but this whole soul mate thing irks me – from what I’ve read she only dated her ex (Slinky Sunbeam, I mean WTF) for about six months and he dumped her for some skinny model and/or Sean Bean’s daughter.

    Inspiring this album is probably the best thing he’s ever done, and the fact that Adele still calls him the love of her life makes me fear for her sanity.

  57. Anon73 says:

    a huge talent and a gorgeous woman, i love that she is also curvy. BUT hope that she quits smoking, mainly to perserve her voice and looks. 😉

  58. ZZ says:

    “My music’s not stylized—it’s not sold by image, or by my sexuality, or aloofness, or anything like that”

    I think I’m in love with her…

  59. eileen says:

    aaaaaaamazing. luff her.

  60. It is ME!! says:

    I love her comment about Beyonce’s singing. There is such a thing as oversinging.

    Adele: you’re doin’ it right.

  61. The Original Ashley says:

    WYIJM – maybe it’s a hindsight thing. At this moment he’s the love of her life, when she takes a few months away from it she’ll probably be like “wtf was I thinking”. It’s the pain of a fresh breakup, everything is more dramatic than it actually is. Who hasn’t been there before?

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