What We Learnt from Adele’s One Night Only SpecialPosted by Mike Schumacher
In an honest, wide-ranging conversation with Oprah Winfrey, Adele discussed the sorrow of her divorce, abandoning the goal of a nuclear family, her weight, and her poor connection with her late father.
The singer admitted she felt “embarrassed” that she couldn’t make her marriage to Simon Konecki “work” during a sit-down in Winfrey’s rose garden, which was taped ahead of her first performance in more than four years for the CBS special Adele One Night Only.
“I’ve always been obsessed with a nuclear family because I didn’t grow up in one,” said the 33-year-old musician, who has a nine-year-old kid with Konecki. “I told myself when I was a youngster that when I had kids, we’d remain together. We’d be that one big family.
“I was so disappointed for my son, and I was so disappointed for myself,” she said. “I just thought I’d be the one to stop doing those bloody patterns all the time.”
The singer, who is about to record her fourth studio album, also recounted the moment she realized her one-year marriage was gone after seven years of dating. “We were all answering these questions in this very posh magazine,” she said, “and it was something like, ‘What’s something no one would ever know about you?'”
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“And I just said it in front of three of my friends, ‘I’m really not happy,'” she says. “I’m not living; I’m just going through the motions,” she said.
“I want to live and not just survive,” she said, recalling a line from her 2015 album 25’s song Love in the Dark.
“I definitely felt that way,” she admitted. “And it was when I told my own friends, who had assumed I was very happy, that I was actually very unhappy, and they were all shocked.” From then, I felt like I was asking myself, “What am I doing this for?”
The former couple, who live across the street from each other in Los Angeles, are still cordial; Adele said she trusted Konecki “with [her] life” and that he “probably saved my life.”
“No one else could have ever given me the stability that he and [her son] Angelo have given me, especially at that time in my life,” she added of her ex-role husband’s in her history. “I could have easily gone down some shady paths, been self-destructive as a result of being so overwhelmed by it all.” And he walked in, and he was the most stable guy I’d ever met in my life.”
“He knows what kind of artist I am, that I have to dig deep and tell my stories,” Adele said when Winfrey asked what Konecki thought of her new album, which explores her pain and guilt from the divorce. The new album is the result of a lengthy time of reflection and a dedication to sitting with unpleasant emotions. “Whenever I became aware of how I was feeling, I would sit down and sit with it,” she said.
“I had been ignoring myself for quite some time, which was shocking when I realized.”
The singer also addressed the public’s curiosity with her body’s alterations since her last public appearance in 2017. She said she shed roughly 100 pounds (45kg) over a two-year period while she dealt with “terrifying anxiety attacks” while leaving her marriage, and that she became a “athlete” who could deadlift 170 pounds (77kg) at her peak.
“When I was feeling so lost, I noticed how much I trusted my trainer’s presence, but I also didn’t have any anxiety when I was out at the gym,” she added. “It became my time – I had a plan every day even when I didn’t have any.”
When asked by Winfrey about the outpouring of support for Adele’s weight reduction, especially from women who associated with her body type, Adele said she “wasn’t surprised or even fazed” by it since “my body has been objectified my entire career.”
“I was body positive back then, and I am now.” She went on to say, “It’s not my job to validate how people feel about their bodies.” “I’m sorry if it made anyone feel bad about themselves, but that’s not my responsibility.”
Adele revealed her reconciliation with her late father Mark Evans, who died of cancer in May 2021, at the conclusion of the program, which included a live performance at LA’s Griffith Observatory attended by Drake, Selena Gomez, Lizzo, Melissa McCarthy, and Seth Rogen.
Her father’s drinking and “absence of presence” throughout her youth created a “void” that the singer “definitely tried to fill.” As his health deteriorated, she told Winfrey that the “gaping hole” was filled as she played the new album, as well as previous recordings he had avoided listening to. “We were able to find our peace,” she remarked.
When asked whether she was worried about going too intimate on the new album, which deals with divorce, self-acceptance, and loss, Winfrey said, “Nothing has been as scary as what I’ve been through the past two, three years behind closed doors.”
Thanks to Adrian Horton at The Guardian whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.
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