If there’s one thing you can count on Adele for, it’s music to get you through even your most earth-shattering breakups. Adele has taken fans on a journey through her tumultuous love life simply through her music. From her debut album 19 to her upcoming fourth studio album 30, the singer has let listeners in on her love-fueled highs, the devastating heartbreak she’s faced, and all of the life events in between, like welcoming her son, Angelo, in 2012.
Most of Adele’s major relationships are immortalized on one of her record-breaking albums, including 2011’s 21 and 2015’s 25, as her love life has provided the fuel for hits like “Rolling in the Deep,” “Hello,” and “When We Were Young.” She promises to continue that tradition on 30, marked by her first new single in over six years, the yearning divorce anthem “Easy on Me.” If Adele’s dating history proves one thing, it’s that men are only useful for one thing: causing singer-songwriters to write number one hits that the world can collectively sob to.
2008: “Chasing Pavements” Boy
Adele’s first album 19 was primarily inspired by her first-known boyfriend, the identity of whom has still not been publicly revealed today. As she told Rolling Stone in 2009, she wrote “Chasing Pavements” after finding out that he cheated on her. “I went to the pub [where he was] and punched him in the face,” she recounted. “I got thrown out, and as I was running away, the phrase ‘chasing pavements’ came to me.” He also apparently inspired songs like “First Love,” “Cold Shoulder,” and “Tired.”
After Adele blossomed into a superstar following the release of 21, this man apparently felt entitled to a piece of the pie. She told The Sun in 2011 that her ex-boyfriend had the audacity to ask for a cut of royalties that she made from 19. “For about a week he was calling and was deadly serious about it,” she recalled. “Finally, I said, ‘Well, you made my life hell, so I lived it and now I deserve it.’ He really thought he’d had some input into the creative process by being a prick.” Although she rightfully laughed off the request, she did give him credit for something: “He made me an adult, and put me on the road that I’m travelling.”
2009-2010: “Someone Like You” Man
While “Chasing Pavements” made people take notice of Adele, it was her sophomore album, 21, that catapulted her to worldwide stardom. Fitting to its title, 21 is the biggest album of the 21st century, thanks to record-breaking break-up anthems like “Rolling in the Deep,” “Someone Like You,” and “Set Fire to the Rain” that made the world cry. These songs were inspired by one man who broke up with her after 18 months of dating, with Adele writing “Someone Like You” when she found out he was engaged only a few months after their split. Adele has only ever referred to this man as “Alex” and never confirmed his identity. However, some outlets have reported that she was referring to photographer Alex Sturrock, who worked on her first tour.
In a 2011 interview with Out, she still referred to him as the “love of my life,” saying she’d never forgive herself for not making it work. “We had everything — on every level we were totally right,” she explained. “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 …….