herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Thanks, but I'm off...after Grammy success, Adele to put career on hold for love

THE music industry was left struggling to contemplate life without its biggest star yesterday after Adele, hailed as the saviour of pop after winning six Grammy awards and selling 17 million albums, revealed that she now intends to depart the stage.

The all-conquering singer, whose earlier heartbreak fuelled her best-selling 21 album, said she would take up to five years off in order to focus on her relationship with boyfriend Simon Konecki, a charity fundraiser.

Adele (23) told US Vogue: "I am f****** off for four or five years. If I am constantly working, my relationships fail. So at least now I can have enough time to write a happy record. And be in love and be happy."

She may choose to retire from show business altogether. "And then I don't know what I'll do. Get married."

Whilst an extended career-break might complete the Tottenham singer's joy, it could prove disastrous for the struggling music industry.

Adele's dominance of the charts generated a 1.4pc increase in US album sales last year, reversing years of decline.

Her record companies, the UK independent label XL and their Stateside partner Columbia, part of the Sony Entertainment group, were anticipating a third blockbuster Adele album next year.

It was what Adele described as a "rubbish relationship" which inspired the 21 album.

But in the interview the singer described her blissful existence with the 37-year-old Konecki, with whom she is "madly in love". "He's wonderful. He looks after me. I don't think I would have gotten through the recovery if it hadn't been for him," said Adele, referring to the serious surgery she underwent last year to remove polyps from her vocal chords.

The bearded Konecki, known as 'Swampy' to his friends, is chief executive of Drop4Drop, a Brighton-based charity which works to bring access to clean water to people in developing countries.

A contemporary of Tom Parker Bowles at Eton, Konecki was the director of an investment holding company but left the City because of his "leftie views" to found the bottled water company, Life. He has a daughter from a 2004 marriage to fashion stylist Clary Fisher. The couple divorced four years ago. Her enforced silence when she recovered from throat surgery changed Adele's perspective on life.

"I've never fully appreciated the things that I've achieved until now," she said. "In fact, my entire life has changed in the last 10 weeks. I've never been so happy, and I love it."

Some industry figures believe Adele could follow the example of Kate Bush, who retired from public performance and retreated into domesticity, emerging every seven years or so to present a new album. But those hoping for another 21-style album, with huge hits like Someone Like You, are secretly hoping the path of true love runs into a few obstacles. As Adele said: "I love a bit of drama. That's a bad thing. I can flip really quickly."

hnews@herald.ie

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