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Penny Adkins

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Penny Susan Adkins (born 1968)[1] is the mother of Adele.

Described by her daughter as a "hippie mum,"[2][3] Penny was a former art student who dropped out of college to raise Adele after becoming unexpectedly pregnant with her at the age of 18. According to Adele, "She fell pregnant with me when she would have been applying for uni, but chose to have me instead. She never, ever reminds me of that. I try to remember it."[4] Adele has referred to Penny as her "best friend" and credits her with much of her success.[5] The closeness of their relationship is thought to be a result of Adele's father, Mark, abandoning the family when she was only three.

Penny has been referenced in or inspired several of Adele's songs, most notably "Hometown Glory," "Million Years Ago," and her cover of The Cure's "Lovesong."

Biography

Early life

Penny Adkins was born to John and Doreen Adkins in 1968. Originally from Islington, Penny was the youngest of five children. She has two older sisters—Kim and Anita—and two older brothers—Gary and John Anthony.[6] According to her mother, Doreen, Penny was "thrown out" by her parents at the age of 18 to develop a sense of independence.[7]

Motherhood

In 1987 (a year before leaving her parents), Penny met Mark Evans, Adele's father, at The King's Head pub in North London. Mark described their relationship as "love at first sight."[8]

She had been an art student at a college in Barnet the time, and soon after meeting him, the two moved in together. At the age of 18, she gave birth to Evans' daughter, Adele Laurie Blue Adkins. At this point, Penny had dropped out of college in order to focus on raising Adele and had moved into emergency housing for single mothers while receiving assistance from the National Childbirth Trust.[6] Soon after Adele's birth, they moved into a two-bedroom flat in Tottenham. Mark eventually proposed to Penny, although she refused, insisting that they were too young. Despite this, they remained together[8] and moved into a flat that Penny and Adele would reside in for the next nine years.[6]

By the time Adele was 9 months old, Mark and Penny had split but remained on good terms, as she and Adele frequently traveled to visit Mark and his family. Mark continued to provide for Penny and Adele when he was financially capable, and his father gave Penny a monthly allowance to assist her. By the time Adele was three, Mark had moved back to Wales, further distancing himself from Adele and Penny. Meanwhile, Penny had developed a relationship with a man named Simon, who would eventually become Adele's stepfather.[6] In 1997, Adele and Penny moved to Brighton.[9] In 1999, two years later, the mother and daughter had moved back to Brixton; however, in 2002, they moved to neighbouring district West Norwood, in south London, after Penny and Simon separated.[6][10]

Despite the circumstances, Mark maintained his relationship with his daughter and continued to see her until the deaths of his father and best friend in 1999, causing an addiction to alcohol that permanently damaged his relationship with Adele.[11]

Throughout Adele's childhood, Penny took on a variety of jobs in order to make ends meet, including jobs as a furniture maker, a masseuse, and an adult-learning activities organizer.[9][12]

After the release of 19, Adele moved out of her mother's flat. However, prior to the release of 21, she revealed that she had moved back in with her mother:

I was missing her a lot. It's nice just to hear her there. There's a really long hallway and her room is at the other end but just hearing her pottering about is really comforting. And it's nice to have someone to come home and make a cup of tea for when you've been away for ages. Actually, my mum lives with me.[13]
In 2013, Adele reportedly purchased a $950,000 apartment in London for her mother.[14]

Trivia

  • Penny smuggled Adele into her first concerts at Brixton Academy; she saw The Beautiful South and The Cure when she was three years old.[6][15]
  • Adele's first song, "Hometown Glory," was written about a disagreement between her and her mother over where she should attend university, claiming that her dependence on her mother fueled her desire to stay close to home.[16]
  • Adele's cover of The Cure's "Lovesong" was dedicated to Penny.[17] After becoming homesick while working on 21 in Malibu, Adele decided to record the song to honor her mother, who is a fan of the band.
  • Penny was the inspiration for a tattoo Adele has on her left wrist, which is in the shape of a penny, a reference to her name.
  • When Adele tours, Penny watches her dog, Louie.[18]
  • Penny was present at the New York City show of the Adele Live tour, and blew kisses to her daughter after she dedicated "Lovesong" to her.[19]
  • Adele makes reference to missing her mother in the chorus of "Million Years Ago."
  • In an interview with Rolling Stone, Adele spoke about her mother, stating, "We always spoke about anything. There was never anything I was embarrassed about with my mom, which I think is the reason I never rebelled."[20]
  • Speaking about her relationship with her mother, Adele has said:
[We are] thick as thieves. She's the love of my life. She doesn't worry about little things. She's never disappointed even when I know she probably is. You know that parent thing, 'I am not angry; I am disappointed.' Like a bullet. She's not like that. She's honest and open and so supportive. I was one of those kids that was like … ‘I want to be a ballet dancer. No, a saxophone player. No, a weather girl.’ And my mum would run me to all these classes. She has always said, 'Do what you want and if you're happy, I'm happy.’ She always had to do things whether she wanted to or not to get money to bring me up, so anything I can do for her now … I gave her this year off. I said, 'Find out what you want to do.' She's a really brilliant artist. I think she really has to be told to do it rather than think about it too much.[13]

References

  1. http://ethnicelebs.com/adele
  2. http://www.thedaily.com/page/2012/06/22/062212-gossip-adele-cronin-1-2
  3. Adele: The Biography
  4. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=10737755
  5. https://www.thesun.co.uk/archives/music/434341/teenage-mum-cramped-flats-and-truancy-the-truth-behind-adeles-brave-struggle-to-stardom/
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Adele
  7. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/music/3473210/The-truth-behind-Adeles-struggle-to-stardom.html
  8. 8.0 8.1 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1387102/Adeles-father-Mark-Evans-admits-I-drunk-I-Oliver-Reed-look-teetotal.html
  9. 9.0 9.1 https://www.theguardian.com/music/2008/jan/27/popandrock.britawards2008
  10. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article3099702.ece
  11. https://www.thesun.co.uk/archives/bizarre/432007/i-was-an-alcoholic-and-rotten-dad-to-adele-it-tears-me-up-inside/
  12. http://www.askmen.com/celebs/women/singer/adele/
  13. 13.0 13.1 http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/interview-adele-singer-1-1495066
  14. http://radaronline.com/exclusives/2013/02/adele-gives-her-mother-950000-apartment/
  15. https://i-d.vice.com/en_gb/article/adele-exclusive-full-cover-story-i-d
  16. http://www.bluesandsoul.com/feature/302/adele__up_close_and_personal/
  17. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118031551
  18. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slPBVhtxKTU
  19. http://www.streetwalkersnyc.com/index.php?option=com_content&id=151%3Aadele-sold-out-in-nyc&Itemid=68
  20. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/adele-inside-her-private-life-and-triumphant-return-20151103

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