How where Adele is from in England inspires her stunningly nostalgic music

Adele’s pride in where she's from has always been an important part of her music

How where Adele is from in England inspires her music
(Image credit: Getty)

Adele's humble hometown roots continue to shape her music, despite no longer living in London. 

With so much excitement for the upcoming Adele 30 album, it stands to reason that the British singer's personal life would be a hot point of interest for her adoring—and desperately curious—fanbase. 

The Grammy-award-winner has treated her followers to a deluge of musical treats over a couple of weeks, dropping her Easy on Me music video on Friday and even sharing some hard truths about her divorce from Simon Konecki

She's even gone public about her new relationship with Rich Paul, the sports mogul boyfriend that could influence her 30 album after the breakdown of her marriage. With so much hype surrounding her present, we thought there's no matter time to revisit her past—starting with where Adele is from. 

Adele sings live in concert

(Image credit: Getty)

Where is Adele from?

The British singer hails from the North London borough of Tottenham, where she was raised as an only child by her mother, Penny Adkins. 

She relocated to Brighton with her mum at the age of nine in 1997, only to return to the capital a couple of years later. The mother-daughter duo remained on the south side of the Thames this time around, moving into a modest flat above a discount store in Lambeth. 

At 18, Adele graduated from the prestigious BRIT school and rented herself a bedsit in the upscale Notting Hill, where she got to work on her first album, 19. Unfortunately, the conditions inside the flat didn’t match its surrounding affluence. "The house was a mess," she admitted. 

Adele performs on the MTV2 Gonzo On Tour stage at the Concorde 2 during day three of the Great Escape Festival on May 19, 2007 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Dave Etheridge-Barnes/Getty Images)

(Image credit: Getty)

Fed up of living in squalor, Adele decided to use the money she earned from her Chasing Pavements success to buy a new apartment in Battersea to share with her mum. She went a step further in 2013, famously gifting her beloved mother a £600,000 luxury apartment in London as a gesture of gratitude for supporting her throughout her life. 

She also treated herself around this time, moving into a 10-bedroom manor in West Sussex with her former husband Simon Konecki and their newborn son. Today, the singer lives in a $10 million mansion in Beverly Hills—complete with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a pool, a spa, and a basketball court. 

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Having lived in so many different spots, it’s no surprise that Adele’s eclectic history of home addresses has influenced her music. The Easy on Me singer has referenced her roots in both interviews and lyrics throughout her career, proving no matter how far she is from the UK hub, she’ll always be a London girl at heart. 

Hometown Glory 

Released in 2007 as Adele’s debut single, Hometown Glory pays tribute to the singer’s beloved teenage home of West Norwood. She was inspired to write the soulful ballad when she was 16, after her mother tried to persuade her to flee the nest and enroll in university. Its lyrics detail Adele’s exploration of her local city, which sees her bumping into different people as she wanders around it aimlessly. 

“It was all about how I felt about London and stuff like that,” she said during a BBC special in 2015. “I actually wrote it on guitar, and I was at school at the time, and I got my friend at school to transpose onto piano—because I probably could play it, but it’d probably take about 12 hours because I’m such a snail on the piano trying to sing and play at the same time.” 

Million Years Ago

Adele’s nostalgia for her former life crops up again in Million Years Ago, an acoustic song from her third album, 25. The emotional tune explores the superstar's longing to return to the private landmarks of her youth, which are no longer accessible due to her celebrity status and older age. 

“It’s kind of a story about … I drove past Brockwell Park, which is a park in South London I used to live by," she said. "It’s where I spent a lot of my youth. It has quite monumental moments of my life that I’ve spent there, and I drove past it and I just literally burst into tears. I really missed it, for no other reason than we’ve all got different things going on and it’s got nothing to do with me not feeling like I can’t go and sit in there and drink a bottle of cider anymore … it’s more that life happens, so I’ve got no one to meet there." 

River Lea 

River Lea, which can also be found on 25, is another one of Adele's melodious homages to her London roots. She wrote the haunting track in dedication to the Thames tributary, where she spent much of her time growing up. 

Its lyrics reveal how the spirit of North London runs through her, just like how the River Lea runs through London: "When I grew up as a child I grew up on the River Lea, now there's some of that water in me, To wit: I'll never change. Tottenham is my mind, body and soul." 

Speaking to the New York Times about the song, she said, "I have very fond memories of Tottenham. There's a saying, you can take a girl out of Tottenham but you can't take Tottenham out of the girl. There's nothing wrong with being sent back to Tottenham, but sometimes it's quite unlikely that anything like this would happen to someone who comes from my background. And sometimes I get frightened that everyone's going to realize that this is the biggest blag of all time, and I'm going to be sent back to Tottenham."

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.