Adele Was Rolling in the Drink

By May Wilkerson 06/20/12

The chart-topping singer opens up on her drinking problem and her alcoholic dad.

Adele at the 2012 Grammies. Photo via

British singer-songwriter Adele can move even the most cynical listeners with her powerful pipes and heart-rending songs. So perhaps it's not surprising that a new biography of the 24-year-old chart-topper suggests she's had her struggles—not only with unavailable men, as chronicled by her lyrics, but with booze. According to the unofficial bio Adele: The Biography, by Marc Shapiro, Adele was haunted by an alcoholic father—and has struggled with substance abuse herself, using booze to cope with heartbreak and career pressure. Her father, who left when Adele was three, once said, "I barely knew my own name, let alone my responsibilities. I was a rotten dad." He was apparently the first of many men to hurt her—and Shapiro says that Adele turned to alcohol "to salve the heartbreak." He also claims the songstress was overwhelmed by her early success, and developed a drinking problem during her first tour. Often compared to Amy Winehouse for her songwriting, her vocals and her record-setting sales, Adele invites less-welcome comparisons when she admits that she once blacked out and fell off a stool during her set: "I got so drunk by the time I went on at 2am I had forgotten the words to my own songs," she said in an interview. "It was the worst thing ever.” Despite such issues, Adele's career to date has been far from heartbreaking. She cleaned up at the 2012 Grammies—the first female artist to take home six awards in one night—and also became the first artist to sell over three million copies of an album in a year in the UK. Time Magazine recently named her one of the most influential people in the world.

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.