Behind the giddy global adoration of Adele — who deserves every bit of it as far as we're concerned — simmers something a bit darker: a collective "fuck you" to her ex-boyfriend, the chap who broke her heart and, in turn, inspired the music on her album 21, which won six Grammys last night. Who are you, dude? Because everyone is laughing at you right now.
This guy is not to be confused with the first ex, the one who spat on Adele's heart and destroyed their relationship by allegedly cheating on her. The ordeal inspired much of the music on her 2008 debut album, 19. Three years later, when her second album, 21 (which took home all the Grammys last night and was inspired by a different ex), climbed to the top of the charts, 19 started doing the same. The still-anonymous dick associated with 19 then tried to get a cut of her royalties, arguing that he deserved to profit as he was Adele's inspiration. Classy.
So that's ex number one. The 19 ex. Not to be confused with ex number two, the 21 ex.
The 21 ex is the guy we really want to know about; this was the failed relationship that fueled her music on 21, including "Rolling in the Deep" and "Someone Like You." He's the one who hurt her enough to make her an international success — perhaps the best ever "fuck you" to a dickbag that you could ever hope for. And if this guy isn't the most hated man in the world right now, he's certainly the point-and-laugh target of choice. So who is he? Adele has said that they're friends again — time heals all wounds and whatnot — but his identity has still remained a secret. Which is amazing; you'd think the British tabloids would've tapped the girl's phone by now.
Or maybe we've found him. According to the New York Post, the man in question is a musician/actor who calls himself Slinky Sunbeam (or Slinky Wingate). We find it hard to believe that anyone would fall so deeply in love with someone named "Slinky," but the proverbial "friend of the singer" explains the fixation:
"Adele likes to keep part of her life back for herself, but it's an open secret that Slinky was the guy who inspired ‘21,'" a friend of the singer tells The Post. "He's a seriously good-looking guy. He has a great body and likes to wear vests to show it off. And he has this crazy hair which reminds me of Jimi Hendrix — it's really wild and untamed.
"It's easy to see what attracted Adele to him," the friend adds. "He's a really popular guy, the life and soul of the party, and he's a musician as well. But while Adele has the knack for writing songs which the whole world can tap into, Slinky's material is more underground and kind of art-school trendy."
You lost us at "vests to show it off." Nevertheless, friends say the romance with Adele fell victim to a burgeoning friendship between the Slinkster and Burberry model Morwenna Lytton Cobbold because, you know, "Slinky isn't the type of guy you can tie down." He is, however, the type of guy who uploads a lot of stuff to YouTube.
Do you buy it? What if we told you that coincidentally he seems to have launched a website today? Less than 24 hours after Adele won a bucket of Grammys and the Post indicted him for crimes of the heart — perhaps we've got someone here who's expecting the potential wave of vitriol and ready to ride into infamy.
(Update: On the other hand, Adele also said on 60 Minutes last night that The Ex in question got engaged shortly after their breakup. Not sure that sounds like Slinky's style. SOMEONE IS LYING. Color me shocked.)
Adele, for her part, issued a denial of any romance with Slinky (ugh, typing that name is almost painful) back in 2008, long before 21, so that seems to be in response to rumors that he was the guy behind 19. In 2009, the Slinkinator also denied any relationship between the two. But, if you want to believe the Post, the two may have simply gotten together later, after 19 but before 21.
Tabloid accusations and denials of yore aside, if Slinky* is The Ex — nay, The Ex — there's a valuable lesson here: You just can't change a man, particularly if he's a social butterfly with a hot bod.
*Slinky (or the REAL ex), if you're reading now: Come to us. Or if you, random reader, know anything, let's talk.