BySarah Szabo/March 20, 2017 11:02 am EDT
For someone who so often seems to bare her soul through music, Adele sure keeps a lot of secrets. Whether it's her hidden "mouthy" tweets or her real-life romances, she's made the effort to keep her private life private when she can, only making it public in songs about heartbreak. For instance, it was only in March 2017 that she finally revealed that she was not only marrying her longtime boyfriend, she actually already had. His name is Simon Konecki, and though they've been together for more than five years and have a son together, Angelo, the prospect of getting married wasn't teased much until the deed was done. So let's say hello from the outside to the new Mister Adele Adkins, and share what we know about the singer's secret beau.
He's as much a young prodigy as Adele is
Adele has been making waves since her debut, 19, which was written while the singer was a teenager and released not long after. The "old soul" qualities of her music were striking to hear from someone so young, to say the least, and she's continued to show a musical maturity in her 20s that seems like it would've taken decades of hard life to cultivate.
While not a musician himself, Simon Konecki was also unusually accomplished from a very young age. Though the two have a 14-year age gap between them, Konecki was overachieving in adolescence too, becoming a foreign exchange broker by the age of 17, which eventually led to a management position at Lehman Brothers. Though they work in entirely different fields, they certainly share precociousness. It's a pretty fun thing to have in common with a partner. "Oh, you've always been ambitious, too?"
He has a child from a previous marriage
In addition to the son they have together, Angelo James Konecki, Simon came to his relationship with Adele already a father, having had a daughter with fashion stylist Clary Fisher, whom he wed in 2004 and separated from in 2010. Simon's daughter is reportedly a close member of his family with Adele, and an older sister to Angelo. It's an arrangement that appears to be ideal for the 28-year-old superstar who took some years off from touring and recording in 2012 to focus on love.
While she loves raising her own kids in theory, the actual immensely stressful act of carrying and caring for a newborn baby isn't something she's keen to revisit. "You're constantly trying to make up for stuff when you're a mom," she said, and while she's spoken in the past of having several kids, she's not eager to be pregnant again, and says she looks at Simon's daughter as a way to have the best of both worlds. "She's my get-out-of-jail free card," said Adele, and it's pretty hilarious how up-front she is about her feelings on the topic. She may keep a lot to herself, but when she has something she wants to say, she just tells it like it is.
He has one of the weirdest nicknames ever
Nicknames are a weird thing, in that for every "Blaze" or "Pete the Killer," there's a dozen people who end up with vaguely insulting names like "Peanut," "Booger," or "Fat Dave." It's always weird to encounter people of the latter sort—the reaction always feels like some variation of, "You really let people call you that?" But Adele's husband Simon, allegedly, has one of the least-appealing nicknames ever, and it's evidently by choice. You'd never guess how bad it is, so we'll just tell you—it's "Swampy." Not "Swamp man," "The Swampmeister," or "Swampstomper." Swampy.
It's a name that sounds like an insult you wouldn't lay on your lamest cousin, but like most nicknames that stick, it came from a good place. In the mid-to-late '90s, activists made headlines in Britain for tying themselves to trees and digging tunnels underground to prevent road and airport runway expansion projects, a strain of environmentalist resistance that Konecki says he shares. The name comes from Daniel "Swampy" Hooper, a young activist involved with those protests who made memorable appearances in tabloids for his dreadlocked hippie style. But why did Konecki end up with the name? "Probably due to my long hair and Leftie views," he's said. Which, sure—probably. We should also not discount the possibility that he just likes hanging out in swamps with his friends.
He's the CEO of an international water charity
Simon has another nickname, too: "The Waterboy," which at least makes a little bit of sense, owing to his charity work in the field of international water rights. He's the CEO of the charity Drop4Drop, which supports access to clean water worldwide, particularly in places that need it most. According to the Drop4Drop website, they conduct a majority of their work in Zambia, and over the last three years, have reduced hospital admissions relating to water-related illnesses by 60 percent. So Adele's husband is helping to save and improve hundreds of millions of lives. And sure, you can say Adele is too, but no amount of belting the "Hello" chorus while weeping is going to turn around a water crisis.
He also founded a bottled water company
In addition to his charitable work, Konecki is also a co-founder of UK-based company Life Water, an "ethical bottled water brand" which helps further the goal of clean water access, installing clean water systems in very small, out-of-reach places. Adele has even joined in on the charitable work, using her massive platform to raise awareness of her husband's work, and encouraging fans to contribute, trading retweets for a hundred gallons of water. It's an unlikely partnership on paper, but it's one that seems to work—just ask the kids getting ready access to clean water for the first time in their lives.
He was born in New York to wealthy parents
Contrasting with Adele, who grew up working-class with a single mother, Konecki has always been a half-step away from massive wealth. At the age of ten, he moved to London, England with his family, where he attended the exclusive Eton College, a rather expensive boarding school for boys. Meanwhile, Adele was still living with her mother even as her album 21 was beginning its stratospheric climb to the top of the charts. Now, we'd say the wealth gap is pretty well closed. His parents still live in the United States, now in Florida, while he and Adele have accrued homes in both England and the U.S.
His wedding to Adele was reportedly a secret even to family
Everybody needs their privacy, not that people are always willing to let them have it. So it's no sort of betrayal that Adele and Simon kept the level their relationship was at a secret. They were clearly in love, so did we really need to know exactly when they got married? No, we didn't, but some people do have real gripes.
It may be one thing to go dark for your fans, but your own family? The couple married in a low-key ceremony in their Los Angeles to which evidently not that many were invited, and according to an anonymous insider, those left out were a little stung. The hope for some was that they would have another ceremony, perhaps in England, but that's just hope, probably of the dim sort. These two appear to be the type who are always moving forward, and if you're going to have a secret wedding to avoid fuss, why have another one to invite tons of it?
Adele announced she was married at a concert in Australia
Though the singer strongly hinted she was now a married woman at the 2017 Grammys, going so far as to call Konecki her "husband" from the stage, she didn't actually confirm that the long-time couple had made it official until she was surrounded by fans at a March 2017 concert in Brisbane, Australia.
The ecstatic performer addressed the crowd like a lady in love, telling the crowd that "that feeling when you first fall for someone is the best feeling on earth, and I am addicted to that feeling." But, she confessed, she wouldn't be having those particular experiences going forward, "because I'm married now... I've found my next person." And considering his charitable endeavors, it seems like the person she's found is, to say the least, a pretty good dude. So goodbye to single life, Adele. Hello... Swampy.