When Adele released her new album 30 to what seemed to be universal applause – in Britain alone, it beats the rest of society’s top 40 – how frustratingly predictable there was a small chorus of dismissive men looking to make holes in her success.
The object of their anger is the fact that the British star dared to use her relationship with ex-husband Simon Konecki as material.
Writing about her devastating breakup with the father of her son, Angelo, two years ago, she poured her heart out in new songs like Easy On Me (‘I Changed Who I’d Put You First’) and Hold On (‘Sometimes loneliness is the only comfort we get’).
But sharing that vulnerability has made her the target of irritating critics. One Twitter user spat: “Adele is boring me too! Not above exploiting her ‘heartbreaking divorce’ into record sales, right?”
Adele has been criticized for using her relationship with ex-husband Simon Konecki (pictured) as material for her new album 30
Upon hearing this, I couldn’t think of all the male artists who have been digging into their love lives forever. The only difference is that men call their subjects “inspired” and this is supposed to be a compliment.
Many of the songs that have made Mick Jagger millions of people are inspired by the cute and vulnerable Marianne Faithfull. She has since spoken about her discomfort with being in the spotlight: “Living with a great artist like Mick Jagger is a very devastating role for a woman trying to be herself.” She continued to battle heroin addiction, spending two years homeless.
Another pop star, Taylor Swift, has been attacked by critics for daring to use her bad romances as inspiration — as in Dear John (allegedly about guitarist John Mayer, who was said to have dated in 2009) and we never go back. Together (written after her split from One Direction singer Harry Styles in 2013).
But I can never remember anyone criticizing Bob Dylan for doing the same thing. His relationship with Suze Rotolo in the early 1960s was inspired by songs including Boots Of Spanish Leather and Tomorrow Is A Long Time. But after a bitter feud with her and her sister, Dylan’s 1964 single Ballad In Plain D, “For Her Parasitic Sister, I Didn’t Respect,” came out. Nobody had a pop in the face for it.
Similarly, when Justin Timberlake was shown stalking a woman who looked just like ex-Britney Spears in the 2002 video for Cry Me A River, he was rewarded with an outpouring of sympathy for her alleged cheating and global success.
Swift herself has advocated this disparity. In 2014, she said, “You’ll have people saying, ‘She only writes songs about her ex-boyfriends.'” And I honestly think that’s a very sexist angle.
Taylor Swift (pictured) has also been attacked by critics for daring to use her bad novels as inspiration – as in Dear John and We’ll Never Get Back Together
Nobody says that about Ed Sheeran. Or Bruno Mars. They all write songs about. . . I love life, and no one raises the red flag there.
Swift is right. Why don’t our contemporary stars reveal their souls in the same way? After all, when you start at it, they’re artists. If Adele was just walking around and singing about feeding the cat or getting a pedicure, it would be boring. So it’s only natural that her life’s lows are highlighted in her new songs.
And it was the same on the 2011 album that made her a household name, 21.
After agonizingly splitting on tracks like Someone Like You and Rolling In The Deep (“My Heart Was Inside Your Hands, You’ll Wish You’d Never Met Me”), she reached out to her audience deeply. Personal and mobile level.
Ironically, this ex-boyfriend – whose name Adele refuses to be named – broke her heart and later called to claim a share of the royalties to inspire her.
Beyoncé is another star who isn’t afraid to be candid about her love life in her work, and she brilliantly seems to turn personal pain into art. When rumors surfaced that husband Jay-Z might be cheating on her, she immediately sang about another woman – “Good-Haired Becky” – on the 2016 album Lemonade. The flavor of the scandal certainly didn’t hurt its sales, and the Associated Press called it the album of the decade.
Julie Burchill argues that all artists take their lives for inspiration, and if Adele (pictured) was walking around and singing about feeding a cat or getting a pedicure, it would be boring
The truth is that all artists take their lives for inspiration.
The fact that female starlets have finally won the same kind of acclaim as men for their intimate finds, should make every woman rejoice.
The artist’s experience is a guarantee for them, and if you can’t handle that, go and see a doctor. (They swear they won’t hurt you, we’re the other way around.) F. Scott Fitzgerald, during a nervous breakdown, said, “I have avoided writers with great caution because they can perpetuate problems as no one else can.”
I, that’s why I love writers and artists of all kinds. We never stop plotting. We never forgive and forget. It may appear that we, but we file crimes against us, real or imagined, for later use.
They say that no man is a hero to his servant – how I believe that no man is a hero to his wife. And if this husband is a creative artist, then you should expect him to dissect you after the divorce. When I left my first husband, novelist Tony Parsons, in 1984, I heard a rumor – I don’t know if it was true – that he had written a novel based on me called Ambition.
It wasn’t published, but, rudely, I took the title of my bestseller.
Jolie argues that men call their subjects ‘inspired’ and this is meant to be a compliment. Pictured: Ed Sheeran
Then the war of words began in the press: “Hell has no wrath like the first wife who anoints” (he). She retaliated: “I agree with him that his book Man and Boy is more fiction than fact. The hero all has his own hair, is catnip for women and doesn’t need to seize publicity by attacking his most attractive, talented, famous, and non-stop younger ex-wife. So this rules Parsons and I right away. Finally, he made the decision to “consciously withdraw” from the scrap.
Fortunately, I was always able to give my best. But I know I am fortunate to have had the strength and opportunity to respond. Throughout history, women have often been just ideas, seen but never heard of.
That’s exactly what the likes of Adele, Beyonce, and Taylor Swift assure you won’t happen to them. Good for them – and for music lovers who are influenced by passionate pop songs and not Papa.
Marianne Faithfull summed up her music career by saying, “It was basically ‘I’m Beautiful – Please Buy Me!'” “”. I know which is better.
It’s good to know that in the end we women can tell our stories on stage rather than just serving men’s creative impulses. After all, for an artist – male or female – revenge is a dish best served cold, in public, for a fee, with a great publicity stunt.