There’s a fire starting in her heart — but instead of rolling in the deep, Adele has spent the past year rolling up to basketball games, A-list wedding ceremonies and red-carpet events with her new love, Rich Paul.
The 34-year-old vocal powerhouse first shocked the world with news of her current relationship in summer 2021, when she made a rare public appearance at a Phoenix Suns basketball game in July. Though that much-talked-about evening was one of the first times fans had seen one of history’s best-selling musical acts since she released her third studio album 25 six years prior, it was also so much more than a toe-dip back into the spotlight. Why? Because she took her seat in the crowd with Paul, an Ohio-based sports agent, close by her side.
That night was the beginning of nearly 12 blissful months and counting of their public-yet-private relationship — but before then, Adele had long become world famous for belting soulful, fiery ballads about devastating heartbreak and had spent much of 2019 as the subject of headlines scrutinizing her divorce from ex-husband Simon Konecki, with whom she shares her only child Angelo. Her most recent album 30, which arrived in November 2021, is predominantly themed around her experiences processing and recovering from the relationship with her son.
No matter how it felt for her at the time, though, the pain Adele felt while writing the songs on 30 eventually yielded to a new romance, thanks to Paul. Only time will tell if the basketball entrepreneur one day inspires a record full of love songs, but for now, take a look at his and Adele’s love story below.