John Evans Adele's paternal grandfather. He passed away at the age of 57 from bowel cancer.
John Evans was a successful plumber. He and his wife, Rose had two children—Mark and Richard. Mark would later become the father to Adele, his first granddaughter. However, he and Adele's mother, Penny, split when Adele was young. Despite the breakup, John and Rose helped to raise Adele and remained close with Penny, who received little financial support from their son. When asked about her grandfather, Adele revealed, "He just loved my mum and because my dad wasn't in her life, they completely took her over as their daughter."
According to Mark, Adele had spent so much time with John as a child that he became the most influential person in her life:
|“||I think my dad was Adele's most significant role model. They spent a lot of time together, just the two of them. Adele would spend much of the summer with my parents and most of that time my dad would be playing with her, talking her, showing her the sights.||”|
John was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 1999. After being admitted to Velindre Cancer Centre in May of that year, his condition began to worsen. John passed away on May 23, 1999, at the age of 57.
Adele recalled that she had a difficult time dealing with her grandfather's declining health:
|“||I was so uncomfortable with it that I nicked his wheelchair and was just going up and down the hospital corridors because I couldn't face the fact that the love of my life, my granddad, was dying. I wish that I'd sat with him on the bed and given him a cuddle and told him how much I loved him, but I was just too overwhelmed.||”|
John's funeral was held at the Tabernacle Baptist Church, where his wife had been a singer in the choir for many years. Adele later acknowledged that, "I'm not religious myself but I appreciate religion so deeply because when my grandpa died, I don't think my nana would've got through it without her faith, so the comfort that religion gives people I've got all day long for."
John's death was a driving force for his son Mark's eventual alcoholism, which was further provoked by his breakup with his longterm girlfriend and the unexpected death of his best friend. Eventually, Mark's addiction caused a rift in his relationship with his daughter, who was also distraught at the loss of her grandfather. Adele revealed in an interview with Vanity Fair that her grandfather's death had made her "very available to depression," prompting her to attend therapy in an effort to cope.
Influence on Adele
John is thought to be Adele's most significant influence. She has remarked that, "I painted [my grandfather] as this Jesus figure in my life."
In an interview with i-D, Adele opened up about her relationship with her grandfather and how she coped with his death, saying, "I loved him so much, more than the world. My grampy and my nana had always been my ideal relationship—ideal friendship, companionship, everything. Even though I'm sure there's loads of shit I don't know about, as their granddaughter it was bliss, just heaven. I was so, so sad." She went on to state that his death originally inspired her to pursue a career as a heart surgeon because she wanted to "fix people's hearts."
- Adele: The Biography