Adele may be worth millions – but she would rather be sat at home eating spaghetti hoops than guzzling Champagne at fancy parties.
The south London singing sensation is determined to remain down to earth, despite having won 106 awards, nine Grammys, a Golden Globe and now an Oscar.
Last week the 24-year-old new mum turned down the chance to go to Elton John’s swanky post-Oscar party, where the menu was orchestrated by Gordon Ramsay.
Instead, after collecting her golden statuette for Best Original Song for the Bond theme Skyfall, she went straight back to the Hollywood home being loaned to her by Sir Paul McCartney.
According to friends, she often travels with her favourite snacks — packets of custard creams and tins of spaghetti hoops — so she can cater for herself at home rather than eat out in fancy restaurants.
And in an exclusive interview, one of her aunts revealed that the singer-songwriter — whose full name is Adele Laurie Blue Adkins — is happy to make her own cup of tea when she pops by.
Anita Adkins, older sister of Adele’s mum Penny, watched the Oscars on a live stream on TV at her London home with relatives cheering tearfully on the sofa.
The extended Adkins family have been sharing the emotions of Adele’s rise from a teen living in a cramped flat with her single mum to the best-selling female artist in America.
Anita said: “I’m a fan and I cried over her, but she’s my niece and that’s as far as it goes.
“She doesn’t get any special treatment — of course not. Why would she? There’s plenty of nieces, nephews and grandchildren in this family so no one gets any special treatment, I can tell you. They’re all treated the same.
“Adele comes round and she’s still got to go and make her nan a cup of tea, I’m afraid.”
Talking about Adele receiving her Oscar, Anita said: “We didn’t expect her to get it, but good on her.
“There’s not a lot more for her to top now, is there? She’s worked her way through all the awards.
“All the cousins sat up watching it, and of course they’re proud. Adele’s the same as us — when she burst into tears, we all did too.
“We’re all quite strong but we’re all quite emotional. Adele’s one of us — she burst into tears because she’s happy and overjoyed, and we are too. We feel what she feels.”
Adele was born in Tottenham, north London but grew up in Brixton and West Norwood, south of the river. Her straight- forward south London manner has entertained award ceremony audiences who lap up her heart-on-her-sleeve acceptance speeches.
She struggled to compose herself as she said her thank-yous at the Academy Awards, while her tweets have shown how she can still be starstruck, despite now being one of the most famous women on the planet.
From the Golden Globes she wrote on Twitter: “I just met Daniel f***ing Day Lewis!!!” Yet she is avoiding the fame trap of hanging out only with other celebrities.
She has turned down invitations from Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow for a night out and pleas from scores of celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Rihanna to perform at private gigs or be guest of honour at star-studded parties.
Instead Adele is making time for the man in her life, 38-year-old Simon Konecki, and their four-month-old son Angelo. At the end of her Oscar speech she added a thank you for “my man”, adding: “I love you, baby.”
There have been rumours that Adele and charity boss and Old Etonian Simon have got married in secret, but she has denied them.
The couple only met in January 2012 but Adele has become so obsessed about keeping all aspects of her private life out of the spotlight that it is possible she is masking the true state of her relationship with Simon.
She gives few interviews, she made no announcement of her pregnancy — and has yet to say that her son is actually called Angelo. The baby’s face has been permanently shrouded by a series of £200 Missoni blankets to guard his privacy.
She rarely even tells her own record company of her travel details.
A music industry insider said: “She puts her personal life before anything else — and good luck to her. Adele would blow everything out of the water for her family.
“But there’s a price to pay for keeping it real, because you have to go out of your way to guard your privacy, keep your friends close and not get dragged into the whole big circus. She’s a one-off.”
McCartney, who is a huge fan of Adele, is said to have encouraged her absolute refusal to play the celebrity game. But not talking about their fantastic life together is not so natural for Simon.
One source said: “He’s a very open guy so he has had to learn to be much more guarded when he talks because Adele can’t bear people knowing anything about them.”
The pair are only seen out at awards ceremonies and are not blowing her fortune. Her second album, 21, is generating £41,000 a DAY for Adele, and much of that money has been spent on property.
She bought a £7million mansion in West Sussex and an £800,000 pad in Notting Hill in west London.
Anita said the Adkins clan are not the kind of people who go around flaunting their wealth or spending recklessly.
She added: “Adele is an only child so when she’s round our lot it’s so different. Our lot fight over everything and you go round Adele’s and she’s got things to herself and it’s a totally different ball game.
“She hasn’t changed with her success, she is who she is. What you see is what you get, the package.
“Apart from a few expensive ballgowns, why would she change because she’s earning £41,000 a day?
“She’s quite thrifty with her money, she knows not to throw it around. She’s not a waster, she wasn’t brought up to waste.
“She’s got a nice house — course you would have a nice house, that’s the first thing you’d buy. But what’s the difference between her house and mine? Only it’s a bit bigger.”
Adele has always been extremely close to her mother, Penny. Her father, Mark Evans, left when Adele was two and has only seen her sporadically since then.
It is perhaps why she is so keen to cement a firm, settled relationship with Simon, whose first marriage ended in divorce.
But Anita insists that being a single mum was not as tough for Penny as some reports have made out. She recalled: “When Adele was growing up there was mayhem.
“There’s plenty of us and we all lived within a square mile of each other in Tottenham. So there’s my three, and my other sister’s four, and Penny’s one, and we all lived on top of each other, constantly at each other’s houses, so they all grew up together. Eight cousins, all living within a short walk for teas and birthdays and going to the park, round each other’s houses.