How a broken heart can make you millions
Sam Smith recently revealed that his Grammy-winning album In the Lonely Hour was inspired by unrequited love. "I was the only one in the relationship," Smith said. "It was in my mind and was something I had to get over. I also made the record so that this doesn't happen again."
"I feel nothing towards him now," the Brit Award nominee went on. "I'll always love him but I'm not in love with him any more. I definitely don't crease on the floor in pain any more."
The Sun newspaper has speculated that the object of his affection was one of his three managers, married music executive Elvin Smith but the "Stay With Me" singer has said he would never make the man's name public out of respect.
Picking up four Grammy awards earlier this month Smith thanked his unrequited love in his acceptance speech: "I want to thank the man who this record is about. Thank you so much for breaking my heart because you got me four Grammys."
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Lily Allen's debut single "Smile" was also inspired by a broken heart after she split from her then boyfriend Lester Lloyd. Allen told Spin magazine in 2009: "I started to get depressed and anyone who suffers from depression knows that it can soon get so bad that you can't get out of bed. It was then that I checked into the Priory. That was really tough as I was an emotional mess. […] The lyrics are definitely bitter-sweet." Although she later said she regretted the direct approach of her lyrics, it was a career-defining anthem reaching the top spot on the U.K Singles Chart and certifying gold on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
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Adele's second album 21 — follow up to the hugely successful 19 — has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and is the U.K.'s bestselling album of the 21st century.
Adele says she wrote the album over a three-month period after a relationship ended but she has never named the person who inspired her huge hit and only spoken about him in the vaguest terms. "We just fell out of love," she once said. "And I had to deal with the devastation of feeling like a failure because I couldn't make things work." In another interview she said, "He was a few years older than me. He made me feel alive …?and made me really passionate about food, wine, film, sociology, history and travelling. He opened my eyes to a lot of things."
Adele has described the final song on the album, award-winning ballad "Someone Like You," as the summary of her attitude towards her ex-lover by the end of 21's production.
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