Sticky Bonds

Lost Loves, Romances, and Families in the 21st Century.

Does Adele's Ex-Boyfriend Deserve Any Credit for Her Success?

Adele's ex-boyfriend asked for a cut of her profits. Reasonable?

Back in May, celebrity websites were reporting that Adele's ex-boyfriend had called her several times to ask for a cut of her profits; he claimed that, since he inspired her album, 19, and then 21 was based on her devastating romance and breakup with him, he deserved some of her album royalties. Although she gives him some credit for "changing her life," she denied his financial claims.

Jane Valentine created a beautiful marble sculpture, Unrequited, while working through her devastating loss of a love. Will her ex come forward and ask for a cut of the statue's sale price?  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sticky-bonds/201202/lost-love-art-exhibit

What exactly do creative artists owe to their lost love muses? In my opinion... nothing.

Millions of people, every day, go through devastating heartache when they lose a sweetheart. Teenagers lose their first loves, adults get divorced (often not a mutual decision), and men and women worldwide reunite and break up for a second time. Most are so sad they don't want to do anything. Very few people have the ambition and talent to turn their romantic loss into art, music, a novel.

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And very few people survive the death of a beloved child or spouse and write best-selling books about it, as Joan Didion did. Didion, of course, was a famous author before her 2 books dealing with the loss of her daughter and of her husband. The losses did not make her great. She is a great writer and writes about all her experiences in a beautiful, universal way.

Adele is talented, and no matter what subject she chooses, she succeeds and excels. If there had been no bad boyfriend, she would have composed other music that would have won awards. In fact, the ex-boyfriend may have held her back from being a star earlier: depression, contrary to myth, does not enhance creativity.

Talented people draw from their life experiences, whatever those experiences were. Alcoholics, adults who were abused as children, etc. may create something wonderful from their tragic experiences. But let's not give any credit to the drink or the abuser.

Let's applaud those rare, talented people who can turn lemon into lemonade and touch others with their accomplishments. They deserve all the credit. All of it.

 

Nancy Kalish, Ph.D., is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the California State University, Sacramento. She is the author of Lost & Found Lovers.

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