Was Slinky Winfield Adele’s Inspiration for Her Grammy Award Winning Songs?

Slinky Sunbeam may have not been a ray of light for Adele. Was he the inspiration for the most angry, successful songs on her last album?

Nothing has intrigued music fans so much since Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain,” a biting lyrical collection of final thoughts about a self-absorbed ex-lover. When Simon’s song hit radio airwaves in late 1972, listeners were instantly intrigued, and a number of speculative candidates were mentioned, including Mick Jagger, Warren Beatty, James Taylor, David Bowie, David Cassidy, Cat Stevens, Watergate’s whistle-blower Mark Felt (“Deep Throat”) and record executive David Geffen. To this day, Simon has only revealed the subject’s identity to a handful of people and only vague clues to the rest of us.

On the Adele side, Slinky Sunbeam, also known as Slinky Winfield, is a 25-year-old musician and actor whom Adele met through mutual friends. It’s rumored that Slinky was all Adele was thinking about when she wrote the firey-and-frequently-played hit “Rolling in the Deep” from her album 21. “Rolling in the Deep” warns to not “underestimate the things that I will do,” threatens to “lay [the subject’s] ship bare” and reveal a story about the subject that will make his head burn and “think of me in the depths of your despair.” Ouch.

However, according to a 2011 review of 21 in The Guardian, the song was inspired by a Nashville-schooled U.S. tour bus driver – and the muse for it can’t be Slinky Sunbeam. In 2008, Adele vehemently denied any romance with Winfield on MySpace, saying, “People keep saying I am/was/seeing Slinky Sunbeam! I’m not and have never done. Whoever their ‘source’ is, they’re talking out of their arse. He ain’t my type!”

Whether the ex-boyfriend is Slinky Winfield or not, Adele has moved on. She’s presently dating Simon Konecki and has forgiven her former lover, whoever he may be. She said they’re becoming friends again, and enough time has gone by, even sharing some of the success of the album with him in some form.

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