Adele might be one of the biggest pop superstars on the planet right now, but there are many attempting to follow in her footsteps.
The world was treated to a glimpse inside the life of an Adele impersonator when the woman herself went undercover for a TV special hosted by Graham Norton back in 2016, dubbed My Adele.
Wearing prosthetic makeup, Adele blew the gathered singers away with her trademark vocals.
But one impersonator in particular has gone above and beyond in her journey to take after her idol.
Maria Herriott wanted to follow in the Hello vocalist’s footsteps so much she dropped a whopping £11,000 for gastric bypass surgery after Adele’s incredible seven stone weight loss.
And she’s planning further surgeries in order to look more like her idol.
To celebrate the release of Adele’s long-awaited album 30, we take a look into Maria’s life.
‘Embarrassed’ to be impersonator
Maria was left "embarrassed" to be larger when Adele first debuted her weight loss following her divorce from ex-hubby Simon Konecki earlier this year.
The 44-year-old, who performs her tribute act in pubs, bars and clubs around the country, admitted Adele "saved her life" after dropping over 100 pounds.
Speaking to The Sun after losing almost nine stone, Maria explained: "I believe Adele has saved my life. She has been such a huge inspiration for me.
"I’ve followed her journey for years, performing as her and replicating her looks. Now she’s on the slimmer side, she’s given me that goal to work towards."
But she added that at her heaviest, Maria was "embarrassed" to go to gigs after Adele’s weight loss reveal, and could “feel the pressure” of people asking if she’d seen the slimmed down pics.
£11,000 gastric bypass
Maria’s first attempt at weight loss came in 2008, when she chose to have a gastric band fitted to help her slim down to a size 18-20. However, by 2019 the band caused complications and had to be removed.
After putting on weight again, she decided to go back under the knife in October 2020 for a gastric bypass, which set her back £11,000.
The procedure reduces the size of the stomach and re-routes part of the small intestine in order to help control portion sizes and limit what a person can eat.
She said she felt "desperate" enough to have the procedure.
Now Maria has been limiting her portion sizes, attempting to consume only 1,300 calories per day in a bid to reach her goal weight of 13 stone.
And she reckons the weight loss will "boost her bookings" and now hopes to get "bigger, better gigs" now that she more closely resembles her idol.
All that effort had clearly paid off as Maria imitated Adele’s iconic festival look earlier this year.
Wearing nothing but a skimpy green and black bikini top and a pair of skintight leggings, Adele looked stunning as she twisted her brunette tresses into tiny knots atop her head.
Pairing the ensemble with a gold hoop necklace, earrings and a huge yellow feather crown at the back of her head, fans were stunned by the transformation.
And Maria decided to replicate the look as she donned a matching bikini and styled her hair up into knots.
She wrote in September 2020 ahead of her surgery: "Anything Adele can do I can do bigger (until I lose the weight anyway!)".
But it appears Maria isn’t quite finished with her surgeries.
Her brother Mike Smith owns a hair transplant firm, and she has agreed to be his "guinea pig" for a procedure to remove excess skin.
During an appearance on ITV’s This Morning, Maria explained she would allow her brother to operate on her arms to remove the excess skin.
She said: "So my brother owns a hair transplant company over in Turkey, I'm going to go into his cosmetic surgery and be a guinea pig.
"Arms and tummy. I've got a lot of excess skin on my arms, it's not too bad on my tummy. My arms for me are my biggest worry, so my brother's company are going to fund my surgery for arms and tummy – and see what else needs doing while I'm under!"
Real life Adele link
Maria might not have been in the audience when Adele surprised her fans with an undercover appearance, but she does have a real life link to the Rolling In The Deep songstress.
They actually grew up around the same area – Maria lived in Walthamstow as a child, while Adele lived just a short drive away in Tottenham – which is why their accents are "very similar", according to Maria.
She told The Sun: "She sings about the River Lea which runs through Walthamstow where I played as a child with my friends."
Maria left fans stunned with her incredible voice as she sang along to Adele’s latest single Easy On Me live on This Morning.
But with the song only releasing that day, she wasn’t entirely clued up on the lyrics, and had to hum along to the parts she wasn’t sure on – leaving Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond chuckling.
She hurriedly explained: "I haven’t learnt it yet! The problem is, she gave us a little snippet of her song on Instagram, and then the actual chorus and the rest of it was only released at midnight!"
Alison encouraged her: "Just see what you can do!"
And Maria’s vocal skill definitely made up for her not knowing the words – as she cheekily sang: "I can’t remember the words!"
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