Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Jake Frost
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Stanton Daily. Posted by Jake Frost
March 18, 1979
2000 - Present
Currently Known For:
Coach on The Voice
Lead Singer of Maroon 5
For those that are aspiring to make it big in music, there are plenty of people to look up to that will let you know you shouldn’t give up the dream too early. Adam Levine is one of those people, as he had to make a lot of changes to his music career before finding mainstream success.
Born in Los Angeles on March 18, 1979, Levine was a child of divorce, which put him through a tough time. Not only did he find himself in therapy as a result of his parents divorcing, but he also admitted that he dabbled with drugs when he was a teenager. Though he says that he didn’t have an addiction problem, Levine said that the experience caused him to reevaluate things.
When he was just 15 years old and attending Brentwood High School, Levine formed a band with three of his closest friends, naming it Kara’s Flowers. It seemed that the group was destined for some quick success as they were already playing at some of the premier nightclubs in Hollywood and landed themselves a recording contract with Reprise Records.
After they graduated from high school, the members of Kara’s Flowers released their first album called “The Fourth World” and went on tour. Unfortunately for Levine and the group, the band sold very few copies of their album, leading the label to drop the group. As if that weren’t bad enough, Kara’s Flowers decided to break up, as well.
Levine says that the main reason that Kara’s Flowers didn’t work out was because the group was rushed into making an album and had little promotion. “Even if it was to work, it still doesn’t because you may become famous or successful or sell a million records or win a Grammy but it will all die away so quickly,” he said. “I just feel like to have longevity at this point, you gotta earn it. You gotta have a base. You gotta kind of suffer a little bit. Tour as a band for a year and do all of the s*** that rock bands are supposed to do in order to achieve it. Otherwise, it’s kind of this weird, flimsy, soulless fame that goes away really quickly.”
Levine would head to New York City to attend college for a semester before dropping out, saying that he learned that the group needed a new direction and could still find success. He reformed the Kara’s Flowers group, but this time gave themselves a different name, going by Maroon 5. After some rejection letters, Maroon 5 was picked up by Octone Records, who hired a guitarist named James Valentine so that Levine was free to sing exclusively.
The group recorded songs for the album “Songs About Jane” that ended up being one of the biggest surprise hits in recent memory. Their first album as Kara’s Flowers sold just 5,000 copies, but their 2002 album was certified diamond with more than 10 million sales and won themselves a pair of Grammy Awards thanks to hits such as “This Love” and “Harder to Breathe”.
For their sophomore album as Maroon 5, they released “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long” in 2007 that would also be a success with singles such as “Makes Me Wonder” and “Won’t Go Home Without You”. Some assumed that the band had broken up, but were actually just working hard on their next album, 2010’s “Hands All Over”. The album was a decent success at first, and then took off thanks to “Moves Like Jagger” with singer Christina Aguilera.
One reason why some think that Maroon 5 has broken up once or twice since achieving fame is because Levine is a highly requested name for collaborations with other musicians. Those such as Kanye West, Slash and Gym Class Heroes have all used Levine on their tracks, and he’s also been a pop culture icon outside of his singing.
Levine has dabbled with acting, appearing in the television series “American Horror Story” and the film “Begin Again”, while also being involved in businesses that include cologne, fashion and much more. In 2011, Levine appeared as a judge and coach on the first season of NBC’s “The Voice”, and has been with the reality series in the same capacity ever since. The series has made him incredibly wealthy, receiving more than $10 million per season for his appearances.
Levine knows how fortunate he is to have his career take off while becoming independently wealthy and famous. “I’m so happy I get to have this life,” he said. “It’s funny because no one knows how good my life is as well as I do.” He added that the money he’s made has him set for life. “I want to have good experiences. I don’t want to do a bunch of (stuff) that I hate,” he said. “I have the very fortunate luxury of not having to think in terms of money.”
Levine will be holding down his job on “The Voice” for the foreseeable future, as he’s found enjoyment out of working with aspiring musicians. The band will also live on, as Maroon 5 released their most recent album in late 2017 called “Red Pill Blues”. Still releasing singles well into 2018, the band is working on more for the future as the 39 year old father of two has plenty left in the tank.