From Garage Band Singer to Playboy Rockstar: Adam Levine

In case you missed it, Adam Levine is one of the biggest musicians in the world. He has been the frontman for Maroon 5 since 1994 and has won several Grammys for his hit records. While Levine has been incredibly successful in the music world, his personal life has had its ups and downs.

Adam Levine of Maroon 5 performs onstage
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Levine recently came under fire when a few women called him out for sending explicit messages on Instagram, even though he is married and his wife is pregnant. Besides a few big headlines, not many people know about Levine’s beginnings in music and his family life. Keep reading to find out more about Adam Levine’s complicated life.

His Parents Divorced

Adam Levine was born and raised in Los Angeles, so he grew up surrounded by people hoping to become stars. However, life wasn’t always easy for Levine. When he was seven, his parents, Fredric and Patsy, divorced. It was a confusing time for Levine, so his parents put him in therapy to cope.

ames Valentine (R) and Adam Levine
Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Initially, Levine cried and “kicked and screamed.” However, he revealed that he was fine a few days later, but his parents wouldn’t accept that. They made him go to therapy because they didn’t want their divorce to affect him later in life, but he later said it was a waste of time.

His Mom Sparked His Passion for Music

Although his parents split, Levine claimed he had a great childhood. His parents exposed him to a wide range of music from an early age, and he described his family as musical. They appreciated all types of music, but Levine credits his mom for introducing him to his musical influences.

Adam Levine from Maroon 5 & John Mayer
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Levine’s mom loved artists like Simon & Garfunkel, Fleetwood Mac, and The Beatles, which shaped his music style and were a large part of his upbringing. Levine said the first tape he bought was “Electric Avenue” by Eddy Grant, and he made his parents listen to it on repeat.

Music Was All He Thought About

As Levine grew up, he went from appreciating music to playing music. While attending Brentwood School, he met his future bandmates Jesse Carmichael and Mickey Madden. His musical interests carried over to high school and made him “a little rebellious.” Levine explained that all he cared about was music.

Adam Levine (L) and James Valentine of Maroon 5
Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Instead of focusing on his schoolwork, Levine said he was “consumed by music.” He didn’t want to listen to his teachers because he knew he wanted to pursue music. Levine started playing the guitar, and as soon as he learned, he never put it down. Music consumed his every thought.

Forming Kara’s Flowers

Before Maroon 5 was Maroon 5, Levine, Carmichael, and Madden added drummer Ryan Dusick to form their alternative garage band, Kara’s Flowers. Levine and his bandmates were only 15 at the time and were the typical ‘90s high school band. They started playing out of garages and basements in LA.

Adam LEVINE and Mickey MADDEN
Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns

Levine and his bandmates were influenced by Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and The Beatles in both fashion and music. Although they were underage, Kara’s Flowers booked their first professional gig in 1995 at Whisky a Go Go, a nightclub in West Hollywood. Levine performed the vocals and guitar, which helped them get noticed.

They Got Discovered

After a few gigs, Levine and Kara’s Flowers gained the attention of independent producer Tommy Allen while performing in Malibu. Allen and his partner, John DeNicola, saw the band’s potential, so they had them record an 11-track album. Kara’s Flowers also played a string of shows in the LA area.

Photo of Adam LEVINE and Mickey MADDEN and MAROON 5
Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns

As a result of Allen and DeNicola’s help, Levine and his bandmates were signed by Reprise Records through Rob Cavallo. By the following year, the band had released their first album, The Fourth World. They also appeared on a 1997 episode of 90210.

Not So Popular

Despite the band’s exposure on TV, the album only sold 5,000 copies. The label had high expectations, but Levine and the band didn’t do as well as they had hoped. The group decided to break up because they didn’t think it would get better after a slow start.

Adam Levine of Maroon 5
Photo by Wendy Redfern/Redferns

Levine later reflected, “Kara’s Flowers was just floating up the wall beneath the sticks. Make a record quickly, put it out. No touring base, no nothing. Just try to make it happen right out of the gate, and it just doesn’t work.”

Pursuing Other Things

When Kara’s Flowers broke up, Levine left LA to study at Five Towns College in New York. It was then that Levine started to get into hip-hop and R&B. He said, “We had friends names Chaos and Sh*t. It was not Brentwood High.”

Adam Levine, Petra Nemcova and James Valentine
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Although Levine and Carmichael pursued higher studies at Five Towns College, both dropped out after one semester to reunite with Madden and Dusick. They decided to give the band another shot but agreed to try something different with their sound because their original sound didn’t work so well.

They Needed a Makeover

When Levine and his former bandmates got back together, Levine said they needed a makeover. They didn’t want to repeat the same mistakes and were “so sick of being a typical rock n’ roll band.” Levine also said, “I felt like I needed to look elsewhere for vocal inspiration.”

Adam Levine of Maroon 5
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

The group put together a demo that was rejected by several labels, but after many tries, they finally got noticed. James Diener, Ben Berkman, and David Boxenbaum of Octone Records were impressed with the group but thought they needed another band member.

The Beginning of Maroon 5

The executives at Octone Records added James Valentine to Levine’s group and renamed them Maroon 5. Berkman later explained, “Levine seemed to be a very shy shoe-gazing type. A fifth member who could play the guitar freed up Levine.” Berkman saw the star potential in Levine.

James Valentine, Adam Levine of Maroon 5 and Nikka Costa
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Meanwhile, Levine had been working as a writer’s assistant for CBS’s show Judging Amy. During his downtime, he would write songs about his ex-girlfriend. Those songs were later put into Maroon 5’s debut album, Songs About Jane. The album was eventually released in June 2002.

His Career Took Off

While Levine couldn’t have done it alone, he was the face of Maroon 5. When the band won their first Grammy for Best New Artist in 2005, everyone started talking about Levine. Even today, people have a hard time naming the other members of Maroon 5.

Adam Levine (R) and Jesse Carmichael of Maroon 5 pose backstage
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In 2006, Maroon 5 won the Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group for the song “This Love.” The same year, Levine and his bandmates started working on their second album, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long. The album was later released in May 2007.

He Collaborated Outside the Group

Levine has always been dedicated to Maroon 5, but that hasn’t stopped him from collaborating with other artists without his band. In 2005, he was featured on the Ying Yang Twins’ “Live Again” He also appeared on Kanye West’s “Heard’em Say.”

Kanye West. Adam Levine of Maroon 5 and Nick Cannon
Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage for The Recording Academy

Although he might feel a bit different today, Levine enjoyed working with West in 2005. He described the experience as “very pure and very easy.” The two created the song when they happened to be on the same flight. The refrain was later used for Maroon 5’s “Nothing Lasts Forever.”

Growing With the Band

According to Levine, Maroon 5 changed significantly between their first and second albums. He said their second album was more confident and had powerful lyrics. To promote the album, the group went on their first tour. They only performed at small venues, but it was a helpful start.

Adam Levine of Maroon 5 performs
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The ten-date tour took them around Europe and the US in 2007, and it was their first time performing for international audiences. Once again, the group was nominated for a few Grammys and took home a win for their song “Makes Me Wonder.”

Working Hard

After finishing a full tour for It Won’t Be Soon Before Long, Levine and his bandmates started recording their third album in 2009 in Switzerland. They worked in collaboration with record producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange. Levine said Lange worked him harder than anyone else had.

Singer and guitarist Adam Levine
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They needed to do something big to top their double-platinum album It Won’t Be Soon Before Long. Lange and the band worked 14-hour days and tried experimenting with different styles. Levine told CNN they added a country flare with the help of Lady Antebellum.

Not Meeting Expectations

When Levine and his bandmates released their third album, Hands All Over, in 2010, it did not initially live up to Levine’s expectations. Although they tried experimenting with different styles, Levine said, “I don’t think we knew what kind of record we were making.”

Maroon 5 band members
Photo by Jemal Countess/WireImage

Levine said none of the songs made sense together. The album sold 1.1 million copies, but that was only half as many as their previous album. The Maroon 5 frontman joked that Switzerland was the wrong place to record because the neutrality “infected” the album.

Getting a Playboy Reputation

Around 2009, Levine started to earn his playboy reputation. He was rumored to be dating Cameron Diaz in May, but neither confirmed their relationship. Shortly after, he was spotted with model Angela Bellotte. The two reportedly dated for a year and broke up in 2010.

Adam Levine singer of the band Maroon 5 and Russian model Anne V
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Levine bounced back quickly and started dating Victoria’s Secret model Anne Vyalitsyna in 2010. This was his first confirmed relationship in almost a decade. The pair met at a Sports Illustrated party and quickly publicized their relationship. He even held her hand while performing on the Victoria’s Secret runway.

A Turning Point

It seemed like Levine and Vyalitsyna would last because she was featured in Maroon 5’s music video for “Misery.” However, the couple ended things after dating for two years. Many thought Levine would be a playboy forever, but one woman took him off the market for good.

Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Victoria’s Secret

In April 2012, Levine started dating another Victoria’s Secret model, Behati Prinsloo. The pair were spotted kissing at a friend’s wedding in Hawaii. However, the two broke up in 2013 because Levine wasn’t ready to settle down just yet. Before getting back together with Prinsloo, he dated a different model.

Nervous About Commitment

He may not have understood as a child, but his parents’ divorce impacted his views on marriage. When Levine was thrust into the spotlight, women were throwing themselves at him. He dated many women, and in 2013, he told Nylon magazine, “If you don’t get married, you can’t get divorced.”

Behati Prinsloo and Adam Levine
Photo by Lars Niki/Corbis via Getty Images

It seemed like he was hesitant to commit because he didn’t want to end up like his parents. In the same interview, Levine said, “Why couldn’t we learn from the devastatingly low percentage of successful marriages the last generation went through?”

He Conquered His Fears

As we all know, Levine overcame his fear of marriage and reconciled with Prinsloo. He knew she was the one and proposed to her in August 2013, just a month after ending things with Nina Agdal. He reportedly broke the news of his engagement to Agdal via text message.

Model Behati Prinsloo and singer Adam Levine
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In July 2014, Levine and Prinsloo got married in Mexico. Jonah Hill officiated the wedding, and it was a small ceremony with close family and friends. It took a lot for Levine to commit and walk down the aisle, but he knew he didn’t want to lose Prinsloo.

A Supportive Brother

Most people don’t realize that Adam Levine has a younger brother, Michael. Levine has always been protective of his brother because Michael is gay. Levine supports his brother’s sexuality and same-sex marriage, and LGBTQ+ rights. In 2011, he made a video on Maroon 5’s page for the It Gets Better Project.

Singer Adam Levine (L) and brother Michael Levine
Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images For Westfield

Additionally, he changed the Maroon 5 post-Grammy party in 2012 because the original location supported Proposition 8, which intended to ban same-sex marriage. He didn’t want to support a business that didn’t approve of his brother and many others.

He Was Sued

Levine has been sued a few times in his career, but one of the first instances was in 2013. He was mentioned in a hostile work environment lawsuit by a security guard who worked at Universal Music Publishing Group because the security guard said there was a strong smell of marijuana.

Adam Levine performs during the Maroon 5 Performance
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When she complained, the security guard was told, “It’s Adam Levine. If he wants to come to the lobby and do a line of cocaine on the floor, it’s okay.” Basically, the people didn’t care about the security guard because Levine is famous.

His Acting Debut

Some singers start as actors, and some actors start as singers. However, when Levine made his acting debut, he knew music would always be his main priority. In 2012, Levine was offered a recurring role in American Horror Story: Asylum as Leo Morrison.

Adam Levine's wardrobe from 'American Horror Story'
Adam Levine’s wardrobe from ‘American Horror Story’. Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

The show was filmed around Maroon 5’s touring schedule. Levine said, “It sounded like so much fun, and that’s why I wanted to do it.” Although it was a fun opportunity, Levine admitted that he wasn’t a fan of the show or the horror drama, so he didn’t watch the episodes he was in.

222 Productions

In 2013, Levine broadened his horizons by starting a production company called 222 Productions. The company’s first production project was Sugar, a 2018 YouTube Premium web series inspired by the Maroon 5 song of the same name. The series showed musicians crashing events for unsuspecting fans.

Maroon 5 Perform On NBC's
Photo by Al Pereira/WireImage

Levine’s company also produced a reality competition called Songland. The show premiered on NBC in 2019, with Levine serving as the executive producer. These two series helped Levine and 222 Productions land a deal with Wheelhouse Entertainment so Levine could have more production opportunities.


As a teenager, Levine was diagnosed with ADHD and has openly talked about it. He opened up about his experience with ADHD while working on a 2011 educational campaign to raise awareness about ADHD. The project, titled Own It, allowed Levine to discuss the disorder.

Adam Levine Honored With Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame
Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Levine said, “The campaign was important to me because it can help young adults and adults realize that there’s a chance they may still have ADHD if they had it as a kid.” He wrote an article about his personal experience with the disorder.

“Not a Bad Thing”

In his article, Levine shared how he struggled with ADHD throughout his life. He couldn’t focus or finish his schoolwork, but his parents were patient with him once he was diagnosed. Levine added that his challenges continued into adulthood, causing him trouble writing music and recording.

Mickey Madden, James Valentine, and Adam Levine
Photo by Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic

Levine wasn’t always able to complete important tasks. He wrote, “I remember being in the studio and having 30 ideas in my head, but I couldn’t document any of them.” These issues made Levine realize that even as an adult, he had to deal with ADHD.

Starting a Family

After Levine and Prinsloo married in 2014, the couple welcomed their first child, Dusty Rose, in 2016. Two years later, the couple had a second daughter, Gio Grace. Levine was “over the moon” to become a dad and stood by his wife’s side through each pregnancy.

Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo
Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Baby2Baby

Throughout her pregnancies, Prinsloo posted several pictures of her growing belly with Levine. He said, “You’re born to be a parent; that’s what we’re here for.” It meant he should have been even more excited when his wife announced her third pregnancy in September 2022.

Did He Cheat?

Although Prinsloo announced her pregnancy in September, and the couple is still married, Levine might have been unfaithful. Just as his wife announced her pregnancy, women came forward to say that Levine might have been unfaithful; in particular, one woman made a strong case.

Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo
Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

On September 19, Sumner Stroh posted a TikTok alleging she had a year-long affair with Levine. Stroh said she hadn’t spoken to Levine in months until he messaged her on Instagram on June 1, 2022. Levine asked Stroh if he could use her name for his third child.

More Accusations

Stroh explained in a second TikTok that she thought Levine and Prinsloo’s marriage was over. However, Stroh ended their affair when she realized that wasn’t the case. Meanwhile, Stroh wasn’t the only one with accusations, the following day, more women shared their stories.

Sumner Stroh
Sumner Stroh. Photo by Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Three other women claimed Levine messaged them on Instagram, saying things that a married man shouldn’t say to other women. The accusations caused an internet storm, especially because the women posted screenshots of the messages from Levine. The singer had to respond.

He Denied the Affair

Levine couldn’t ignore the accusations and released a statement on Instagram on September 20. The singer wrote, “A lot is being said about me right now, and I want to clear the air. I used poor judgment in speaking with anyone other than my wife in ANY kind of flirtatious manner.”

Adam Levine And Behati Prinsloo Host CALIROSA Tequila's LA Launch Party
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Levine admitted that he “crossed the line” but didn’t admit to doing anything physical with the women. He added that his wife and family are all he cares about, and he took full responsibility for his actions. Levine ended his message by stating they were working through things.

Standing Strong

While everyone thought this would be the end for Levine and Prinsloo, the couple stood strong together. Prinsloo was rightfully upset, but she didn’t want to give up on her marriage, especially when they were about to have a child. Levine and his wife stood strong for their family.

Model Behati Prinsloo and Adam Levine
Photo by Kevork S. Djansezian/Getty Images

Although their relationship was put to the test when another woman shared her experience with Levine, the couple didn’t seem shaken. Levine’s former yoga instructor told her story to the media about something that happened 12 years ago. It was before he and Prinsloo were even together.


Despite all the rumors surrounding his marriage, Levine and Prinsloo put on a strong front. The model attended important events with Levine and didn’t feel the need to address anything. However, the couple seemed happier after things started to blow over.

Model Behati Prinsloo and Adam Levine
Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

With their third child on the way, the couple wanted to focus on the love they had for each other. Although Prinsloo didn’t address Levine’s possible infidelity, she sent a message to the haters. She shared a throwback of her walking the runway and flipping the camera off. We can take a hint.

Judgey Judgey

In 2011, Levine announced that he would join the panel of judges/coaches on the singing competition, The Voice. He was selected as a judge because he was seen as “the perfect inspiration” for the contestants. He helped make singers become true artists.

Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage

However, after 16 seasons, Levine decided to leave the show. He had three contestants from his team win the show over the years. The Voice is credited for reviving Maroon 5’s faltering career after Hands All Over flopped. The show also increased Levine’s popularity.

A Close Friend

Although Levine left The Voice, he made a close friend from the show. When Blake Shelton joined the judging panel, he and Levine hit it off. Their “bromance” was clear from the beginning, and they had plenty of banter while judging.

Country artist Blake Shelton and musician Adam Levin
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Speaking about Shelton, Levine admitted, “I love this guy. He’s as much of a pain as I am.” Their friendship was obvious during the show, but everyone was still surprised when Levine left the show. There was apparently some drama during the Season 16 finale, but Shelton and Levine are still friends.

An Influence on His Music

While Levine was growing up, he was inspired by the musicians his mom shared with him. In particular, The Beatles were a major source of inspiration. He also remembered listening to Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody,” which made him pursue a more soulful sound.

Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage

Because of his interest in R&B, gospel, and soul music, Levine’s sound changed drastically between his time in Kara’s Flowers and his first album with Maroon 5. Critics initially drew comparisons to him and Jay Kay, a Jamiroquai singer. But he changed it up throughout the years.

More Famous Than His Band

Although Levine is part of Maroon 5, his success outside of his musical work has made him the “stand-alone” star of the group. Unless you are a die-hard Maroon 5 fan, there is a high chance you probably don’t know the other members of the group.

Shaquille O'Neal and singer Adam Levine
Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for The Shaquille O’Neal Foundation

Some critics have said that, even in their music, Levine pushed his bandmates to the backseat. Levine’s vocals are the center of Maroon 5’s music, which has also boosted the group’s popularity. According to Levine, the group wanted a frontman, so he stepped up.

The Richest Band Member

As of 2022, Levine is worth a whopping $160 million. He reportedly makes about $8 million per year through his music, collaborations, and other ventures. In the past, he made millions as a mainstay on The Voice and through his production company.

Maroon 5 attend the 2022 Beloved Benefit
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Levine and Prinsloo also made significant amounts of money by flipping houses. The two have flipped several properties together, and it has been successful. As a judge on The Voice, Levine made over $70 million. He is by far the richest Maroon 5 member.

Tattooed All Over

There’s a high chance that you have probably seen Levine shirtless because he loves to take his shirt off. He might love being topless because he has so many tattoos to show off. His first tattoo was the dove on his left bicep. He got it when he was 21, five days after 9/11.

Adam Levine
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Beloved Benefit

Levine wanted something peaceful on his body. He also has Los Angeles and California written on his body. Levine used to say he wouldn’t get tattoos on his hands or legs, but he changed his mind when he got true love tattooed on his fingers.

His First Kiss

It’s safe to say that most of us will never forget our first kiss because it’s either awkward and horrible or magical. Well, Levine is just like us because he hasn’t forgotten about his first kiss when he was 11. He said he and a girl named Katie took a walk after lunch.

Adam Levine
Photo by Elena Di Vincenzo via Getty Images

Levine shared that he and Katie walked down the hall from the cafeteria at school, and she made the first move. He said, “I was freaked and amazed. Then it got weird once I got comfortable and started experimenting.” We wonder where Katie is now.

The Meaning of 222

While some might think Levine likes the number 222 because it is an angel number, there is actually a different meaning behind it. Levine revealed that 222 was the number on the studio where Maroon 5 recorded for the first time. He has used the number for many ventures.

Adam Levine of Maroon 5
Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images

Levine founded a record label in 2012 called 222 Records. He also created the First Act 222 Guitar, sold through Target, in 2008. If that wasn’t enough, he had his own fashion line at Project Trade Show called 222. Levine also tattooed the special number on his arm.

He Didn’t Want Gifts

Levine grew up Jewish, but he considers himself more spiritual than religious. However, when he was a teenager, Levine didn’t want to have a Bar-Mitzvah because he didn’t like the custom of receiving gifts. He didn’t feel like he needed gifts.

LL Cool J, Taylor Swift, and Adam Levine
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Levine explained, “I felt as though a lot of kids were trying to cash in. I just don’t think it’s the most respectful way to deal with God and beliefs.” Despite not having a Bar-Mitzvah, Levine still considers himself Jewish and recently visited Israel for the first time.

He Still Gets Nervous

Although Levine has been playing for massive crowds since the early 2000s, he still gets nervous before a show. Even the most seasoned musicians still get pre-stage jitters, and Levine is one of them. However, it’s not because he hates performing (clearly).

The Voice's Adam Levine (L) and Christina Aguilera
Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NBCUniversal

He didn’t explain why he gets nervous, but we can’t blame him because Maroon 5 plays for thousands of people each show. Luckily, Levine has a ritual to make himself feel better. Before each show, he tells himself that everyone loves him. Hey, whatever works for him, right?

He Didn’t Get the Joke

In case you missed it, “Moves Like Jagger” was one of Maroon 5’s biggest songs. Everyone loved it, but Levine didn’t like when people made jokes about it. According to a writer for Rolling Stone, Levine got him fired from the magazine in 2014.

Maroon 5 Video Shoot For
Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for A&M/Octone

Rob Tannenbaum, the writer, jokingly asked Levine to apologize for making a song as catchy as “Moves Like Jagger,” but it didn’t go over as he had planned. Levine didn’t like the interview and complained to the magazine’s editors to have Tannenbaum fired.