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Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (born 5 May 1988 in West Norwoodmarker, South Londonmarker), known professionally as Adele ( ), is an English singer. Adele has described her musical style as "heartbroken soul." She is the first recipient of the BRIT Awards Critics' Choice, which was given to artists who, at the time, had yet to release an album.

Adele debuted at number one with her Mercury Prize-nominated debut album 19 on the UK album chart; the album has since been certified platinum with sales of more than 500,000 copies in the UKmarker and over 2.2 million worldwide. After the album peaked at number fifty-four on the Billboard 200 chart on 8 July, 2008 (and number thirty-six on the magazine's "Top Heatseekers" chart) Adele performed before 17 million television viewers on Saturday Night Live, propelling her album from number forty-six to number eleven on the official chart.

In 2009, Adele won two Grammy Awards, Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the single "Chasing Pavements". The week after the Grammy Awards aired, the album finally peaked at number ten on the Billboard 200. Meanwhile, her single "Chasing Pavements" reached number twenty one on the Billboard Hot 100.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown sent a thank you letter to Adele that stated "With the troubles that the country's in financially, you're a light at the end of the tunnel."

Early life and career

Though born in South East London, Adele is of Welsh descent. She began singing at age 4, when she became obsessed with voices, an obsession that is ongoing. Adele impersonated the Spice Girls at dinner parties. As a preteen she sang Destiny's Child songs at her mostly black school. To make her look like the singer Gabrielle, her mother made an eye patch with sequins, which she said was embarrassing. Adele went through a phase where she wore Slipknot clothing and a studded dog collar. Adele then claimed she was influenced by the music of Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald in her teens by accident, as she stumbled on the artists' CDs on a local HMV store while looking for a new hairstyle. She only got to listen to those songs for the first time as she was clearing her room. She graduated from BRIT Schoolmarker in Croydonmarker in May 2006, a performing arts school attended by several musicians that have gained popular and critical acclaim. Adele credits the school with nurturing her talent. A month later, she published two songs on the fourth issue of the online arts publication


Adele wrote her first record, "Hometown Glory" when she was 16 years old. She then signed to independent music label XL Recordings, which in January 2008 released her second single Chasing Pavements. The song was co written with songwriter Eg White who provided the orchestration. White won the 2009 Ivor Novello Award for "Songwriter of the Year" in part for his work on Chasing Pavements.

During her teenage years she recorded a demo and gave it to her friend, Lyndon. He eventually put it on MySpace and it became very successful there. Adele got a record deal through MySpace. When she got a phone call, she could not believe it was real because the only record company she knew was Virgin Records. When a friend told her that it was a real record company, she signed.

She then signed to independent music label, XL Recordings. In January 2008, Adele released her second single, "Chasing Pavements", hitting #2 for four weeks in the UK Chart and remaining in the Top 40 14 weeks after release.

On 4 February, 2008 the album entered the British charts at number 1. Also by that week, the single from the album Chasing Pavements had spent a third week at the number 2 position and another single from Hometown Glory had entered the charts at the number 32 position.

As of 4 December, 2008 the video for "Chasing Pavements" was the most played video on the United Statesmarker Basic Cable channel VH1 for that year. Adele made her United States television debut on The Today Show

Her song Hometown Glory has been widely featured on United Kingdom and United States television shows including Skins, Grey's Anatomy, So You Think You Can Dance, One Tree Hill and Secret Diary of a Call Girl

The album was certified as Gold for February 2009 by the Recording Industry Association of America. The album sold 230,000 copies in the United States during the first quarter of 2009 ranking it fourth among international artists. Adele earned a Broadcast Music Incorporated certificate when "Chasing Pavements" was played over 3 million times on United States radio and television.

As of July 2009 the album has sold 2.2 million copies.

Saturday Night Live appearance: American Breakthrough

On 19 March, 2008 Adele signed a United States deal which involved a joint venture between Columbia Records and XL Recordings. On 20 June, the album was released in the United States.

By October 2008, her attempt to break America seemed to have failed. However, it was announced in October that Adele was booked for Saturday Night Live. On the 18 October she was the musical guest with guest host Josh Brolin. The episode had also been hotly anticipated because of an appearance by US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Adele performed "Chasing Pavements" and "Cold Shoulder". This appearance has been credited with a sharp rise in her popularity in the United States. The day following her appearance, 19 topped the iTunes charts and ranked #5 on, while "Chasing Pavements" rose into the Top 25. 19 was still at the #2 position on iTunes on 22 October. By the week of 26 October the album was at the number 11 position on the Billboard's Album charts a jump of 35 places over the previous week. "Chasing Pavements" was the top debut on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart for the week of 30 October residing at the number 82 position. Over half of the 364,000 copies of 19 she had sold in the United States by 28 January, 2009 had come after her SNL appearance.

Critical Acclaim

On 10 December 2007, Adele was awarded the first Brit Awards Critics' Choice Award

At the 51st Grammy Awards held on 8 February, 2009 Adele won Grammy awards in the categories of Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Adele was also nominated for Grammy Awards in the categories of Record of the Year and Song of the Year. During the awards show she performed with Sugarland . As per English tradition Adele planned to store the Awards on a cabinet or shelf in her bathroom.

Adele was nominated for a 2008 Mercury Prize award for 19. She also won an Urban Music Award for "Best Jazz Act". Her video for "Chasing Pavements" received an MTV Video Music Awards nomination in the category of Best Choreography as well as a 2008 Q Awards nomination in the category of Breakthrough Act and Music of Black Origin nomination in the category of Best UK Female.In early 2008 Adele topped in a poll of music critics Adele topped BBC's new music talent list, which was compiled from the votes of 150 music critics..

Adele was nominated for three 2009 Brit Awards in the categories of Best British female, Best British single, and Best British breakthrough act.

She also received praises from Paul Rees, editor of Q magazine, who said it was "refreshing to hear something different" after a thousand years of "identikit bands who want to sound like The Libertines". Her music was described by the Richmond Times Dispatch music critic as "a perfect backdrop to a lazy afternoon in the coffee shop".

The Times Encyclopedia of Modern Music would name 19 an "essential" Blue Eyed Soul recording.

Adele agrees with critics that have suggested that her vocals are more developed and intriguing than her songwriting.

Comparison with contemporaries and other female vocalists from the UK

Adele's success occurred simultaneously with several other British female soul singers. The British press has dubbed her a new Amy Winehouse. Also was linked to a third British Musical Invasion of the United States. Adele commented that while this phenomenon was unexpected she was "proud to be a part of it. I'm very pleased to be riding the wave". In December she said that Duffy was The Sound of 2008 and called the comparisons with other females lazy noting "we're a gender, not a genre". Adele, comparing herself to Amy Winehouse and Duffy, said "I think Amy is hardcore," "I think Duffy is really soft – she's got the pin-up look going on. She's a proper lady. I think I'm really contemporary. And I'm just really mouthy!"

By the beginning of 2009 listeners and critics started to describe Adele as unique. AllMusic wrote that "Adele is simply too magical to compare her to anyone".Venus Zine recognized Adele on its 25 under 25 list of women for her “distinctive, unusual voice” that “blends the bubbly clarity of pop with the sophisticated phrasings of jazz and blues.”

Touring and Performances

In 2006 Adele was the opening act for Jack Penate. By the end of 2007 she toured as the headlining act. Following that tour she appeared on Later with Jools Holland alongside Paul McCartney and Björk .


In March Adele embarked on a short North American tour. The following month she played the Coachella Festivalmarker

On 16 June, Adele performed an exclusive set for Billboard Magazine. The set can be viewed here.

In September, she played New York's Webster Hallmarker and made several television and radio appearances in that city.

On 6 December, in continuing support of her album, Adele opened with a 40-minute performance for John Mayer at his 2nd Annual Holiday Charity Revue. The Revue was held at the Nokia Theatre, L.A. Live in Los Angelesmarker, Californiamarker.

Adele performed a Christmas show at The Roundhousemarker in Londonmarker. She opened with Hometown Glory and then sang Cold Shoulder. She followed with acoustic versions of Daydreamer and Best for Last then proceeded with Etta James’s Fool That I Am before closing with Chasing Pavements. She performed for the 2009 edition of Jools Holland's New Year's Eve Show.

Late in the year, Adele embarked what according to her website was a 11 city United States tour. As of 17 December four of the shows had sold out. She received "gushing adulation" in Bostonmarker.

In addition to the Saturday Night Live appearance discussed above she appeared on American television programs The Late Show with David Letterman, The View, CBS Early Show, CBS News Sunday Morning, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel Live,, The Ellen Degeneres Show..


Adele launched a 15-city North American tour that started 9 March.

On 10 June, Adele relaunched the MTV Unplugged series with a six song acoustic set.

On 28 June, Adele headlined a three-act bill at the Hollywood Bowlmarker in Los Angeles, California, where in addition to her current songbook, Adele tried out a new song from her forthcoming sophomore recording. Several times during her performance she flubbed her lyrics then chastised herself for doing so. Etta James, originally slated to perform but suddenly taken ill, was replaced by Chaka Kahn.

On 12 July, Adele performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam. She said that it was her last show from her "19" tour.

Adele appeared on Dancing With the Stars, The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brian. and made a return appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman.

On 17 September, Adele performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Musicmarker, for the VH1 "Divas" event, a concert to raise money for the Save The Music Foundation charity.

Covers and collaborations

Fool That I Am by Etta James is Adele's staple cover song.

Adele and Jack White collaborated on a cover of The Raconteurs song "Many Shades of Black" which appeared on the deluxe edition of 19. Adele had started to work on other material with White before he had to cut it off to record a James Bond theme song. In September 2008, Adele released her version of "Many Shades of Black" by The Raconteurs on to her MySpace page. Adele covered the single at the groups request. Adele's cover appears on the B-Side of the single .

In early 2008, Adele performed a cover of 'Last Nite' by The Strokes in BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge.

On 23 October 2008 at the BBC Electric Proms concert featuring award winning American composer Burt Bacharach, Adele joined Bacharach in singing his composition, "Baby It's You".Adele supported Will Young at the 2007 MENCAP Little Noise Sessions a charity concert at London's Union Chapelmarker. In 2008 she was the headliner and performed a stripped down acoustic that was supported by Damien Rice. In a duet described by Adele in her blog as "surreal" she performed with Alicia Keys at the Keep a Child Alive Black Ball in New York.

Adele performed a cover of Etta James' "I Just Want To Make Love To You" on Jools' Annual Hootenanny 2008/2009 accompanied by Jools Holland and his band.

Adele dueted with Daniel Merriweather on a track called Water And A Flame from his forthcoming album.

Adele has provided vocals for two Jack Penate songs. The first song My Yvonne was on his 2007 debut album while the second song will be on his forthcoming release.

Future plans

Singer Laura White has confirmed that Adele will duet with her at Adele's suggestion. Adele would like to collaborate in the future with younger singers more than established ones. She also would like to complete a duet she started with Will Young.".

Second album

In January 2009 described her lyrics as "better, they're sharp and they're witty now".

As of March 2009 Adele was still working on what the album will sound like. The singer said "I know who I'm working with and duets and stuff and I'm not trying to be secretive. But I do not want to say in case it does not work out".. In October Adele said the Eg White has returned as co writer because "we've got a bond".

By 3 June, 2009 she had completed five songs for the upcoming album. She described the material as mostly about boys..

Other pursuits

In July 2008, Adele paid £8,000 in a charity auction in aid of Keep a Child Alive for a commissioned painting by Stella Vine. Adele said she planned to ask Vine to paint a portrait of "my mum and me". The money raised helps children and their families with HIV/AIDS in Africa.

A photo spread shot by Annie Leibovitz appeared in the April 2009 edition of Vogue Magazine. The magazine printed a feature story in which Adele discussed her fashion preferences.

Adele played herself performing at a wedding on the 13 May, 2009 episode of the American prime time television show Ugly Betty.

Personal life

Adele cancelled a 2008 United States tour to be with, and drink with, a former boyfriend. She told Nylon Magazine in June 2009 that "I was drinking far too much and that was kind of the basis of my relationship with this boy. I couldn't bear to be without him, so I was like, 'Well, OK, I'll just cancel my stuff then" ... I can't believe I did that ... It seems so ungrateful".

In November 2008 Adele moved to Notting Hillmarker after leaving her mother's house, a move that prompted her to give up drinking. As of June 2009 Adele was still sober. Adele claims she has never used drugs. In October 2009 Adele was living with her mother in a flat she bought for both in Batterseamarker.



  • 2008: 19



  1. See inogolo:pronunciation of Adele.
  2. Adele: 19 peak at#1 OCC. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  3. Billboard Chart History for Adele [1] Retrieved 26 SEP 2008
  4. Prime Minister Thanks Adele For Keeping Britain Happy In Dark Times Contact Music 9 June, 2009
  5. The Telegraph 21 May, 2009
  6. Coldplay and Elbow dominate Ivor Novello Awards ContactMusic 21 May,2009
  7. Billboard presents: Adele Billboard. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  8. Perry's Platinum Pucker Recording Industry Association of America News 23 March, 2009
  9. U2 Scores Q1's Top-Selling International Artist Album Billboard 3 April, 2009
  10. Folk singer Donovan named 'icon' BBC 7 October, 2009
  11. Adele 'puts career on hold for dog Digital Spy 21 July, 2009
  12. Saturday Night Live Season 34 Josh Brolin/Adele The New York Times
  13. Billboard Artist Biography Adele
  14. Adele: All That Jazz Venus Zine 1 March, 2009
  15. Adele Relaunches Unplugged MTV Uk10 June, 2009
  16. Live: Adele at the Hollywood Bowl Los Angeles Times 29 June, 2009
  17. Show Tracker: What you're watching Los Angeles Times 25 March, 2009
  18. Tonight Show Website
  19. Washington Post Television listings 30 March, 2009
  20. Adele, Leona Lewis and Kelly Clarkson for VH1 'Divas' NME 21 July, 2009
  21. Penate collaborates with Adele BBC 6 April, 2009
  22. Talking Shop: Adele BBC 7 October, 2009
  23. Adele five songs into new album NME 3 June, 2009
  24. "Soul diva Alicia helps raise half a million, 11 July 2008. Retrieved 12 December 2008.
  25. Adele and aliens invade 'Ugly Betty's' wedding 14 May, 2009
  26. Adele Explains Booze & Love Meltdown Contactmusic 8 June, 2009

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