(born 5 May 1988), known under the mononym Adele, is an English singer-songwriter. She was the first recipient of the BRIT Awards Critics' Choice and was named the number-one predicted breakthrough act of 2008 in an annual BBC poll of music critics, Sound of 2008. At the 2009 Grammy Awards, Adele won the awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Since her debut, 19, Adele has received much recognition both commercially and critically. The album debuted at number one, and has been certified four times platinum in the UK. Her career in the US was boosted by a viewer record–breaking Saturday Night Live episode in late 2008. Adele released her second album 21 on 24 January 2011 in the UK, and 22 February in the US. The album was a critical and commercial success, selling 208,000 copies in its first week in the UK and debuting at number one on the UK Albums Chart, a position it managed to hold for sixteen weeks. In the United Kingdom, 21 has been certified ten times Platinum for shipment of 3.0 million units. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 in the United States, selling 352,000 copies in its first week. The album has charted at number one in 17 European countries and the United States.
After performing at the 2011 BRIT Awards, the album track "Someone Like You" reached number one in the United Kingdom, while the album also remained at number one. "Someone Like You" held the number one position for four consecutive weeks. The song has also spent 2 weeks at number one in New Zealand and 4 weeks at number one in Australia. The Official Charts Company announced that Adele is the first living artist to achieve the feat of two top five hits in both the Official Singles Chart and the Official Albums Chart simultaneously since The Beatles in 1964. 21 has spent eleven consecutive weeks at number one in the UK, the longest ever by a female solo artist on the UK Albums Chart, surpassing Madonna's nine weeks at number one in 1990 with her greatest hits compilation The Immaculate Collection. In the US the album has spent a total of nine weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 to date. The album has also broken the record for the most UK digital downloads. As of May 2011 the singer was worth £6 million tying her with Lily Allen and Duffy for 9th place on the list of the richest British and Irish music stars under age 30.
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was born in Tottenham, London, England to a single teenage mother on 5 May 1988. She began singing at age four and asserts that she became obsessed with voices. Adele has cited the Spice Girls as a major influence in regard to her love and passion for music, stating that "they made me what I am today." Adele would also impersonate the Spice Girls at dinner parties as a young girl. To make her look like singer Gabrielle, her mother made an eye patch with sequins, which Adele said was embarrassing.
At the age of 11, Adele and her mother, a furniture-maker and adult learning activities organiser moved to West Norwood, South London. West Norwood is the subject for Adele's first record, "Hometown Glory", written when she was 16. After moving to South London, she became interested in R&B artists such as Aaliyah, Destiny's Child and Mary J Blige.
2006–08: Career beginnings:
Adele graduated from The BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology in Croydon in May 2006, where she was classmates with Leona Lewis and Jessie J. Adele credits the school with nurturing her talent. In school, she was more interested in going into A&R, and hoped to launch other people's careers. Four months later, she published two songs on the fourth issue of the online arts publication PlatformsMagazine.com. She had recorded a three-song demo for a class project and gave it to a friend who posted it on Myspace where it became very successful and led to a phone call from music label XL Recordings. She doubted if the offer was real because the only record company she knew was Virgin Records, and she took a friend with her to the meeting. Nick Huggett at XL recommended Adele to manager Jonathan Dickins at September Management and in June 2006 Dickins became her official representative. September was managing Jamie T at the time and this proved a major attraction for Adele who was a big fan of the English singer-songwriter. Huggett then signed Adele to XL in September 2006.
Adele's breakthrough song, "Hometown Glory", was released in October 2007. Adele provided vocals for Jack Peñate's song, "My Yvonne", from his debut album. Adele became the first recipient of the BRIT Awards Critics' Choice and was named the number-one predicted breakthrough act of 2008 in an annual BBC poll of music critics, Sound of 2008. She released her second single "Chasing Pavements" on 14 January 2008, two weeks ahead of her debut album, 19. The song, "Chasing Pavements" reached number two on the UK Chart, and stayed there for four weeks, finally remaining in the Top 40 14 weeks after its release. The album itself entered the British charts at number one. The Times Encyclopedia of Modern Music would name 19 an "essential" Blue Eyed Soul recording
2008–10: 19 and commercial success:
On 2 March 2008 Adele signed a deal which involved a joint venture between Columbia Records and XL Recordings for her foray into the US. In March 2008, she left on a short North American tour. On 20 June, the album was released in the US. The album was certified as gold in February 2009 by the Recording Industry Association of America. By July 2009, the album had sold 2.2 million copies worldwide. Adele cancelled a 2008 US tour to be with a former boyfriend. She said in Nylon magazine in June 2009, "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 Hill after leaving her mother's house, a move that prompted her to give up drinking.
By October 2008, Adele's attempt to break into America seemed to have failed. However, it was announced that she would be the musical guest on the 18 October episode of Saturday Night Live (SNL). The episode was hotly anticipated because of an appearance by then US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. SNL earned its best ratings in 14 years with 17 million viewers. Adele performed "Chasing Pavements" and "Cold Shoulder", and the following day, 19 topped the iTunes charts and ranked at number five at Amazon.com while "Chasing Pavements" rose into the 25. The week of 26 October the album reached number 11 on the Billboard 200, a jump of 35 places over the previous week. Several weeks later, she returned to the US for an 11-city tour.
Adele was nominated for a 2008 Mercury Prize award for 19. She also won an Urban Music Award for "Best Jazz Act". She also received a Q Awards nomination in the category of Breakthrough Act and a Music of Black Origin nomination in the category of Best UK Female.
At the 51st Grammy Awards in 2009, Adele won awards in the categories of Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. She was also nominated in the categories of Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Adele launched a 15-city North American tour that started 9 March. Adele was also nominated for three Brit Awards in the categories of Best British Female, Best British Single and Best British Breakthrough Act. 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." Adele relaunched the MTV Unplugged series with a six song acoustic set in June. On 28 June, Adele headlined a three-act bill at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California. Etta James, originally slated to perform but suddenly taken ill, was replaced by Chaka Khan. Adele dueted with Daniel Merriweather on a track called "Water and a Flame" from his debut album Love & War and with The Raconteurs on a track called "Many Shades of Black" that would become a staple during her live performances, particularly her An Evening with Adele tour.
In 2010, Adele received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Hometown Glory". In April her song "My Same" entered the German Singles Chart after it had been performed by Lena Meyer-Landrut in the talent show contest Unser Star für Oslo (Our Star for Oslo), in which the German entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 was determined. In late September, after being featured on The X Factor, Adele's version of Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love" re-entered the UK singles chart at number 4. During the 2010 CMT Artists of the Year special, Adele performed a widely publicized duet of Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" with Darius Rucker. This performance would later be nominated for a CMT Music Award.
19 sold 341,000 copies in the first six months of the 2011 in the United States bringing total sales 1.2 million.
Adele supported Will Young at the 2007 MENCAP Little Noise Sessions, a charity concert at London's Union Chapel. In 2008 she was the headliner and performed a stripped down acoustic and was supported by Damien Rice. In July 2008, Adele paid £8,000 for a commissioned painting by Stella Vine in a charity auction in aid of Keep a Child Alive, a charity that helps African children and their families living with HIV/AIDS. Adele said she planned to ask Vine to paint a portrait of "my mum and me." On 17 September 2009, Adele performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, for the VH1 "Divas" event, a concert to raise money for the Save The Music Foundation charity. On 6 December, Adele opened with a 40-minute set at John Mayer's 2nd Annual Holiday Charity Revue held at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California.