Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (born 5 May 1988), better known mononymously as Adele, is a British recording artist and songwriter. At first I thought her voice was pushing the limit as to whine, but then like hundreds of thousands of others, I came to like the peaks she was pushing herself to master - even though that may have led to damaged vocal cords - fortunately for us all, now cured. My neighbour at the time could play nothing else - praise indeed.
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins
Adele was offered a recording contract from XL Recordings after a friend posted her demo on MySpace in 2006. The next year she received the Brit Awards "Critics' Choice" and won the BBC Sound of 2008. Her debut album, 19, was released in 2008 to much commercial and critical success in the UK. 19 was certified four times platinum in the UK. Her career in the US was boosted by a Saturday Night Live appearance in late 2008. At the 2009 Grammy Awards, Adele received the awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was born in Tottenham, north
London, England, to a single teenage mother named Penny on 5 May 1988. Adele's father split from Adele's mother when Adele was 3 years, for which Adele had not forgiven him as of
2012. 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 impersonated 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 nine, Adele and her mother, a furniture-maker and adult learning activities organiser, relocated to
Brighton. At the age of 11, Adele and her mother moved to
Brixton, and then to neighbouring district West Norwood, in 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.
Four months after graduation, Adele 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
19, so named for her age at the time she started recording it, entered the British charts at number one. The Times Encyclopedia of Modern Music named 19 an "essential" blue-eyed soul recording. She released her second single "Chasing Pavements" on 14 January 2008, two weeks ahead of her debut album, 19. The song reached number two on the UK Chart, and stayed there for four weeks. 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. In March 2008, Adele signed a deal with Columbia Records and XL Recordings for her foray into the US. She embarked on a short North American tour in the same month. The An Evening with Adele world tour began in May 2008 and ended in June 2009. She later cancelled the 2008 US tour dates 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. 19 was released in the US in June, but by October 2008, it was apparent that Adele's attempt to break into America had
failed. She was the musical guest on the 18 October 2008 episode of Saturday Night Live. The episode included an expected appearance by then US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The programme 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 top
25. The album reached number 11 on the Billboard 200 as a result, a jump of 35 places over the previous
week. 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
Adele performing in
London in 2007
Adele performing in London in 2007
Adele released her second studio album, 21, on 24
January 2011 in the UK and 22 February in the
US. She said that the album was inspired by the breakup with her former
partner. The album's sound is described as classic and contemporary roots and country music. The change in sound from her first album was the result of her bus driver playing contemporary Nashville music when she was touring the American South. Adele told Spin Magazine "It was really exciting for me because I never grew up around [that
music]." The title choice reflects the growth she has experienced in the last two
years. 21 hit number 1 in 18 countries, including the UK and the
US. In the UK, 19 re-entered the chart alongside 21 while first and second singles "Rolling in the Deep" and "Someone Like You" were in the top 5 of the singles chart, making Adele 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. Both songs topped the charts in multiple markets and broke numerous sales performances records. By December 2011, 21 sold over 3.4
million copies in the UK, and became the biggest-selling album of the 21st century, overtaking Amy Winehouse's Back to
Black, with Adele becoming the first artist ever to sell three million albums in the UK in one calendar
year. "Set Fire to the Rain" became Adele's third number one single on the Billboard Hot 100, as Adele became the first artist ever to have an album, 21, hold the number one position on the Billboard 200 concurrently with three number one
Adele with her prizes - so deserving
Adele at the Brit Awards 2012
Adele's voice is categorised as
contralto. Initially, critics suggested that her vocals were more developed and intriguing than her songwriting, a sentiment with which Adele
agreed. Adele's first album is of the soul genre, with lyrics describing heartbreak and
relationship. Her success occurred simultaneously with several other British female soul singers, with the British
press dubbing her a new
Amy Winehouse. This was described as a third British Musical Invasion of the
US. However, Adele called the comparisons between her and other female soul singers lazy, noting "we're a gender, not a
genre". 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." American singer Beyoncé Knowles cited Adele as one of the influences for her fourth album,
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