Adele (singer): Wikis


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Adele performing in 2008.
Background information
Birth name Adele Laurie Blue Adkins[1]
Born January 26, 1988 (1988-01-26) (age 22)
Origin Tottenham, London, England, United Kingdom
Genres Pop, soul, jazz, blues, folk
Occupations Singer-songwriter, Musician
Years active 2006-present
Labels XL Recordings, Columbia

Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (born 5 May 1988 in Tottenham, North London), known professionally as Adele (pronounced /әˈdɛl/[2]), is an English singer songwriter. She is best known for her debut album, 19.

Since her debut Adele has received much recognition--both commercially and critically. The album 19 debuted at number one, and has been certified platinum in the UK. It has sold 2.2 million worldwide.[3] 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.[4] The album was nominated for the Mercury Prize. The album peak at number ten on the US Billboard 200, bolstered by an appearance on Saturday Night Live and her Grammy wins. Meanwhile, her single "Chasing Pavements" reached number twenty one on the Billboard Hot 100.[5]


Early life

Born in Tottenham,[6] she began singing at age four and asserts that she became obsessed with voices--an obsession she still has.[7][8] Adele would impersonate the Spice Girls at dinner parties and, as a preteen, she sang Destiny's Child songs at her school.[9] To make her look like the singer Gabrielle, her mother made an eye patch with sequins, which Adele said was embarrassing.[10] Adele went through a phase where she wore Slipknot clothing and a studded dog collar.[11] 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.[12] She graduated from BRIT School in Croydon in May 2006, a performing arts school attended by several musicians that have gained popular and critical acclaim,[12][13] including Adele's former classmate Leona Lewis.[14][1] Adele credits the school with nurturing her talent.[15] In school, she was more interested in going into A&R, and hoped to launch other people's careers.[1] Four months later, she published two songs on the fourth issue of the online arts publication[16]

She has described her musical style as "heartbroken soul."[15]

Early career

Adele wrote her first record, "Hometown Glory" when she was 16 years old.[17] During her teenage years she recorded a three-song demo for a class project and gave it to her friend, Lyndon.[1] He put it on MySpace and it became very successful there, which lead to a a phone call from music label XL Recordings.[14] She doubted if the offer were real because the only record company she knew was Virgin Records, and she took a friend with her to the meeting.[18][18][14] The label signed her, and she went to work on her debut album. She then signed to independent music label XL Recordings, which in January 2008 released her second single Chasing Pavements.[19] The song was co written with songwriter Eg White who provided the orchestration.[20] White won the 2009 Ivor Novello Award for "Songwriter of the Year" in part for his work on Chasing Pavements.[21]

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.[22] She became 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 was named the number-one predicted breakthrough act of 2008 in an annual BBC poll of music critics, Sound of 2008.


With XL, Adele released the single "Hometown Glory" in 2007.

She released the single "Chasing Pavements" on 14 January 2008, two weeks ahead of her debut album, 19. "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.[19] The album itself entered the British charts at number one. On February 4, 2008, "Hometown Glory" was re-released, and entered the UK charts at number 32.[23]

Adele began touring and making public appearances in support of the album. In March of 2008, she embarked on a short North American tour,[24] and the following month she played the Coachella Festival[25] On 16 June, Adele performed an exclusive set for Billboard magazine. In September, she played New York's Webster Hall[26] and made several television and radio appearances in that city.[27]

Despite her burgeoning success in the UK, Adele still sought to break into the US market. On 19 March 2008 Adele signed a United States deal which involved a joint venture between Columbia Records and XL Recordings.[24] On 20 June, the album was released in the United States.[15][28] Adele made her United States television debut on The Today Show By October 2008, her attempt to break America seemed to have failed.[29][30] However, it was announced that Adele would be the musical guest on the October 18 episode of Saturday Night Live (SNL), with guest host Josh Brolin. The episode was hotly anticipated because of the appearance by US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, and in the end, SNL got its best ratings in 14 years with a total of 17 million viewers. Adele performed "Chasing Pavements" and "Cold Shoulder",[31] and the following day, 19 topped the iTunes charts and ranked at number five at, while "Chasing Pavements" rose into the Top 25.[32] The 19 was still at the number two position on iTunes on 22 October, however, 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.[33] "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.[34] 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.[35]

Several weeks later, she returned to the US for an 11-city tour. She received "gushing adulation" in Boston.[36] 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.[37] Adele performed a Christmas show at The Roundhouse in London.[38] She performed for the 2009 edition of Jools Holland's New Year's Eve Show.[39]

By year's end, 19 and its singles began amassing various distinctions. "Chasing Pavements" was the most played video on the United States Basic Cable channel VH1 for that year. The album was certified as Gold for February 2009 by the Recording Industry Association of America.[40] The album sold 230,000 copies in the United States during the first quarter of 2009 ranking it fourth among international artists.[41] Adele earned a Broadcast Music Incorporated certificate when "Chasing Pavements" was played over 3 million times on United States radio and television.[42] 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."[43]

Adele launched a 15-city North American tour that started 9 March.[44]

On 10 June, Adele relaunched the MTV Unplugged series with a six song acoustic set.[45]

On 28 June, Adele headlined a three-act bill at the Hollywood Bowl 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.[46]

As of July 2009, the album had sold 2.2 million copies.[47]

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.[citation needed]

On 17 September, 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.[48][49]

Critical reception

On 10 December 2007, Adele was awarded the first Brit Awards Critics' Choice Award[50][51]

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[52] Adele was also nominated for Grammy Awards in the categories of Record of the Year and Song of the Year.[53] During the awards show she performed with Sugarland .[54] As per English tradition Adele planned to store the Awards on a cabinet or shelf in her bathroom.[55] Adele has been nominated for a 2010 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for Hometown Glory.[56]

Adele was nominated for a 2008 Mercury Prize award for 19.[57] She also won an Urban Music Award for "Best Jazz Act".[58] Her video for "Chasing Pavements" received an MTV Video Music Awards nomination in the category of Best Choreography[59] as well as a 2008 Q Awards nomination in the category of Breakthrough Act[60] and Music of Black Origin nomination in the category of Best UK Female.[61] 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.[22].

Adele was nominated for three 2009 Brit Awards in the categories of Best British female, Best British single, and Best British breakthrough act.[62]

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".[63] Her music was described by the Richmond Times Dispatch music critic as "a perfect backdrop to a lazy afternoon in the coffee shop".[29]

The Times Encyclopedia of Modern Music would name 19 an "essential" Blue Eyed Soul recording.[64]

Adele agrees with critics that have suggested that her vocals are more developed and intriguing than her songwriting.[65]


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.[1] Also was linked to a third British Musical Invasion of the United States.[14] 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".[15][29][66] 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!"[67]

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".[17] 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.”[68]

Popular reception and appearance in the media

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

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.[citation needed]

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[69]

In addition to the SNL appearance, she has appeared on American television programs including 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,[70] Jimmy Kimmel Live,[71], The Ellen Degeneres Show.[72]. Adele appeared on Dancing With the Stars[73], The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brian.[74] and made a return appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman.[75]

Covers and collaborations

Fool That I Am by Etta James is Adele's staple cover song.[38]

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.[76] 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 .[77]

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".[78] 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 that was supported by Damien Rice.[79][80] 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 dueted with Daniel Merriweather on a track called "Water and a Flame" from his debut album Love & War.[81]

Adele has provided vocals for two Jack Penate songs. The first song, "My Yvonne", was on his 2007 debut album, and the second song will be on his forthcoming release.[82]

Future plans

Singer Laura White has confirmed that Adele will duet with her at Adele's suggestion.[83] 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.".[84] Adele has said her break-up with her boyfriend in 2008 may provide inspiration for some songs.[14]

Second album

By 3 June 2009 she had completed five songs for the upcoming album. She described the material as mostly about boys.[85].

In October Adele said the Eg White has returned as co writer because "we've got a bond".[86]. In December Ryan Tedder of American rock group One Republic confirmed he is working with Adele on the album.[87].

In February 2010 producer Paul Epworth said that hard rock producer Rick Rubin was producing the album and that he was writing songs for it.[88]

Other endeavours

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".[89]

Annie Leibovitz photographed Adele for Vogue magazine's April 2009 to accompany a feature story in which Adele discussed her fashion preferences.[90]

Adele played herself performing at a wedding on the 13 May 2009 episode of the American television show Ugly Betty.[91]

Personal life

Adele cancelled a 2008 United States tour to be with a former boyfriend. She said in Nylon (magazine) 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".[92]

In November 2008 Adele moved to Notting Hill after leaving her mother's house, a move that prompted her to give up drinking. As of June 2009 Adele was still sober.[92] Adele claims she has never used drugs[93]. In October 2009 Adele was living with her mother in a flat she bought for both in Battersea.[86]



  • 2008: 19


Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Amy Winehouse
Grammy Award for Best New Artist
Succeeded by
Zac Brown Band


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  2. ^ See inogolo:pronunciation of Adele.
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  7. ^ "Grammy-nominated Adele taking fame in stride The Baltimore Sun 15 January 2009".,0,4031087.story. 
  8. ^ "Singing Stronger Every Day: Adele Express from The Washington Post 15 January 2009". 
  9. ^ "Chasing Adele Minneapolis Star Tribune 15 January 2009". 
  10. ^ "Adele: young soul rebel". 25 Apr 2008. 
  11. ^ "Soulful Adele is on a roll San Francisco Examiner 29 January 2009". 
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  16. ^ "Platforms Magazine - Issue 4". 
  17. ^ a b "Amy Who? Now, Adele's the One With the Buzz Washington Post 1 February 2009". 
  18. ^ a b Billboard presents: Adele Billboard. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  19. ^ a b "This Week's Releases: 21 January 2008". 21 January 2008. 
  20. ^ The Telegraph 21 May, 2009
  21. ^ Coldplay and Elbow dominate Ivor Novello Awards ContactMusic 21 May,2009
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  23. ^ "Adele, Basshunter Top U.K. Charts Billboard 4 February 2008". 
  24. ^ a b "Adele Inks U.S. Deal With Columbia Billboard 19 March 2008". 
  25. ^ "Aphex Twin, Goldfrapp, Tankian Join Coachella Lineup Billboard 12 March 2008". 
  26. ^ "Adele, Live at Webster Hall Radar Magazine 4 September 2008". 
  27. ^ "Adele Blog 3 September 2008". 
  28. ^ "Battle of the not-so-young ones at the top of the US charts Music Week". 
  29. ^ a b c "The Richmonnd Times Dispatch 23 October 2008". 
  30. ^ "'19' going on superstar Boston Globe 12 January 2009". 
  31. ^ Saturday Night Live Season 34 Josh Brolin/Adele The New York Times
  32. ^ "Adele enjoys an "SNL" bump Newsday 20 October 2008". 
  33. ^ "AC/DC Debuts At No. 1 With 784,000 Billboard 29 October 2008". 
  34. ^ "T.I. Continues Hot 100 Dominance Billboard 30 October 2008". 
  35. ^ "Grammy countdown: Do the Jonas Brothers have best new artist locked up? Los Angeles Times 28 January 2009". 
  36. ^ "Adele offers many reasons for adulation Boston Herald 15 January 2009". 
  37. ^ " 800". 
  38. ^ a b "Adele at the Roundhouse, NW1 The Times 22 December 2008". London. 
  39. ^ (singer)&action=submit "Duffy's Hoot With Jools The Daily Record 24 December 2008". (singer)&action=submit. 
  40. ^ Perry's Platinum Pucker Recording Industry Association of America News 23 March, 2009
  41. ^ U2 Scores Q1's Top-Selling International Artist Album Billboard 3 April, 2009
  42. ^ Folk singer Donovan named 'icon' BBC 7 October, 2009
  43. ^ Prime Minister Thanks Adele For Keeping Britain Happy In Dark Times Contact Music 9 June, 2009
  44. ^ "LIVE AND DANGEROUS: Adele is definitely no Pop-Tart The Daily Aztec 12 March 2009". 
  45. ^ Adele Relaunches Unplugged MTV Uk10 June, 2009
  46. ^ Live: Adele at the Hollywood Bowl Los Angeles Times 29 June, 2009
  47. ^ Adele 'puts career on hold for dog Digital Spy 21 July, 2009
  48. ^ Tapper, Christina (September 21, 2009), "ADELE".. People. 72 (12):56
  49. ^ Adele, Leona Lewis and Kelly Clarkson for VH1 'Divas' NME 21 July, 2009
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  51. ^ "ADELE really is The Critics' Choice". 24 January 2008. 
  52. ^ "Grammy Award Website 2009 Winner List Page". 
  53. ^ "The 51st Annual Grammy Awards Nomination List 22 September 2008". 
  54. ^ "Songbirds swoop in from overseas Atlanta Journal Constitution 12 March 2009". 
  55. ^ "Adele's broken heart helps sew Grammy-winning record Houston Chronicle 11 March 2009". 
  56. ^ Grammy 1010 Nominee website
  57. ^ " Liverpool Echo 23 July 2008". 
  58. ^ "Winners for 6th Annual Urban Music Awards 2008 Announced Urban Music Awards website 16 November 2008". 
  59. ^ "MTV 2008 VMA Nomination webpage". 
  60. ^ "Duffy nominated for Q awards double Wales Online 3 September 2008". 
  61. ^ "Estelle/ Leona Lewis Lead 2008 Mobo Nominations Gigwise 11 September". 
  62. ^ "Best British breakthrough act BBC 20 January 2009". 2009-01-20. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  63. ^ "Soul singers top new talent list". BBC News. 2008-01-04. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  64. ^ "Blue-eyed soul: Encyclopedia of Modern Music The Times 1 February 2009". London. 
  65. ^ "Despite four Grammy nominations, Adele is figuring out how to be herself Westworld 21 January 2009". 
  66. ^ "Adele Guardian Interview 11 December 2008". 
  67. ^ "Adele Recoils from Botched Meeting with Justin People Magazine 5 March 2009".,,20263024,00.html. 
  68. ^ Adele: All That Jazz Venus Zine 1 March, 2009
  69. ^ "Singer-songwriter Adele brings introspection to Brit-soul scene Seattle Times". 
  70. ^ "UK Singing Sensation Adele Garners Four Grammy Nominations PRNewswire 4 December 2008". 
  71. ^ "TV Today Philidelphia Inquirer 10 December 2008". 
  72. ^ "The Guide LA Times 10 December 2008".,0,2933826.story. 
  73. ^ Show Tracker: What you're watching Los Angeles Times 25 March, 2009
  74. ^ Tonight Show Website
  75. ^ Washington Post Television listings 30 March, 2009
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  77. ^ "Adele ready to write next album BBC Radio1 24 November 2008". 2008-10-24. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  78. ^ "Burt Bacharach joined by Adele, Jamie Cullum, Beth Rowley at BBC Electric Proms NME 23 October 2008". 
  79. ^ "Q&A: Adele's charity acoustic set BBC Radio 1 12 November 2008". 2008-11-12. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  80. ^ "Adele hits the big time ITN 12 November 2008". 
  81. ^ "Amy Winehouse's Daniel duet MyPark Magazine 2 February 2009". 
  82. ^ Penate collaborates with Adele BBC 6 April, 2009
  83. ^ "X Factor Laura confirms duet with Adele What's on TV 8 December 2008". 
  84. ^ "Adele talks tricky second album BBC6 13 November 2008". 2008-11-13. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  85. ^ Adele five songs into new album NME 3 June, 2009
  86. ^ a b Talking Shop: Adele BBC 7 October, 2009
  87. ^ Tedder: 'I'm letting Adele be Adele' BBC Radio 1 14 December, 2009
  88. ^ Rick Rubin to produce new Adele album The Guardian 16 February 2010
  89. ^ "Soul diva Alicia helps raise half a million, 11 July 2008. Retrieved 12 December 2008.
  90. ^ "feeling groovy". 
  91. ^ Adele and aliens invade 'Ugly Betty's' wedding 14 May, 2009
  92. ^ a b Adele Explains Booze & Love Meltdown Contactmusic 8 June, 2009
  93. ^ "I wanted to do a happy record but I'm too sad The Sun 8 November 2008". 

External links

Preceded by
Sound of... (BBC poll)
Succeeded by
Little Boots


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