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Adele

Singer Adele is a Grammy Award-winning artist whose throwback,


soulful sound has made her an international success with hits like
"Rolling in the Deep," "Someone Like You" and "Hello."
Who Is Adele?

Adele is a British singer-songwriter who has sold millions of albums worldwide and won a
total of 15 Grammys as well as an Oscar. Adele’s first two albums, 19 and 21, earned her
critical praise and a level of commercial success unsurpassed among her peers. After
becoming a mom in 2012, Adele returned to the charts with the ballad "Hello" in 2015, the
lead single from what was dubbed her comeback album 25. In 2017, she won five
Grammys for her work on 25, including album, record and song of the year.

Early Life, Education and Influences

Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was born on May 5, 1988, in North London, England. Adele was
the only child of Penny Adkins, an "arty mom" who was just 18 at the time of her birth, and
a Welsh father, Mark Evans, who left the family when Adele was only four years old.

Evans remained in contact with his daughter up until her teen years, when his problems
with alcohol and increasing estrangement from his daughter caused their relationship to
deteriorate. By contrast, Adele grew close to her mom, who encouraged her young daughter
"to explore, and not to stick with one thing."

Early on, Adele developed a passion for music. She gravitated toward the songs of Lauryn
Hill, Mary J. Blige and Destiny's Child. But her true, eye-opening moment came when she
was 15 and she happened upon a collection of Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald records at a
local shop.

“There was no musical heritage in our family,” Adele told The Telegraph in a 2008
interview. "Chart music was all I ever knew. So when I listened to the Ettas and the Ellas, it
sounds so cheesy, but it was like an awakening. I was like, oh, right, some people have
proper longevity and are legends. I was so inspired that as a 15-year-old I was listening to
music that had been made in the '40s."

While clearly bright, Adele wasn't oriented towards traditional classroom settings. Instead,
her mother enrolled her in the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology, which
counts Amy Winehouse as an alum.
While at school, Adele cut a three-track demo for a class project that was eventually posted
on her MySpace page. When executives at XL Recordings heard the tracks, they contacted
the singer and, in November 2006, just four months after Adele had graduated school,
signed her to a record deal.

Adele’s Albums

‘19’ (2008)

Adele's debut album, 19, which is named for the singer's age when she began recording the
project, went on sale in early 2008. Led by two popular lead singles, "Hometown Glory"
and "Chasing Pavements," the record rocketed Adele to fame.

Released in the United States through Columbia Records, 19 resonated with American


audiences, much as it had with British music fans. Adele cemented her commercial success
with an appearance in October 2008 on Saturday Night Live. At the taping of the show, the
album was ranked No. 40 on iTunes. Less than 24 hours later, it was No. 1.

‘21’ (2011)

Adele’s much-anticipated follow-up album, 21, again named for her age at the time of
recording, did not disappoint upon its release in early 2011. Tapping even deeper into
Adele's appreciation for classic American R&B and jazz, the record was a monster hit,
selling 352,000 copies within its first week.
Adele
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images
Anchored by hits like "Rolling in the Deep" and "Someone Like You," 21 placed Adele in
rarified air. In February 2011, she found herself with two Top 5 singles and a pair of Top 5
albums in the same week, becoming the only artist besides the Beatles and 50 Cent to
achieve that milestone. And with 21 staying at No. 1 for 11 weeks, Adele also broke the
solo female artist record previously held by Madonna's Immaculate Collection for
consecutive weeks atop the album charts. 21 went on to sell more than 30 million copies
worldwide.

'25' (2015)

On October 22, 2015, Adele announced that she would release her third album, 25, in
November. She posted 25's cover on Instagram, and said of her first full-length studio
project in several years: "My last record was a break-up record, and if I had to label this
one, I would call it a make-up record. Making up for lost time. Making up for everything I
ever did and never did. 25 is about getting to know who I've become without realizing. And
I'm sorry it took so long but, you know, life happened."

25, released in November 2015, is a collection of emotional, sometimes plaintive songs


looking at the ins and outs of relationships, owing much of its sound to traditional pop
craft. The album went on to become an international smash hit, reaching No. 1 on iTunes in
110 countries. In the U.S., 25 sold 3.38 million copies in seven days, beating the 'NSync
record of 2.42 million album copies sold in a week. Among other feats, 25 is also the only
album to reach a million copies sold in the United States in 10 days.

Adele’s Top Songs

"Chasing Pavements" (2009)

The first of Adele’s songs to hit the Billboard Hot 100, “Chasing Pavements,” the lead
single from her debut album, peaked at No. 21 on February 28, 2009. The singer says she
wrote the song after an argument with her then-boyfriend in a London club. "It was six in
the morning. There was no one chasing me, I wasn't chasing anyone. I was just running
away. I remember saying to myself, 'What you're chasing is you're chasing an empty
pavement,'" she said.

"Rolling in the Deep" (2011)

Adele wrote her first No. 1 Billboard single, “Rolling in the Deep,” the day after breaking
up with her “first real relationship” that she later said, “made me an adult.” From her
sophomore album 21, the ballad hit a chord with her listeners, spending seven weeks at the
top of the Hot 100 charts beginning on May 21, 2011, as well as 19 weeks at the top spot on
Billboard’s Adult Contemporary charts.
"Someone Like You" (2011)

Adele’s second song to hit No. 1 was also from the album 21, which Adele said she wrote
to help her get over her breakup — reportedly with Alex Sturrock, a 31-year-old
photographer. “Someone Like You” spent five weeks at the No. 1 position on the Billboard
Hot 100 beginning on September 17, 2011.

"Set Fire to the Rain" (2012)

Adele’s third consecutive No. 1 song from the album 21, the power ballad
“Set Fire to the Rain,” spent two weeks at the Hot 100 spot beginning
February 4, 2012. During a live show, the singer explained she got
inspiration for the counterintuitive lyrics when her lighter stopped working
in the rain.

"Rumour Has It" (2012)

From Adele’s album 21, “Rumor Has It,” written for Adele by singer-
songwriter Ryan Tedder, spent 19 weeks on the Billboard charts, hitting
No. 16 on the Hot 100 on May 5, 2012.

"Skyfall" (2012)

The “Skyfall” single, recorded for the James Bond movie of the same
name, hit No. 8 on the Hot 100 Billboard charts on October 20, 2012.

“Hello” (2015)

On October 23, 2015, Adele released the ballad "Hello," an epic track that
again showcased her soaring voice over classic pop craft. The
accompanying visual clip, featuring actor Tristan Wilds as the romantic
interest, was directed by up-and-coming filmmaker Xavier Dolan and
reportedly became the first music video to be shot with IMAX cameras.

"Hello" debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's pop charts, thus becoming Adele's


fourth chart-topper and making history as the first single to receive more
than 1 million downloads in a week's time. The song remained at No. 1 for
multiple weeks in the United States as well.
"Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" (2016)

This track, from Adele’s 2015 album 25, was Adele’s fifth song to hit No. 1
on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary charts. It also hit the No. 8 spot on the
Hot 100 on September 24, 2016.

“When We Were Young” (2016)

Adele's second single off of 25 was "When We Were Young," a


meditation on looking back and growing older. The song hit No. 14 on the
Hot 100 charts on March 5, 2016.

Grammys and Awards

Adele has been nominated for 18 Grammys and won a total of 15 at the
awards ceremonies in 2009, 2012 and 2017. She also received a
songwriting Oscar for the James Bond track "Skyfall."

At the 2009 Grammy awards, Adele took home Best New Artist. In
addition, the album earned the singer the distinction of being named the
"Sound of 2008" by the BBC. That same year, she earned the Critics'
Choice prize at the BRIT Awards.

In 2012, Adele swept the Grammy Awards, taking home six wins,
including Album of the Year. "This record is inspired by something that is
really normal and everyone's been through it—just a rubbish relationship,"
she said at the ceremony.

In 2013, Adele won her seventh Grammy (Best Pop Solo Performance)
for her hit single "Set Fire to the Rain." That same year, the singer won a
Golden Globe and an Academy Award for "Skyfall," the theme song for
the 2013 James Bond film of the same name.

In 2016, Adele performed the ballad "All I Ask," co-written by Bruno Mars,
on the 58th Annual Grammy Awards while dealing with technical glitches
from the accompanying piano.
In 2017, Adele returned to the Grammy stage and had to stop her tribute
to the late George Michael, a slowed down version of his song "Fastlove,"
and start over, saying: "I'm sorry — I can’t mess this up for him." She
went on to sing the song to a standing ovation. She then swept the
awards with five wins for her work on 25, including album, record and
song of the year, as well as Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Pop
Vocal Album. With her historic wins, Adele became the first artist in
Grammy history to sweep the top three categories twice.

In her acceptance speech for album of the year, she acknowledged fellow
nominee Beyoncé and her groundbreaking album Lemonade. “But my
artist of my life is Beyoncé, and this album for me, the Lemonade album,
was just so monumental," she said.

Husband and Child

In 2011, Adele met her former partner Simon Konecki, who is 13 years
her senior and the founder of Life water and the charity Drop4Drop. On
June 29, 2012, Adele announced on her website that she was pregnant
with the couple’s first child. She spoke to People magazine about being a
mother: "I really want to be a mum. I better start getting on with it!" she
said. She gave birth to her son Angelo on October 19, 2012.

In early 2017, Adele was spotted wearing a wedding band, sparking


marriage rumors. At her January 2017 Grammy acceptance speech,
Adele appeared to confirm the rumors by calling Konecki her husband.
“Grammys, I appreciate it, the Academy, I love you, my manager, my
husband and my son – you’re the only reason I do it,” she said at the
time. Although in interviews backstage she referred to Konecki as her
“partner,” she confirmed her marriage in March during a concert in
Brisbane, Australia.

In April 2019, the singer's representatives revealed that Adele and


Konecki had split.

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