In a few short years the straight-talking and unpretentious Adele Laurie Blue Adkins has become one of the UK's most popular and critically acclaimed singer/songwriter of the 21st century. Adele is the most successful alumni of the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology. After graduating from the school in 2006 (where she was a contemporary of both Jessie J and Leona Lewis), a three song demo posted on MySpace went viral and the huge attention soon garnered her a recording contract with XL Records. She also received significant support and exposure from UK's BBC Radio 1 and although the limited edition 7" vinyl single 'Hometown Glory' released on Pacemaker Records failed to chart, her first recording for XL 'Chasing Pavements' broke into the UK Top 3. That song with its potent heart on sleeve lyrics appealed to a wide public who related to its honesty. It was an artistic and commercial triumph and her debut album 19 soon went quadruple platinum (1,200,000 copies) and topped the UK charts, while in the USA it hit the Top 5 and achieved double platinum status (2,000,000). With worldwide sales in now in excess of seven million copies the record yielded more hit singles with the re-released 'Hometown Glory' plus 'Cold Shoulder' and an emotive version of Bob Dylan's 'Make You Feel My Love'.
Prior to the release of her second album, the single 'Rolling In The Deep' topped the charts in eleven countries including the USA where it became her first number one while the promotional video walked away with numerous awards including Best Editing, Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. 21 was released in January 2011 and debuted at the top of the UK album charts, shortly after which her poignant rendition of 'Someone Like You' performed live at that year's Brit Awards enraptured both the live and worldwide TV audience and catapulted the studio version of the song to number one in the UK singles chart, a feat later emulated in several other territories including the USA where it became her second chart-topper. The new album's success eclipsed her debut's with phenomenal worldwide sales in excess of twenty-eight million copies, ten million of those in the USA alone and also provided more hits with 'Set Fire To The Rain' (her third US number one) and 'Turning Tables'.
After several months recuperating from throat surgery for vocal cord problems Adele performed a barnstorming live version of 'Rolling In The Deep' at the 2012 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles for which she received a standing ovation from a celebrity laden audience that included Sir Paul McCartney, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay and the Foo Fighters. She also took home no fewer than six Awards, 'Rolling In The Deep' picking up three for Record Of Year, Song Of The Year and Best Short Form Video, 21 winning Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Album while 'Someone Like You' took the award for Best Pop Solo Performance. The first new non-studio album track to appear in 2012 was her interpretation of Bonnie Raitt's tearjerker 'I Can't Make You Love Me' taken from the previous year's CD/DVD Live At The Royal Albert Hall.
Adele had also been commissioned to co-write and sing the theme to the forthcoming James Bond film 'Skyfall' which on release became a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic and won her the Best Original Song award at both the Academy Awards (the Oscars) and the Golden Globes. While many songs on Adele's first two albums had been lyrically inspired by her own relationships and heartbreak 'Skyfall' (co-written with her producer Paul Epworth) demonstrated that she comfortably followed in the tradition of the great songwriters and composers able to write to a designated theme or topic. This versatility boded well for future work when personal songs drawn from her own life experiences are exhausted.
The birth of her son Angelo in October 2012 resulted in Adele taking some time out of the spotlight (despite picking up an MBE for services to music in the 2013 Queen's honours list), and it wasn't until October 2015 that her many adoring fans heard any new material, with the release of 'Hello', the lead single from her third album 25. Released in November 2015, 25 was undoubtedly one of the most hotly anticipated albums of the last decade, and was generally well received, with Adele appearing on a BBC special to perform songs from both her new album and back catalogue.
Although singers possessing a contralto voice and a two octave vocal range are nothing out of the ordinary Adele is gifted with a wonderful tone and a skilful control of a highly expressive voice that allows her to easily imbue her songs with great emotion. Her rise to fame has been both meteoric and phenomenal, her achievements are exceptional: selling in excess of thirty-five million albums worldwide with three consecutive US chart-toppers and she has broken many established records and statistics around the World. She is the recipient of numerous music industry awards including several American Music Awards, BRIT Awards and ten Grammys, the latter already placing her in the all-time top 10 list of the most Grammy Awards won by a female artist.
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