Born in Tottenham, she began singing at age four and asserts that she became obsessed with voices–an obsession she still has. Adele would impersonate the Spice Girls at dinner parties and, as a preteen, she sang Destiny’s Child songs at her school. To make her look like the singer Gabrielle, her mother made an eye patch with sequins, which Adele said was embarrassing. Adele went through a phase where she wore Slipknot clothing and a studded dog collar. 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. 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, including Adele’s former classmate Leona Lewis.
She has described her musical style as ” heartbroken soul.”Adele wrote her first record, “Hometown Glory” when she was 16 years old. During her teenage years she recorded a three-song demo for a class project and gave it to her friend, Lyndon. The song was co written with songwriter Eg White who provided the orchestration. White won the 2009 Ivor Novello Award for “Songwriter of the Year” in part for his work on Chasing Pavements.
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 Mc Cartney and Björk. 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 abum, ’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.
Adele began touring and making public appearances in support of the album. In March of 2008, she embarked on a short North American tour, and the following month she played the Coachella Festival On 16 June, Adele performed an exclusive set for ‘Billboard’ magazine. In September, she played New York’s Webster Hall and made several television and radio appearances in that city.
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. Adele made her United States television debut on ‘The Today Show’ By October 2008, her attempt to break America seemed to have failed. 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”, and the following day, ’19’ topped the i Tunes charts and ranked at number five at Amazon.com, while “Chasing Pavements” rose into the Top 25. The ’19’ was still at the number two position on i Tunes 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. “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. 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.
Several weeks later, she returned to the US for an 11-city tour. She received “gushing adulation” in Boston. 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. Adele performed a Christmas show at The Roundhouse in London. She performed for the 2009 edition of Jools Holland’s New Year’s Eve Show.
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. The album sold 230,000 copies in the United States during the first quarter of 2009 ranking it fourth among international artists. Adele earned a Broadcast Music Incorporated certificate when “Chasing Pavements” was played over 3 million times on United States radio and television. 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 launched a 15-city North American tour that started 9 March. On 10 June, Adele relaunched the ‘MTV Unplugged’ series with a six song acoustic set.
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. As of July 2009, the album had sold 2.2 million copies.
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.
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.On 10 December 2007, Adele was awarded the first Brit Awards Critics’ Choice Award
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 Adele was also nominated for Grammy Awards in the categories of Record of the Year and Song of the Year. During the awards show she performed with Sugarland . As per English tradition Adele planned to store the Awards on a cabinet or shelf in her bathroom. Adele has been nominated for a 2010 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for Hometown Glory.
Adele was nominated for a 2008 Mercury Prize award for ’19’. She also won an Urban Music Award for “Best Jazz Act”. Her video for “Chasing Pavements” received an MTV Video Music Awards nomination in the category of Best Choreography as well as a 2008 Q Awards nomination in the category of Breakthrough Act and Music of Black Origin nomination in the category of Best UK Female.
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..
Adele was nominated for three 2009 Brit Awards in the categories of ‘Best British female’, ‘Best British single’, and ‘Best British breakthrough act’.
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”. Her music was described by the Richmond Times Dispatch music critic as “a perfect backdrop to a lazy afternoon in the coffee shop”.
Adele agrees with critics that have suggested that her vocals are more developed and intriguing than her songwriting.
Adele’s success occurred simultaneously with several other British female soul singers. The British press has dubbed her a new Amy Winehouse. 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!”
By the beginning of 2009 listeners and critics started to describe Adele as unique. All Music wrote that “Adele is simply too magical to compare her to anyone”.
In early 2008, Adele performed a cover of ‘Last Nite’ by The Strokes in BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge.
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.
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’
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’, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Ellen Degeneres Show.. Adele appeared on ‘Dancing With the Stars’, ‘The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brian’. and made a return appearance on the ‘Late Show with David Letterman’.’Fool That I Am’ by Etta James is Adele’s staple cover song. In September 2008, Adele released her version of “Many Shades of Black” by The Raconteurs on to her My Space page. Adele covered the single at the groups request. Adele’s cover appears on the B-Side of the single .
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”.
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. 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’.
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.Singer Laura White has confirmed that Adele will duet with her at Adele’s suggestion. 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.”. Adele has said her break-up with her boyfriend in 2008 may provide inspiration for some songs.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”. Annie Leibovitz photographed Adele for Vogue magazine’s April 2009 to accompany a feature story in which Adele discussed her fashion preferences.
Adele played herself performing at a wedding on the 13 May 2009 episode of the American television show ‘Ugly Betty’.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”.
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.. In October 2009 Adele was living with her mother in a flat she bought for both in Battersea..