(Video of Adele singing at end of post.)
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, known professionally as Adele, is an English singer-songwriter. She was the first recipient of the BRIT Awards Critics' Choice and was named the number-one predicted breakthrough act of 2008 in an annual BBC poll of music critics, Sound of 2008.
In 2009, Adele won two Grammy Awards, Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, at the 51st Grammy Awards.
At the age of 11, Adele and her mother moved to 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 Destiny's Child and Mary J Blige. Adele's interest in soul was deepened with a visit to the HMV store on London's Oxford Street. Adele attended the BRIT School in Croydon, South London, until the age of 16.
Adele graduated from The BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology in Croydon in May 2006. While in school, she was more interested in going into A&R, and hoped to launch other people's careers. Four months later, she published two songs on the fourth issue of the online arts publication PlatformsMagazine.com.
Adele 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 meeting. Nick Huggett at XL recommended Adele to manager Jonathan Dickins at September Management and in June 2006 Dickins became her official representative.
September was managing Jamie T at the time and this proved a major attraction for Adele who was a big fan of the English singer-songwriter. Huggett then signed Adele to XL in September 2006.
Since her debut, 19, Adele has received much recognition both commercially and critically. The album debuted at number one, and has been certified four times platinum in the UK. Her career in the US was boosted by a viewer record-breaking Saturday Night Live episode in late 2008.
Adele released her second album 21 in January 2011 in the UK, and February in the US. The album was a critical and commercial success, selling 208,000 copies in its first week in the UK and debuting at number one on the UK Albums Chart. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 in the US, selling 352,000 copies in its first week. The album has charted at number one in 17 European countries and the US.
After performing at the 2011 BRIT Awards, the album track "Someone Like You" reached number one in the U.K. while the album also remained at number one. "Someone Like You" held the number one position for four consecutive weeks. The Official Charts Company announced that Adele is 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
Adele's album 21 has spent eleven consecutive weeks at number one in the UK, the longest ever by a female solo artist on the UK Albums Chart, surpassing Madonna's nine weeks at number one back in 1990 with her greatest hits compilation The Immaculate Collection.