Adele Laurie Blue Adkins is an English singer and songwriter. She is one of the world's best-selling music artists, with sales of over 120 million records. After graduating in arts from the BRIT School in 2006, Adele signed a record deal with XL Recordings. Her debut album, 19, was released in 2008 and spawned the UK top-five singles "Chasing Pavements" and "Make You Feel My Love". The album was certified 8× platinum in the UK and triple platinum in the US. Adele was honoured with the Brit Award for Rising Star as well as the Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
Adele released her second studio album, 21, in 2011. It became the world's best-selling album of the 21st century, with sales of over 31 million copies. It was certified 17× platinum in the UK (the highest by a solo artist of all time) and Diamond in the US. According to Billboard, 21 is the top-performing album in the US chart history, topping the Billboard 200 for 24 weeks (the longest for a female artist ever). She was the first female artist in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 to have three simultaneous top-ten singles as a lead artist, with "Rolling in the Deep", "Someone Like You", and "Set Fire to the Rain", all of which also topped the chart. The album received a record-tying six Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, and the Brit Award for British Album of the Year. The success of 21 earned Adele numerous mentions in the Guinness Book of Records.
In 2012, Adele released "Skyfall", a soundtrack single for the James Bond film of the same name, which won the Academy Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. Her third studio album, 25, was released in 2015 and became the year's best-selling album and broke first-week sales records in the UK and US. 25 was her second album to be certified Diamond in the US and earned her five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, and four Brit Awards, including British Album of the Year. The lead single, "Hello", became the first song in the US to sell over one million digital copies within a week of its release. Her fourth studio album 30, which contains the chart-topping single "Easy on Me", was released in 2021 and became the year's best-selling album worldwide including US and UK. 30 won the 2022 Brit Award for British Album of the Year.
Adele's accolades include fifteen Grammy Awards and twelve Brit Awards. In 2011, 2012, and 2016, Billboard named her Artist of the Year. At the 2012 and 2016 Ivor Novello Awards, Adele was named Songwriter of the Year by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors. In 2012, she was listed at number five on VH1's 100 Greatest Women in Music. Time magazine named her one of the most influential people in the world in 2012 and 2016. She was appointed a MBE at the 2013 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to music. Her third tour saw her break attendance records globally, including in the UK, Australia, and the US, and her album 21 has been listed in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (2020).
Early life and education
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was born on 5 May 1988 in the Tottenham district of London, to an English mother, Penny Adkins, and a Welsh father, Marc Evans. Evans left when Adele was 2, and she was brought up by her mother. She began singing at age 4 and asserts that she became obsessed with voices. In 1997, 9-year-old Adele and her mother, who by then had found work as a furniture maker and an adult-learning activities organiser, relocated to Brighton on the south coast of England.
In 1999, she and her mother moved back to London; first to Brixton, then to the neighbouring district of West Norwood in south London, which is the subject of her first song "Hometown Glory". She spent much of her youth in Brockwell Park where she would play the guitar and sing to friends, which she recalled in her 2015 song "Million Years Ago". She stated, "It has quite monumental moments of my life that I've spent there, and I drove past it in 2015 and I just literally burst into tears. I really missed it." Adele graduated from the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology in Croydon in May 2006, where she was a classmate of Leona Lewis and Jessie J. Adele credits the school with nurturing her talent even though, at the time, she was more interested in going into artists and repertoire (A&R) and hoped to launch other people's careers.