Better known simply as Adele, is an English singer, songwriter and musician. Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was born in Tottenham, north London, England, to Penny Adkins, an English teenager, and Mark Evans, a Welshman, on 5 May 1988. Evans walked out on Adele when she was two, leaving her 20-year-old mother to raise her single-handedly, for which Adele has still not forgiven him. She began singing at age four and asserts that she became obsessed with voices.
Adele has cited the Spice Girls as a major influence in regard to her love and passion for music, stating that “they made me what I am today. ” At the age of nine, Adele and her mother, a furniture-maker and adult learning activities organiser, relocated to Brighton. She remains an ardent fan of her hometown Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur. At 11, she and her mother moved to Brixton, and then to neighbouring district 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 Aaliyah, Destiny’s Child and Mary J. Blige. Adele says that one of the most defining moments in her life was when she watched Pink perform at Brixton Academy. 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 A&R and hoped to launch other people’s careers.
Her debut album, 19, was released in 2008 to much commercial and critical success. Adele released her second album, 21, in early 2011. The album was well received critically and surpassed the success of her debut, earning the singer six Grammy Awards in 2012 including Album of the Year, equalling the record for most Grammy Awards won by a female artist in one night.
The success of 21 earned Adele numerous mentions in the Guinness World Records. She is the first artist to sell more than 3 million copies of an album in a year in the UK. With her two albums and the first two singles from 21, “Rolling in the Deep” and “Someone Like You”, Adele became the first living artist to achieve the feat of having two top-five hits in both the UK Official Singles Chart and the Official Albums Chart simultaneously since The Beatles in 1964.