English singer-songwriter Adele Laurie Blue Adkins MBE, better known by her stage name Adele, was born on May 5, 1988. Her mezzo-soprano vocals and poignant lyricism are well-known. Adele has won multiple awards, including 16 Grammys, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Primetime Emmy.
Adele earned a record deal with XL Recordings in 2006 following her graduation from the BRIT School’s arts program. UK top-five hits “Chasing Pavements” and “Make You Feel My Love” were included on her 2008 debut album, 19, which she also released. 19 is one of the top 20 best-selling debut albums of all time in the UK, having sold over 2.5 million copies there. The Grammy Award for Best New Artist was given to Adele.
2011 saw Adele release 21—her second studio album. With sales of over 31 million, it became the best-selling album of the twenty-first century worldwide. With its three hit singles, “Rolling in the Deep,” “Someone like You,” and “Set Fire to the Rain,” topping charts globally and becoming as her signature songs, 21 retains the record for the best-performing album in US chart history. It also topped the Billboard 200 for 24 weeks. Six Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, were given to the album, setting a new record. When Adele released “Skyfall” in 2012, it was from the soundtrack of the James Bond movie Skyfall. Adele won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
2015 saw the release of Adele’s third studio album, 25, which broke records for first-week sales in both the US and the UK. It continues to be the only album to sell more than three million copies in the US in a single week. She won five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, with her album 25. “Hello” became the main single and was extremely successful all over the world. 2021 saw the release of her fourth studio album, 30, which featured the Grammy-winning and chart-topping single “Easy on Me”. In 2015 and 2021, respectively, 25 and 30 emerged as the best-selling albums globally, encompassing both the US and the UK. All of her studio albums from the 21st century have topped the annual best-selling albums chart globally as of 2023, with the exception of album 19.
Adele has sold over 120 million records globally, making her one of the best-selling musicians in the world. In the US and globally, she was declared the best-selling artist of the 2010s; in the UK, she was voted the best-selling female artist of the 21st century. More than any other artist who made their debut in the 21st century, her studio albums 21 and 25 have received Diamond certification in the US.
On May 5, 1988, in the Tottenham neighborhood of London, Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was born. Her parents, Marc Evans, a Welshman, and Penny Adkins, an Englishwoman, were there. Adele’s mother raised her after Evans departed when she was two years old. She claims to have become infatuated with voices when she started singing at the age of 4. The 9-year-old Adele and her mother moved to Brighton, England’s south coast, in 1997. By that time, the mother had secured employment as a furniture maker and an adult education coordinator.
Adele returned to London with her mother in 1999; they first settled in Brixton and later in the nearby South London neighborhood of West Norwood, which is the theme of Adele’s debut song, “Hometown Glory”. Adele’s song “Million Years Ago” from 2015 recalls her time spent playing the guitar and singing to friends at Brockwell Park, where she spent a large portion of her childhood. She said, “I drove past it [in 2015] and I just broke down in tears. It has quite monumental moments of my life that I’ve spent there.” I truly did miss it.” May 2006 saw Adele graduate from the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology in Croydon, where she was a fellow student of Jessie J. and Leona Lewis. Even though at the time Adele was more interested in going into artists and repertoire (A&R) and planned to start other people’s careers, she credits the institution with cultivating her creativity.
Jazz and R&B are interspersed with the soul genre throughout Adele’s body of work. Her soul-infused debut album, 19, features lyrics about relationships and heartbreak. The British press dubbed her a new Amy Winehouse, and she enjoyed success at the same time as numerous other British female soul singers. It was said that the US was experiencing a third British musical invasion. However, Adele stated that “we’re a gender, not a genre” and criticized the comparisons made between herself and other female soul singers as being lazy. “Adele is simply too magical to compare her to anyone,” stated AllMusic.
While Adele’s 2008–09 tour An Evening with Adele in North America exposed her to American country and Southern blues music, her second album, 21, also draws from these genres. Adele’s debut album was influenced by folk and soul. The album, which was conceived following Adele’s breakup with a boyfriend, is a prime example of the nearly extinct confessional singer-songwriter genre since it explores themes of heartbreak, introspection, and forgiveness. Adele dubbed her third studio album, 25, a “make-up record” after calling her previous album, 21, a “break-up record.” She also stated that the album is about “making up for lost time.” compensating for all of my past actions and inactions.” 30 is a compilation of jazz, pop, and soul tunes. Critics have referred to it as Adele’s most innovative album sonically, building on her previous work by adding dance-pop, gospel, and R&B components.
Adele’s range ranges from B2 to C6, making her a mezzo-soprano. But Classic FM notes that because she uses a tight chest mix to get to the lower notes, people frequently mistake her for a contralto. They also observe that as she moves up the register, especially from C4 to C5, her voice gets clearest. According to Rolling Stone, she had added four notes to the top of her range and her voice was “palpably bigger and purer-toned” after undergoing throat surgery. Adele concurred with the first criticism that her voice were more interesting and well-developed than her songwriting. Music critics have praised Adele for her vocals. In its assessment of 19 “The way she stretched the vowels, her wonderful soulful phrasing, the sheer unadulterated pleasure of her voice, stood out all the more; little doubt that she’s a rare singer” . According to BBC Music, “Her melodies exude warmth, her singing is occasionally stunning and, …she has tracks that make Lily Allen and Kate Nash sound every bit as ordinary as they are.” Another article from The Guardian in 2008 quoted Sylvia Patterson as saying, “Of all the gobby new girls, only Adele’s bewitching singing voice has the enigmatic quality which causes tears of involuntary emotion to splash down your face in the way Eva Cassidy’s did before her.”
According to senior music critic Jon Pareles of The New York Times, Adele has an expressive tone that is reminiscent of Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, and Annie Lennox. He noted in his assessments of 21 that “[Adele] can seethe, sob, rasp, swoop, lilt and belt, in ways that draw more attention to the song than to the singer.” Her voice has been described as “a raspy, aged-beyond-its-years thing of full-blooded beauty” by Ryan Reed of Paste magazine and as “the finest singer of [our] generation” by Tom Townshend of MSN Music. Adele is known as a “vocal goddess” as well.