Adele, byname of Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, (born May 5, 1988, Tottenham, London, England), English pop singer and songwriter whose soulful, emotive voice and traditionally crafted songs made her one of the most broadly popular performers of her generation.
As a child, she enjoyed singing contemporary pop music and learned to play the guitar and the clarinet. However, it was not until her early teens, when she discovered rhythm-and-blues singer Etta James and other mid-20th-century performers, that she began to consider a musical career. After building anticipation in Britain with some well-received live performances, Adele released her first album, 19, in 2008. The recording debuted at number one on the British album chart, and critics praised Adele’s supple phrasing, her tasteful arrangements, and her ability to channel her intimate emotional experiences into songs that had wide resonance. For her next album 21 (2011), was a bolder and more stylistically diverse set of material, with singles ranging from the earthy gospel- and disco-inflected “Rolling in the Deep” to the affecting breakup ballad “Someone like You.”
In 2013 Adele won the Grammy for best pop solo performance for “Set Fire to the Rain,” from her concert album Live at the Royal Albert Hall (2011), and she picked up an Academy Award for the brassy theme song she provided for the blockbuster James Bond movie Skyfall (2012). Later that year she was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Adele returned in 2015 with the album 25 in which her voice was no less powerful, and her ability to sell records remained undiminished. The yearning single “Hello” became a hit in numerous countries, and more than 20 million copies of the album were sold worldwide. In addition, 25 earned Adele five more Grammys, including another sweep of the top categories.
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