Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was born on 5th May, 1988. It’s rude to ask a lady her age, so simply refer to the name of her most recent album. Her debut, 19, was released when she was, well, 19. Likewise with 21. They may be only numbers, but it’s a nice, personal touch – an honesty befitting of her heartfelt, soulful chooones.
She was raised by her teenage mother in Tottenham, London, and then later in West Norwood, South London. There she attended the prestigious BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology in Croydon, graduating in May 2006. Leona Lewis and Jessie J were among her classmates - that’s some year.
Adele released her breakthrough song, Hometown Glory, in late 2007. She became the first recipient of the BRIT Awards Critics’ Choice and came top of the BBC’s Sound of 2008 poll, which predicts those most likely to make it big. January 2008 saw Adele release her second single, Chasing Pavements, which stayed at number two in the UK Chart for four weeks, and her debut album, the aforementioned 19, which entered the British album charts at number one.
She toured America through 2008 in an attempt to break America, but by October it seemed doomed to failure. Cue an unlikely saviour – the then current US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Adele was booked to perform as a guest on Saturday Night Live, as was Palin. The episode was hotly anticipated because of Palin’s guest spot, and earned the show’s best ratings in 14 years with 17 million viewers. The following day, Adele’s 19 had topped the iTunes charts. America had been cracked.
But it is her bold performance of Someone Like You at the 2011 BRIT Awards that best displays Adele’s appeal. She bared her soul that night before the thousands in attendance and millions watching at home. It propelled that track and her second album, 21, to the top of their respective charts in the UK. She was the first living artist to achieve two top five hits in both the Official Singles Chart and Official Albums Chart simultaneously since The Beatles in 1964... and they were pretty good.
By 2012, 21, has broken chart records worldwide, it's been in the US No 1 spot for longer than any album since 1985, it's earned Adele awards around the globe including six Grammys and is now in the Guiness Book of Records.
2013 has seen Adele's success only continue. She scooped Best Original Song for her Bond theme tune Skyfall at the Oscars. She dedicated the award to her son, who was born in October last year. While a new album is slowly in the works, it's not expected to be released for some time. Adele has insisted that she will only release a new album when she has "something to sing about".