Adele Laurie Blue Adkins MBE (born 5 May 1988) is an English singer-songwriter. After graduating from the BRIT School in 2006, Adele signed a recording contract with XL Recordings. In 2007, she received the Brit Awards Critics’ Choice Award and won the BBC Sound of 2008 poll. Her debut album, 19, was released in 2008. It is certified eight times platinum in the UK, and three times platinum in the US. The album contains her first song, “Hometown Glory”, written when she was 16, which is based on her home suburb of West Norwood in London. An appearance she made on Saturday Night Live in late 2008 boosted her career in the US. At the 51st Grammy Awards in 2009, Adele won the awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Adele released her second studio album, 21, in 2011. The album was critically well-received and surpassed the success of her debut, earning numerous awards in 2012, among them a record-tying six Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year; two Brit Awards, including British Album of the Year; and three American Music Awards, including Favorite Pop/Rock Album. The album has been certified 17 times platinum in the UK, and is overall the fourth best-selling album in the nation. In the US, it has held the top position longer than any album since 1985, and is certified diamond. The best-selling album worldwide of 2011 and 2012, 21 has sold over 31 million copies. The success of 21 earned Adele numerous mentions in the Guinness Book of Records. She was the first woman in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 to have three simultaneous top 10 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.
In 2012, Adele released “Skyfall”, which she co-wrote and recorded for the James Bond film of the same name. The song won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, as well as the Brit Award for British Single of the Year. After taking a three-year break, Adele released her third studio album, 25, in 2015. It 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 third concert tour, Adele Live 2016, visited Europe, North America and Oceania, and concluded with finale concerts at Wembley Stadium in late June 2017.
In 2011, 2012, and 2016, Adele was named Artist of the Year by Billboard. 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. Her 2016–2017 tour, saw her break attendance records in a number of countries, including the UK, Australia, and the US. With sales of more than 120 million records, Adele is one of the world’s best-selling music artists.
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was born on 5 May 1988 in Tottenham, London, to an English mother, Penny Adkins, and a Welsh father, Marc Evans. Evans left when Adele was two, leaving her mother to raise her. She began singing at the age of four and asserts that she became obsessed with voices. In 1997, at the age of nine, 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 A&R and hoped to launch other people’s careers.
Adele began dating charity entrepreneur and Old Etonian Simon Konecki in the summer of 2011. In June 2012, Adele announced that she and Konecki were expecting a child. Their son Angelo James was born on 19 October 2012. On the topic of becoming a parent, Adele observed that she “felt like I was truly living. I had a purpose, where before I didn’t”. Adele and Konecki brought a privacy case against a UK-based photo agency that published intrusive paparazzi images of their son taken during family outings in 2013. Lawyers working on their behalf accepted damages from the company in July 2014. Adele has also stated that she has suffered from postnatal depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and panic attacks.
In early 2017, tabloids started speculating that Adele and Konecki had secretly married when they were spotted wearing matching rings on their ring fingers. During her acceptance speech at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards for Album of the Year, Adele confirmed these reports of their marriage by calling Konecki her husband when thanking him. She repeated this in March 2017, telling the audience at a concert in Brisbane, Australia, “I’m married now”. Adele became a stay-at-home mother. In April 2019, Adele’s representatives announced to the Associated Press that she and Konecki had separated after more than seven years together, but that they would continue to raise their son together. On 13 September 2019, it was reported that Adele had filed for divorce from Konecki in the US.
Politically, she is a supporter of the Labour Party, stating in 2011 that she was a “Labour girl through and through”, and in the same interview was critical of the Conservative Party. Despite this declared political affiliation, Adele received backlash after comments about paying taxes during a 2011 interview with Q magazine. She stated, “I use the NHS, I can’t use public transport any more, doing what I do, I went to state school, I’m mortified to have to pay 50 percent! Trains are always late, most state schools are shit and I’ve gotta give you like four million quid, are you having a laugh? When I got my tax bill in from 19 I was ready to go and buy a gun and randomly open fire.” In 2015, Adele stated “I’m a feminist, I believe that everyone should be treated the same, including race and sexuality”.
Born in the North London district of Tottenham, Adele supports local football club Tottenham Hotspur. In 2017, Adele was ranked the richest musician under 30 years old in the UK and Ireland in the Sunday Times Rich List, which valued her wealth at £125 million. She was ranked the 19th richest musician overall. On the 2019 list, she was valued at £150 million as the 22nd richest musician in the UK.
Supportive of the LGBT community, on 12 June 2016, an emotional Adele dedicated her show in Antwerp, Belgium to the victims of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, United States earlier that day, adding “The LGBTQ community, they’re like my soul mates since I was really young, so I’m very moved by it.” In April 2018, it was widely reported that Adele had become an ordained minister in order to officiate at close friend comedian Alan Carr’s wedding to Paul Drayton, something which Adele herself subsequently confirmed. The wedding, held in January 2018, took place in the garden of her house in Los Angeles, California.
- Studio Albums
- 19 (2008)
- 21 (2011)
- 25 (2015)
- Live Albums
- Live at the Royal Albert Hall (2011)
- An Evening with Adele (2008–09)
- Adele Live (2011)
- Adele Live 2016 (2016–17)