Adele is a multi-award-winning singer-songwriter from London and one of the biggest global artists of the modern era.
She is known for hit singles including Rolling In The Deep, Someone Like You, Hello and the James Bond-soundtracking Skyfall, as well as her acerbic humour.
Adele: signing to XL and debut album
Adele – full name Adele Laurie Blue Adkins MBE – studied at Croydon-based performing arts school the BRIT School, graduating in 2006. After her earliest songs, including debut single Hometown Glory, were uploaded to MySpace, she was contacted by Richard Russell, boss of the music label XL Recordings, signing with them shortly afterwards. XL A&R Nick Huggett also recommended Adele to manager Jonathan Dickins at September Management, who remains her manager 15 years later.
In 2008, Adeke came first in BBC‘s Sound Of… poll, following a debut TV appearance on Later… With Jools Holland. She was also crowned the first ever Critics’ Choice at the BRIT Awards. Debut album 19 was released later that year, debuting at No.1 in the UK Charts and gaining a nomination for a Mercury Music Prize. In the US, Adele won her first Grammys at the 2009 event, for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (for Hometown Glory).
Adele: Global Superstar
Adele’s second album, 21, was released in January 2011. It topped the charts in more than 30 countries and became the world’s best-selling album of the year for both 2011 and 2012.
Third album 25 was released in 2015, breaking further sales records. In the UK, it went Platinum in just 24 hours, despite not being on streaming services. It was added to Spotify and Apple Music seven months later.
Across three albums, Adele has been awarded a record-breaking number of Grammys and other accolades, netting nine Brit Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, 15 Grammy Awards, five American Music Awards, and two Ivor Novello Awards for Songwriter of the Year. She was awarded an MBE for services to music by the Prince of Wales in December 2013. Adele also has several Guinness World Records, including the album in UK chart history to reach sales of three million in a calendar year for 21 and the fastest time for a video to reach one billion views on YouTube with single Hello.
Adele was named by the IFPI as the most popular recording artist across the globe in 2015, after record-breaking third album, 25, sold 7.4m copies in the US alone in just six weeks at the end of 2015. In the UK, 25 was the biggest entertainment product of the year, beating the latest iterations of popular videogames series FIFA and Call Of Duty and films including Paddington and Jurassic World.
In 2017, Adele became the first artist in history to win the Grammys’ ‘big three’ (Record/Song/Album of the Year) in one night twice over, with 25 and Hello netting the singer five more wins.
It was rumoured in 2016 that Adele had signed a multi-album contract with Sony, after her original contract with XL expired in 2015. With a headline value of £90m, if paid out in full it would reportedly be biggest record deal in history.
Adele: out of the public eye
Adele lives largely outside of the limelight, and has spoken before about her stage anxiety when performing. In 2016, she told Vanity Fair: “I love being famous for my songs, but I don’t enjoy being in the public eye. I love to make music, and I love doing shows, and I needed to go back to work—not for money but because something was missing. I wasn’t creating music.
“But there is such a massive difference between what I do for my work and what I do in my real life. I don’t think anyone should be famous for going to a grocery store or a playground.”
“I love being famous for my songs, but I don’t enjoy being in the public eye.”
Adele on fame
Music Business Worldwide