Adele (born May 5, 1988) is the British singer whose 2008 debut album won two Grammy Awards and made her a leading pop singer in the U.K and around the world. Born Adele Adkins (she performs under her first name alone), she was raised in London, grew up imitating the Spice Girls at home, and began singing in earnest at age 14, according to her official biography. After posting songs to MySpace.com, Adele was discovered by XL Recordings in 2006.
Her 2008 debut album, 19, included the singles “Hometown Glory” and “Chasing Pavements” and won her Grammy Awards as best new artist and (for “Chasing Pavements”) best female pop vocal performance. Never a pop waif, Adele is known for her smoky voice and plus-sized body, which she uses to belt out power ballads and soul-tinged pop. (Her voice “could stop traffic,” journalist Paul Rees once told the BBC.) Her follow-up album, 21, was released in 2011, debuted at #1 on the U.K. music charts, and stayed there for 10 straight weeks, selling over 4.5 million copies in the U.K. alone. It was helped along by the acclaimed heartbreak-of-romance single “Someone Like You,” which became a big hit after Adele performed it at the BRIT Awards in February of 2011. Adele had surgery on her vocal cords later that year, temporarily derailing her rise, but returned to perform “Rolling in the Deep” at the Grammy Awards in 2012. That night she took home all six Grammys she was nominated for: album of the year and best pop album (both for 21), song of the year and record of the year and best short-form music video (all for “Rolling in the Deep”), and best pop vocal performance (for “Someone Like You”). She also sang the theme song to the 2012 James Bond movie Skyfall and earned an Oscar nomination for best original song. Her third album, 25, featuring the hit single “Hello,” was released in 2015 to stellar sales. The album “shot to No 1 in the iTunes chart in 106 out of 119 countries,” according to The Guardian, and The New York Times reported that it sold “a record-shattering 3.38 million copies in the United States through its first week… nearly a million more than the previous high mark for first-week sales.”
Adele’s first child, a son named Angelo, was born in October of 2012. His father is Adele’s longtime boyfriend, Simon Konecki. He is the co-founder of the charity drop4drop.