Adele Laurie Blue Adkins MBE (born May 5, 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 to commercial and critical success. 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 received 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 World Records. She was the first female artist to simultaneously have two albums in the top five of the Billboard 200 and two singles in the top five of the Billboard Hot 100, as well as 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. 21 is the longest-running number one album by a female solo artist in the history of the UK and US Album Charts.
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.