The girl from Tottenham has broken records all over again with her mammoth hit single ‘Hello’ and her upcoming definitely-gonna-be-massive album ’25’ looks set to be massive too. But how did Adele become the superstar she is today? From ’19’ to ’25’, here’s her stellar career in photos.
Adele was 15 when she had her musical epiphany, having discovered jazz records by Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald in a London record shop. She told The Telegraph in 2008: “when I listened to the Ettas and the Ellas – it sounds so cheesy – but it was like an awakening.”
’19’ was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2008, but was pipped to the post by Elbow’s ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’. The follow-up, ’21’, was also nominated but lost to PJ Harvey’s ‘Let England Shake’ in 2011. Adele’s pretty much keeping the whole music industry afloat, and what thanks does she get?
Adele wrote most of the acoustic guitar-based ’19’ at her mum’s house in Tottenham. The album went on to sell an estimated seven million copies – no wonder she’s smiling.
This is the face of a woman who was named The Sound Of 2008 by the BBC and knows she’s on the cusp of mega-fame.
The girl from Tottenham was crowned won Best New Artist at the Grammys in 2009. She took it in her stride.
February 2011: Adele has two singles (‘Someone Like You’ and ‘Rolling In The Deep’) and two albums in the Top Five. Only other two artists have achieved this – The Beatles and, improbably, 50 Cent. So she’s keeping pretty stellar company.
Adele’s just realised how much tax she paid in 2011.
Adele scooped up SIX Grammys in 2012, making a killer speech in which she exclaimed: “I just want to say, mum, your girl did good!”
Frank Ocean won the won Best Urban Contemporary Album at the Grammys in 2013. He received a standing ovation from everyone but Chris Brown, who earned the stink-eye from Adele for remaining seated. Later on, she appeared to give Brown a piece of her mind.
Having had her acceptance speech interrupted the previous year, Adele poked fun at the Brits in 2013 as she thanked them for crowning ‘Skyfall’ as ‘Best Single’. “Sorry I can’t be with you tonight,” she said, “but I’m in LA rehearsing for the Oscars. I don’t want to keep you too much because I don’t want to interrupt the Best Album speech at the end of the night.”
And this is that moment from the 2012 Brits, when Adele flipped the bird – as they say in America – at the producers who cut her off mid-speech. Ouch!
Someone like you: this is Adele’s waxwork doppelgänger, installed at Madame Tussauds in July 2013.
Adele returned earlier this year by announcing upcoming album ’25’ via Instagram, saying: My last record was a break-up record, and if I had to label this one, I would call it a make-up record. Making up for lost time. Making up for everything I ever did and never did.”
‘Hello’ became the biggest-selling UK single in three years, having also broken a one-week streaming record, with 7.32 million listens racked up in its first seven days. Adele has said of ’25’: “[It’s] about getting to know who I’ve become without realising. And I’m sorry it took so long but, you know, life happened.”