Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (born 5 May 1988), known under the mononym Adele, is an English singer songwriter. She was the first recipient of the BRIT Awards Critics' Choice and was named the number one predicted breakthrough act of 2008 in an annual BBC poll of music critics, Sound of 2008. At the 2009 Grammy Awards, Adele won the awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Adele attracted the attention of XL Recordings with a three-song demo posted on MySpace and then signed with the label. Since her debut, 19, Adele has received much recognition both commercially and critically. The album debuted at number one, and has been certified four times platinum in the UK. Her career in the US was boosted by a viewer record–breaking Saturday Night Live episode in late 2008. Adele released her second album 21 on 24 January 2011 in the UK, and 22 February in the US. The album was a critical and commercial success, selling 208,000 copies in its first week in the UK and debuting at number one on the UK Albums Chart, a position it managed to hold for sixteen weeks. In the UK, 21 has been certified ten times Platinum for shipment of 3.0 million units. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 in the US, selling 352,000 copies in its first week. The album has charted at number one in 17 European countries and the US. After performing at the 2011 BRIT Awards, the album track "Someone Like You" reached number one in the United Kingdom, while the album also remained at number one. "Someone Like You" held the number one position for four consecutive weeks. The song has also spent 2 weeks at number one in both New Zealand and Australia. The Official Charts Company announced that Adele is the first living artist to achieve the feat of two top five hits in both the Official Singles Chart and the Official Albums Chart simultaneously since The Beatles in 1964.
"21" has spent eleven consecutive weeks at number one in the UK, the longest ever by a female solo artist on the UK Albums Chart, surpassing Madonna's nine weeks at number one in 1990 with her greatest hits compilation The Immaculate Collection. In the US the album has spent a total of nine weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 to date. The album has also broken the record for the most UK digital downloads. As of May 2011 the singer was worth £6 million tying her with Lily Allen and Duffy for 9th place on the list of the richest British and Irish music stars under age 30. Adele released her second studio album, 21, on 24 January 2011 in the UK and released it on 22 February in the U.S. The album's sound is described as classic and contemporary roots and country music. The change in sound from her first album was the result of her bus driver playing contemporary Nashville music when she was touring the American South. Adele told Spin Magazine "he listened to all this amazing country music and we'd rock out late at night, chain smoking and listening to Rascal Flatts" "It was really exciting for me because I never grew up around that music." In explaining the title choice, she states that it reflects the growth she has experienced in the last two years. The first single is a revenge tune "Rolling in the Deep", Adele described it as a "dark bluesy gospel disco tune." The single was a major success and was well received by critics. It has reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. 21 hit number 1 in Ireland, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, Austria and in March 2011 it debuted at number 1 in the United States. By June 2011, "Rolling in the Deep" had reached the top of the Billboard 100 as the album which had sold 2.2 million U.S. copies had occupied the top of the Billboard 200 for 10 weeks.