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Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (born 5 May 1988 in Enfield, North London), known professionally as Adele, is an English jazz singer. Adele has described her musical style as "heartbroken soul". She is the first recipient of the Brit Awards Critics' Choice, which was given to artists who, at the time, had yet to release an album. She debuted at number one with her Mercury Prize nominated debut album 19 in the UK album chart and has since then been certificated platinum with sales over 500,000 copies.
Adele's first public singing performance was in a school presentation where she sang "Rise" by Gabrielle. To make her look like the singer, her mother made an eye patch with sequins, which she said was embarrassing. Adele then claimed she was influenced from the music of Etta James and Dusty Springfield at her teens by accident, as she stumbled on the artists' CDs in HMV in the Classics section while looking for a new hair style. She only got to listen to those songs for the first time as she was clearing her bedroom. She graduated from The BRIT School for performing arts & technology in Croydon in May 2006, which was the same performing arts school attended by Amy Winehouse, Katie Melua, Leona Lewis and Kate Nash. Adele credits the school with nurturing her talent. A month later, she published two songs on the fourth issue of online arts publication PlatformsMagazine.com. Since then Adele has played in small UK gigs, and has toured with best friend Jack Peñate, as well as Jamie T, Raul Midon, Amos Lee and Devendra Banhart. Adele went on her first UK headlining tour in October 2007. During her teenage years she recorded demo's and gave it to her friend Lyndon. He eventually put it on MySpace and it became very successful there. Adele got a record deal through MySpace. When she got a phone call she couldn't believe it was real because the only record company she knew was Virgin Records. When a friend told her that it was a real record company she signed.
Adele's first record, "Hometown Glory", in which she sings the praises of Tottenham, was released on 22 October 2007 as a limited edition 7" vinyl on Jamie T's label Pacemaker Recordings, with B side "Best For Last". "Hometown Glory" was featured as the single of the week on iTunes. Since launching her MySpace page on Christmas Eve 2004, Adele became popular on the site which she used as a media focus and test point for songs. She then signed to independent music label XL Recordings. In January 2008 released her second single "Chasing Pavements", hitting #2 for 4 weeks in the UK Chart and still in the Top 40 14 weeks after release.