Adele Laurie Blue Adkins MBE (/əˈdɛl/; born 5 May 1988) is an English singer and songwriter. After graduating from the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology in 2006, Adele was given a recording contract by XL Recordings after a friend posted her demo on Myspace the same year. 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 seven 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.
She released her second studio album, 21, in 2011. The album was critically well received and surpassed the success of her debut, earning the singer 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. The album has been certified 16 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 album has sold over 31 million copies worldwide. The success of 21 earned Adele numerous mentions in the Guinness Book of World Records. She was the first woman in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 to have three simultaneous top 10 singles as a lead artist, and 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. 21 is the longest-running number one album by a female solo artist in the history of the UK and US Album Charts.
In 2012, Adele released "Skyfall", which she co-wrote and recorded for the James Bond film of the same name. The song won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, as well as the Brit Award for British Single of the Year. After taking a three-year break, Adele released her third studio album, 25, in 2015. It became the year's best-selling album and broke first-week sales records in the UK and US. 25 was her second album to be certified diamond in the US and earned her five Grammy Awards, including her second Grammy Award for Album of the Year, and four Brit Awards. The lead single, "Hello", became the first song in the US to sell over one million digital copies within a week of its release. Her third concert tour, Adele Live 2016, visited Europe, North America and Oceania, and concluded with finale concerts at Wembley Stadium in late June 2017.
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 2016–17 tour saw her break attendance records in a number of countries, including the UK, Australia and the US. With sales of more than 100 million records, Adele is one of the world's best-selling music artists.