Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, 5 May 1988, Tottenham, London, England. Although the wave of media interest surrounding her at the start of 2008 could be attributed to the vogue for sassy female singer-songwriters in the mould of Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen, this London-based artist was distinguished from the pack by virtue of her superb, soul-inflected vocals.
Raised in north London, Adkins attended the prestigious BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology in Croydon, Surrey. During her time at the school she began writing songs and toured with her friend Jack Peñate. She had already built up a notable profile on her MySpace page, active since 2004, and after graduating from the BRIT school in summer 2006 began gigging extensively around the UK. She had two of her songs featured on the online publication Platforms Magazine, toured with artists such as Jamie T. and Devendra Banhart, and appeared on the influential Later With Jools Holland television show. She released her debut 7-inch single, Hometown Glory, on Jamie T.s Pacemaker Recordings label in October 2007, by which point she was attracting serious record company interest. After signing to the hip independent label XL Recordings, she quickly completed work on her album debut 19, which was released at the start of 2008. The album received mixed reviews from the music press but still managed to debut at the top of the UK charts, helped in no small part by the attendant success of the single Chasing Pavements.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.