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Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, MBE (born 5 May 1988) is a British singer and songwriter. Adele was given a recording contract by XL Recordings after a friend posted her demo on Myspace in 2006. In 2007, she received the Brit Awards "Critics' Choice" award and won the BBC Sound of 2008. Her debut album, 19, was also released in 2008 to commercial and critical success. It certified four times platinum in the UK, and double platinum in the U.S. Her career in the U.S. was boosted by a Saturday Night Live appearance in late 2008. At the 51st Annual Grammy Awards, Adele received the awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Adele released her second studio album 21 in early 2011. The album was well received critically and surpassed the success of her début, earning the singer numerous awards in 2012, including a record-tying six Grammy Awards including Album of the Year; two Brit Awards; and three American Music Awards. The album has been certified 16 times platinum in the UK, and in the U.S. it has held the top position longer than any album since 1985, and is certified Diamond. The album has sold 30 million copies worldwide. She has sold an estimated 40 million albums and 50 million singles worldwide.
The success of 21 earned Adele numerous mentions in the Guinness World Records. She is the first female in the history of theBillboard 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 U.S. Album Charts. In 2011 and 2012, Billboard named Adele Artist of the Year. In 2012, she was listed at number five on VH1's 100 Greatest Women in Music, and the American magazine Time named her one of the most influential people in the world. In 2013, Adele and the songwriter Paul Epworth received an Academy Award, a Grammy Award as well as a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for her song "Skyfall", written for the James Bond film of the same name.