Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (born 5 May 1988), known professionally as Adele, is a British singer-songwriter. She was the first recipient of theBrit 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. Since her debut album 19, Adele has received much recognition both commercially and critically. The album debuted at number one, and has been certified 4x platinum in the UK. Her career in the US was boosted by a viewer record–breaking Saturday Night Live episode in late 2008. At the 2009 Grammy Awards, Adele won the awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Adele released her second album 21 on 24 January 2011 in the UK, and 22 February in the US. The album was well received critically and catapulted Adele to record breaking 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 United Kingdom, 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 countries, including several charts across Europe, Australia and the United States.
After being performed 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 New Zealand 5 weeks at number one in Australia and following her performance at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards it became Adele's second number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.
The Official Charts Company announced that Adele is the first living artist to achieve the feat of two top five hits in both the UK 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 twelve weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 to date, the most weeks at number one since 2000. 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.