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Adele's '21' Earns High Praise, Success

Adele's "21" CD
Adele's "21" CD

It’s been three years since British singer Adele became an international superstar with her debut album 19. She is achieving even more success with her sophomore release, 21.

“Rolling In The Deep” was the debut single from Adele’s second album. She describes the song, which sold over 1.5 million digital copies in the U.S., as a “dark bluesy gospel disco tune.”

In early 2008, Adele was already popular on the British charts, but her music was slower to catch on in America. She got her big break in October of that year by performing her smash hit “Chasing Pavements” on an episode of the NBC variety show “Saturday Night Live.” In 2009, Adele won the Best New Artist Grammy Award and “Chasing Pavements” brought her a second Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Singer Adele arrives at the Brit Awards in London
Singer Adele arrives at the Brit Awards in London

Adele calls her musical style “heartbroken soul.” She says, however, the songs on 21 not only deal with lost love, but also finding resolve in life’s challenges.

Adele co-wrote 10 of the 11 tracks on 21. She also included a cover of “Lovesong,” which was a 1989 hit for British rock band The Cure.

21 sold 350,000 copies its first week of release in the United States, and it took only seven weeks to become the first million-selling album of 2011. Adele also set records on the U.K. charts. She spent 11 consecutive weeks at Number One on the U.K. Albums chart, which is the longest run ever by a female solo artist.

Adele admits that she suffers from stage fright. “I don’t like touring," she says. "I have anxiety attacks a lot.” But, that fear won’t keep her off the road. Adele begins a North American tour in Washington, D.C. on May 12. After wrapping up shows in late June, she’ll head to London to begin a 16-date U.K. tour.