When Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was three years old, her father left.
Her mother had fallen pregnant at the age of 19 after meeting her dad the year before in a North London pub.
Adele’s father moved to Wales, took up drinking, and didn’t participate in her childhood at all. In fact, Adele said in 2017: “I didn’t know what a dad was supposed to do because I never had one.”
Adele loved music from the moment she could talk, and by age four, she was singing all the Spice Girls songs.
Her mother, Penny Adkins, worked three jobs so she could afford to send her daughter to music classes.
By the time she was 14, Adele had been accepted into the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology.
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When she was 18, a record label came across some of her demos on MySpace and signed her.
Her first album 19 came out shortly afterwards and an appearance on Saturday Night Live singing ‘Chasing Pavements’ and ‘Cold Shoulder’ in 2008 catapulted her into global stardom. The SNL episode not only became the highest-rating episode in 14 years, the day after her debut album soared on the US charts. She went on to win a Grammy Award for Best New Artist that year and sold more than seven million copies of 19 worldwide.
Watch: Adele’s first performance of ‘Chasing Pavements’ on Saturday Night Live in 2008.