ARTS & EVENTS

Singing Stronger Every Day: Adele

Photo courtesy Lauren DukoffDESPITE THE REPUTATION Adele had achieved in Britain, her attempts at breaking through to America were petering out. Fortunately, her dwindling prospects were revived with a timely late-night appearance.

Her "Saturday Night Live" debut coincided with a ratings boost from a guest appearance by then vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The resulting exposure propelled her album, "19," up the charts, eventually receiving four Grammy nominations. This success put her in a class with other acclaimed British acts such as Coldplay, Duffy and Leona Lewis.

Despite these accolades, Adele hasn't let the praise go to her head. The laid-back singer avoids publicity about herself to stay grounded. "It's just kind of boring if you can't relate to an artist."

Her musical education started early. "I've always been obsessed with voices since I was 4 years old," says Adele, who discovered Ella Fitzgerald when she stumbled upon Fitzgerald's greatest hits album. By combining a voice similar to Fitzgerald's with a sense of teenage angst, Adele made "19" a recipe for success.

Now that her teenage years are behind her, she is looking toward her next album. "The first record was about being heartbroken. Now I feel like I've really kind of grown up and become a woman," she says right before breaking into a chorus of Britney Spears' "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman."

» 9:30 Club , 815 V St. NW, Sat. Jan. 17,7:30 p.m., sold out; 202-265-0930,
930.com. (U St.-Cardozo)

Written by Express contributor Adaora Otiji
Photo courtesy Lauren Dukoff

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