ADELE: The Biography, a new book documenting the incredible story behind the Grammy-winning soul singer's meteoric rise to fame hit shelves last week. In the book, celebrity biographer Chas Newkey-Burden traces her story from her childhood in London, where she began singing at the age of four, through the breathtaking success of her first two albums, to the next stage of her life as a mother.
Named the 2011 artist of the year by Billboard and identified by Time as one of the most influential people in the world, Adele has sold millions of albums worldwide, won numerous awards, and deservedly been crowned the queen of the music industry. Her candor is legendary and her reputation unmatched—both confident and forthright, she is at the same time humble and grounded. She is the first living artist in nearly fifty years to have two top five singles and albums in the charts at the same time and "the girl from London" is huge in America, where she has performed on leading television shows including Saturday Night Live , The Today Show, and The Late Show with David Letterman, winning multiple Grammy Awards along the way.
Throughout Adele, readers are taken behind the scenes of her career and life to discover the real woman behind the music. Naturally, given her humorous way with words, the book is also packed with hilarious quotes from the lady herself. Last week, USA Today gathered some of the best material from the book, highlighting some of the ways that Adele really is someone like us.
On her grandfather as a big influence: "I painted him as this
Jesus figure in my life."
On the sacrifices her mother has made: "She fell pregnant with
me when she would have been applying for uni(versity), but chose to have me
On her penchant for love songs: "When I was a girl, I loved love
songs. And I always loved the ones about horrible relationships. Ones that you
could really relate to and made you cry."
On her vocal influences: "I taught myself how to sing by
listening to Ella Fitzgerald for acrobatics and scales, Etta James for passion
and Roberta Flack for control."
On smoking: "I used to smoke rollies but then I got a record
deal and switched to Marlboro Lights."
On her weight: "I read a comment on YouTube that I thought would
upset me 'Test pilot for pies' — but I've always been a size 14-16 and been
fine with it. I would only lose weight if it affected my health or sex life,
which it doesn't."
On canceling U.S. shows in 2008: "I was drinking far too much
and that was kind of the basis of my relationship with this boy. I couldn't
bear to be without him, so I was like, 'Well OK, I'll just cancel my stuff
On getting her own place: "After my first record (19) I
moved to Notting Hill (in London) on my own. My life fell apart. My phone got
cut off, my credit card got cut off, the home was a mess. It was awful. I
couldn't function without my mum so I moved back in with her."
On the muse for 21 (she won't name him): "It was the
biggest deal in my entire life to date. … He made me totally hungry. … He was
older, he was successful in his own right, whereas my boyfriends before were my
age and not really doing much. He got me interested in film and literature and
food and wine and traveling and politics and history and those were things I
was never, ever interested in. I was interested in going clubbing and getting
On the aftermath: "I just signed up for eHarmony. I can't put a
photo of myself, so I don't get any e-mails! I must have written him about five
or six letters at different stages and everything, but never sent. I've got a
little box of stuff that reminds me of us and they're still in there."
On getting nervous before a show: "I'm scared of audiences. One
show in Amsterdam, I was so nervous I escaped out of the fire exit. I've thrown
up a couple of times. Once in Brussels, I projectile vomited on someone."
On her royal crush: "I'm after Prince Harry. I know I said I
wouldn't go out with a ginger, but it's Prince Harry! I'd be a real duchess
then. I'd love a night out with him, he seems like he'd be a right laugh."