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“A sweet, pop blend of airy, soulful Corinne Bailey Rae and Norah Jones melodies topped with the big, booming vocals of Etta James.”
—-Boston Herald on Adele
NOW HERE COMES ADELE
XL/Columbia Records U.K. Teen’s Smash 19 Ready to Explode Stateside
Make way for the latest female pop diva to emerge from the U.K.

Corinne Bailey Rae. KT Tunstall. Lily Allen. Amy Winehouse. Kate Nash. Leona Lewis. Duffy.

And now it’s Adele’s turn.

The 19-year-old XL/Columbia newcomer’s debut album, 19, has already been a huge smash in her native U.K. and now it hits retail June 10 after having been available digitally on iTunes since earlier this year. The U.S. version will include bonus material.

Her soulful vocals, jazzy style and full-throated pipes have evoked comparisons to everyone from Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James and Roberta Flack to Janis Joplin, Annie Lennox and Norah Jones. The album bowed at #1 on the British charts and first single, “Chasing Pavements,” a real-life tale about a brawl in a London pub with her boyfriend, went to #2 in England and is an international hit.

Steve Barnett signed her to the label for the U.S. from her U.K. company, XL Recordings, in a spirited bidding war.

Adele’s also been tapped by VH1 for their highly successful “You Oughta Know” new artist campaign and the “Chasing Pavements” video is in XXL rotation. The song is also a Pick of the Week at Starbucks and is getting substantial Adult Top 40 and Triple A airplay. Another track, “Hometown Glory,” featured on the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy, generated 500k downloads as iTunes single of the week.

Adele’s upcoming TV appearances include The Today Show (6/10) on the day of release, Late Show with David Letterman (6/16) and CBS Saturday Early Show (6/14).

She’s currently in the midst of a headlining, sold-out U.S. tour, which runs through the end of this month and will be back here on the road from mid-August through late September.

Refreshingly down-to-earth, full-figured, an unabashed smoker and junk food junkie, Adele was raised by a single mom to whom she’s devoted in the racially mixed, working-class London neighborhoods of Tottenham and Brixton, where she never dared to dream one day she might follow in her pop idols’ footsteps to stardom herself. She started singing, in part inspired by seeing Etta James on an album cover.

Although she went to the same performing arts school in Croydon that Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis and Kate Nash did, Adele is no pop tart or one-hit wonder, American Idol finalist or the puppet of some svengali producer. And her blossoming stardom hasn’t gone to her head, either.

Adele was the first recipient of the Brit Awards’ newly inaugurated Critics Choice prize last December even before her debut album was released. She was also honored as the winner of BBC Music’s Sound of 2008 poll of music critics, editors and broadcasters, as the most promising new musical artist likely to emerge this year.

Her first U.S. performances in New York and Los Angeles this spring sold out just on the basis of a mention on her MySpace page, which has received more than 2.7 million profile views and 2.7 million plays since it was launched on New Year’s Eve 2004.

Her live performances are the stuff of legend, with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune raving: "The highly touted British newcomer delivered a knockout performance of acoustic R&B-tinged pop, one of those tiny shows that will become legendary years from now when she's a star." The Boston Herald called her “a sweet, pop blend of airy, soulful Corinne Bailey Rae and Norah Jones melodies topped with the big, booming vocals of Etta James.”

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