By: Matt Doeden
Publisher: Twenty-First Century Books
Publication Date: January 2013
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: April 2013
Adele was a little girl who “was fascinated by voices.” Raised in a single-parent household, she didn’t feel deprived. In fact, her collective upbringing by her mother Penny’s side of the family was probably a blessing in disguise. Adele dreamed about several different careers when she was growing up in Tottenham, but “music moved her and made her feel connected to people all over the world.” She liked a variety of music, but there was something special she found in Etta James’s and Ella Fitzgerald’s voices. School just didn’t cut it for Adele and when she finally was accepted into the London School for the Performing Arts & Technology, the BRIT school, it was there she’d find the confidence she needed.
Could she possibly become a singer? It wouldn’t be long before she “was convinced that she had what it took to become a vocalist. “ Her friends were impressed with her work and they helped her put her songs on the Internet. Adele got an e-mail from XL recordings, but because she’d never heard of them she put them on ignore. It wasn’t a joke because at the age of eighteen, “Adele and XL agreed to a recording contract in September of 2006.” Just who was this Adele? It wouldn’t be long before most of the world knew about her. She began to write songs for her album, but even before it was released she began to perform.
The buzz was out, “All without releasing a single album,” but when her debut album came out there was a roar. Her album “19,” raced to the top and she garnered the Critic’s Choice award. Fame would prove difficult for her, in fact somewhat depressing, but soon she’d have to head to America to see if she could break into a new market. Adele’s first venue was at Joe’s Pub in New York City. She had nothing to fear because she was on her way. In this book you’ll read about her musical influences, her albums, how she had to promote herself, her Grammys, her relationships, problems with her voice, her achievements, and you’ll learn many other interesting things about Adele, “soul music’s magical voice.”
This is a fascinating biography of Adele, the woman with a mesmerizing voice. Even if you are unfamiliar with Adele, by the time you’ve finished this book and checked her out on YouTube, you’ll probably be a fan. Young readers will undoubtedly be inspired by Adele’s work and engaging personality. The book has full-color photographs, period USA Today articles, and numerous informative sidebars. For example, you learn about how many were critical of her style in “Image Isn’t Everything.” There are several sidebars about people in the music business who have influenced her style including Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, the Spice Girls, Mary J. Blige, and others. In the back of the book is an index, a timeline (1998 to 2012), a discography, expansive source notes, a selected bibliography, and additional book and website resources to explore.
Quill says: If you love music and want to learn more about Adele's life, you'll love this biography!