Slideshow: Who is Adele?
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Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was born May 5, 1988, in Tottenham, North London, a place that apparently is rife with Cockney accents, because hers is the most adorable one this side of "My Fair Lady." She was raised by a single mother. She landed a record deal just a few days after high school graduation, when XL Recordings noticed songs a friend of hers had posted to MySpace. Here she is in 2008.
TEXT BY LANDON HALL, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, PHOTO BY MATT DUNHAM, AP