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Besides being a multi-platinum selling artist and one of the biggest names to come out of the UK in the last few decades, Adele’s known as an outspoken old-soul who doesn’t conform to the parameters of image-obsessed Hollywood. The curvy songstress could care less about what people think about her full figure because she’d rather fans stay focused on her voice saying, “I don’t make music for eyes. I make music for ears.” Besides her love of red wine and her pet Dachshund, Louis Armstrong, these are the nine things you should know about the 27-year-old mezzo soprano.

1. Childhood Chaos

Like many great musicians before her (Madonna, Cher, Prince etc.) Adele prefers to be referred to by one-name only. The songstress was actually born Adele Laurie Blue Adkins in Tottenham, London on May 5, 1988. She is the daughter of an English mother, Penny Adkins and a Welsh father, Mark Evans. Adele’s father left when she was two, leaving her 20-year-old mother to raise her on her own. Adele admits that she and her mother moved around a lot throughout her childhood. A young Adele became interested in music at age four and enjoyed performing renditions of her favorite group, The Spice Girls, at dinner parties.

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2. She Went to School with Jessie J and Leona Lewis

Adele spent four years at the prestigious BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology, before graduating in 2006. She was given a recording contract by XL Recordings after a friend posted her demo on Myspace that same year. The school is known for its notable alumni and also graduated other famed British musicians including Amy Winehouse, The Kooks and Imogen Heap.

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