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Adele is one of those artists you come across once in a blue moon.

She embodies raw talent, grace, and seems to have the Midas Touch when it comes to crafting hit records we all sing along to. Ever since making her mark on the British music scene back in 2007 with her debut album 19, Adele has morphed into a cultural phenomenon.

The album 19 ( which won Adele the Grammy for Best New Artist at the 2009 Grammy Awards) debuted at number one in the UK, but only reached number 11 on the Billboard 200 after Adele canceled half of her 2008 U.S. tour dates to be with a former boyfriend. In a June 2009 interview with Nylon magazine, Adele revealed:

“I’m like, ‘I can’t believe I did that.’ It seems so ungrateful…. 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 then.’

Luckily, the U.S. welcomed her back with wide open arms, ready for her powerful voice to bless our lives with another youthful, yet wise beyond her years, soundtrack. Our dreams came true in 2011, when Adele released her second studio album, 21.

Although she was still belting out songs about heartbreak and love, the subject matter seemed more honest and mature. True to Adele’s fashion, 21 was inspired by a breakup – Maybe it was the same boyfriend who caused her to cancel those tour dates?

The emotional album moved over 20 million copies worldwide, and became the biggest-selling album of the 21st century, overtaking Amy Winehouse‘s Back to Black. 

After a vocal-cord hemorrhage scare, the singer got throat microsurgery and made her live comeback at the 2012 Grammy Awards. That night, she won in all six categories in which she was nominated, making her the second female artist in Grammy history, after Beyoncé, to win that many categories in a single night.

Following the success of 21, Adele went on to compose the theme song for the James Bond film “Skyfall,” calling it “one of the proudest moments of my life.” The sweeping theme earning her a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. But after achieving all of her massive success, Adele needed to take a break. She stated, “I have to take time and live a little bit. There were a good two years between my first and second albums, so it’ll be the same this time.” Adele is now proud mom to a baby boy with her boyfriend Simon Konecki.

Which brings us to today: the return of Queen Adele and her third album 25 hitting stores today. After confirming the name of her album a few months ago, Adele revealed,

“My last record was a break-up record, and if I had to label this one, I would call it a make-up record. Making up for lost time. Making up for everything I ever did and never did. 25 is about getting to know who I’ve become without realising. And I’m sorry it took so long but, you know, life happened.”

In honor of the triumphant day, check out our gallery of Adele now and then.

SOURCE: Billboard, Vogue | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty 

A Look Back At Adele Over The Years  was originally published on