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Desert Island Discs

Barefoot at the Grammys

Adele started going to gigs when she was only a few years old. Her mother had her when she was only 18, but couldn’t afford childcare, so would “sneak me in” to concerts under her trench coat, the singer tells Lauren Laverne on Desert Island Discs. She remembers being three or four when, at a show by The Beautiful South, a huge bodybuilder the pair had just met “picked me up and put me on his shoulders”.

Adele’s entry into the music business was more tentative. She was so terrified of her first record label meeting that she brought along a friend for moral support. When asked who her manager was, she replied: “Oh, Pat at the Gap!” because she was working at Gap on Kensington High Street at the time. But success came soon enough – the first album she released, 19, won two Grammys. Adele was completely unprepared at the awards ceremony. One of her fingers was covered in a big plaster because she had pulled off an acrylic nail the night before. “I had no shoes on; I had gum in my mouth,” she says. “I thought Duffy was gonna win!”

Listen to the episode here.

🎵 Roam, The B-52s
🎵 Dreams, Gabrielle
🎵 You Might Need Somebody, Shola Ama
🎵 He Needs Me, Nina Simone
🎵 Bills, Bills, Bills, Destiny’s Child
🎵 I’d Rather Go Blind, Etta James
🎵 Maps, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
🎵 For All We Know, Donny Hathaway

📕 The Sun and Her Flowers, Rupi Kaur
🎁 A self-inflating mattress