Fifteen-time Grammy Award winner Adele celebrates her 33rd birthday today. Born Adele Laurie Blue Adkins from Tottenham, London, she has become an international success with hits like “Rolling in the Deep,” “Someone Like You,” and “Hello.” To commemorate the British singer-songwriter’s musical accomplishments, we compiled a list of her 20 best songs of all time ranked. Scroll through the bottom to see if your favorite songs made the cut.
All she asks if it's her last night with you. "Give me a memory I can use." From her 2015 album, 25.
From her first album, 19, "Right As Rain" embraces the pain of a relationship with lyrics such as "Who wants to be right as rain? / It's better when something is wrong / You get excitement in your bones / And everything you do's a game."
Yes, it's one of her most popular songs and deserves a spot on our list, but not that high up. During a live show, the singer explained she got inspiration for the lyrics when her lighter stopped working in the rain.
Written when she was just 16 years old, Adele based the song on her home suburb of West Norwood in London.
Another one of her most popular songs from her critically acclaimed album, 21. She wrote it the day after breaking up with her “first real relationship” that she later said, “made me an adult.”
Adele has said that “Melt My Heart to Stone” is her favorite song on 19, stating that “all the words [in the song] came out in one take, as I was singing it.”
“Take It All,” which incorporates a more soulful, gospel-influenced sound, is accompanied by a choir and piano. The song’s lyrics focus on her devotion to an unappreciative lover.
Adele won her first two Grammys in 2009 for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her hit "Chasing Pavements." That same year, she made her Grammy stage debut performing "Chasing Pavements" with Sugarland.
Adele revealed that the song was not inspired by the media, rather it was aimed at her friends who believed things they heard about her, specifically rumors involving her breakup with her boyfriend. She was hungover when she recorded the song, which had been written and recorded the day after the 2010 Grammy Awards.
From her 2015 album, 25, "Remedy" was written about her son Angelo, as well as for other people she loves in her life. “I wrote it about my child. But I sang it for everyone that I really love. When I wrote it, I got my confidence back in my writing ‘cause I believed in myself.”
Adele wrote the song after recently driving passing Brockwell Park in south London, where she grew up. Passing the park of her childhood moved her to tears, prompting her to write this song about missing her carefree days before fame. "I feel like my life is flashing by / And all I can do is watch and cry / I miss the air, I miss my friends / I miss my mother, I miss it when / Life was a party to be thrown / But that was a million years ago."
Another song written about her son. "The song is all about my kid. The way I’ve described it is that something much bigger has happened in my life. I love that my life is now about someone else."
Recorded for the 23rd James Bond movie of the same name, the song won awards for Best Original Song at the 70th Golden Globes and then Best Original Song at the 85th Academy Awards.
"I Miss You" centers around intimacy of all kinds, with lyrics such as "I want every single piece of you / I want your heaven and your oceans too / Treat me soft but touch me cruel / I wanna teach you things you never knew, baby / Bring the floor up to my knees / Let me fall into your gravity / Then kiss me back to life to see / Your body standing over me."
"Hello, it's me." Winning Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 2017. The song appears to be about a break-up from long ago, but the song can also be interpreted as Adele’s attempt at reconciliation with her former self.
Adele said she wrote "Someone Like You" to help her get over her breakup with Alex Sturrock, a 31-year-old photographer. Lyrically, it speaks of Adele coming to terms with the broken relationship.
Adele's second single off 25, a meditation on looking back and growing older. Her favorite song from the album, she described the setting of the song as a party with old friends and acquaintances, with “everyone that you’ve ever fallen out with, everyone that you’ve ever loved, everyone that you’ve never loved…And you’re all thrown together at this party when you’re like 50, and it doesn’t matter and you have so much fun and you feel like you’re 15 again.”
Based on a real river by the same name bordering the childhood city Adele grew up in. Musically, the song is a gospel song with a ghostly feel with lyrics: "When I was a child I grew up by the River Lea / There was something in the water, now that something's in me / Oh I can't go back, but the reeds are growing out of my fingertips / I can't go back to the river."
"I can't love you in the dark / It feels like we're oceans apart / There is so much space between us / Baby, we're already defeated." The song is based on the rebound relationship she fell into before she met “her man,” around the release of 21. The problems she’s going through now this man can’t solve, and she needs someone or something else.
Yes, the No. 1 pick is indeed Adele's rendition of The Cure's 1989 song "Lovesong." 311 also had their own reggae version of the same song in 2004. From the 21 album, Adele's sensual, bossa-nova spin is what sets this song apart from the rest, earning it the top position.