Grammy Countdown: Adele’s Extraordinary Year

Adele is heading into Sunday’s Grammy Awards with six nominations for her second album, “21.”

The mega-hit record, which features “Someone Like You” and “Rolling in the Deep,” has sold over 13 million copies worldwide — and it was all inspired by a painful breakup.

“I like to think I’m quite fun normally. But when I’m writing songs, the running theme seems, so far, to be misery,” the 23-year-old singer told Access Hollywood in an interview last year. “So I have to kind of channel it. It’s quite depressing for a while.”

To say putting her “misery” to music paid off would be an understatement – Adele sold more albums last year than Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber combined – and the artist says she’s glad she approached her writing using her heart and raw emotion.

“I think people overthink records, especially second records… I think when you overthink it, you don’t deliver because you’re frightened,” she said. “Occasionally, I would sort of trip in and out and think, ‘Why am I not thinking [about whether] this song is radio-friendly?’ I kept thinking maybe like, I was a bad artist for not thinking those things, but I’m glad I didn’t in the end.”

The British songstress credits Etta James with inspiring her music “style,” though she admits she came across the late singer’s work by chance.

“When I was a teenager I discovered Etta James… I loved her hair, which is what made me buy the record,” she told Access with a laugh. “It was in a bargain bin. It was really cheap. Just a generic record – it wasn’t like, a specific one.

“I listened to it and I’d never been so moved by someone’s voice, ever,” she continued. “I mean, there wasn’t much competition – it was the [time of] The Spice Girls and you know, they’re not known for their vocals, but they’re pretty awesome as well!”

As for her future projects, Adele says she’ll be sticking to her vocals-driven performances.

“I know that I can’t dance,” she said. “Also, you can’t sing live and dance, I’m sorry. Unless you’re Beyoncé, you can’t do it. And I ain’t miming. I’m not having it, sorry!

“I’m much more confident just standing in the spotlight with a piano and a microphone,” she added.

Watch Adele return to the stage — for her highly anticipated first performance since undergoing vocal cord surgery — on the 54th Grammy Awards on Sunday at 8/7c on CBS.

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