It speaks volumes that blue-eyed soul singer Adele is recording her sophomore album in Malibu to avoid the distractions of overwhelming fame back home in the U.K. Last year her smash debut, 19, entered the British charts at #1; she played live American shows with Alicia Keys and John Mayer; and she made a breakthrough Saturday Night Live appearance. The attention is definitely warranted, as the 20-year-old singer born Adele Laurie Blue Adkins brings an irresistibly throaty Etta James-Ella Fitzgerald resonance and genuinely heartbroken emotion to the current soul-singer sweepstakes.

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