English singer-songwriter Adele must be a one-of-a-kind, right? Well, you might just be surprised. Because without some of the singers mentioned in this guide, we might not even have Adele as we know her today.
Plus, there are more than a few English and American singers that either have a similar style or almost have that Adele thing on lock.
In this guide, we explore the best singers like Adele.
Adele’s music has been compared to Amy Winehouse’s on countless occasions – some have even called Adele the “new Amy Winehouse.” Winehouse died tragically at the age of 27, but it is kind of nice to know that there are singers still carrying that torch, isn’t it?
Adele says Winehouse made her and Duffy’s path to U.S. success considerably easier. If that wasn’t enough, Adele would not have picked up the guitar if not for Winehouse’s Frank.
The 27 Club member had a strong command of her voice – dynamic, smoky, and smooth, with a three-plus octave range.
Some essential Amy Winehouse includes “Valerie,” “Stronger Than Me,” “Back to Black,” and “Love Is a Losing Game.”
While English singer and songwriter Ellie Goulding’s music may be more electronic-influenced than straight up pop or soul, the comparison to Adele isn’t completely unwarranted.
Goulding shares some influences in common with Adele and has cited the likes of Kate Bush, Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and Rihanna as foundational to her sound (and it’s no secret that you will see some of these singers come up later in this guide).
Goulding also credits Adele with paving the way for English singers, something Adele credits Amy Winehouse with.
Have a listen to Goulding’s “Still Falling For You,” “Hate Me,” “Lights,” “Close to Me,” and “My Blood.”
Mariah “Songbird Supreme” Carey hardly needs an introduction. The all-time best-selling female holiday song (“All I Want for Christmas is You”) is credited to her, and she is one of the best-selling artists of all-time besides. Her trophy shelf is decorated with dozens of awards.
Carey was influenced by the likes of Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and Aretha Franklin. Not surprisingly, Adele shares some of these in common also, especially Aretha Franklin. Then again, Franklin is like the grandmother of all female soul singers.
If you have yet to listen to the following Mariah Carey hits, you’re in for a treat – “We Belong Together,” “Fantasy,” “Hero,” and “It’s Like That.”
American singer and songwriter Beyoncé or “Queen Bey” is one of the best-selling recording artists across the world.
Adele has named many artists as key influences, but she has gone so far as to call Beyoncé the “artist of her life.” Beyoncé’s work, similarly, has also influenced Adele’s. Now how’s that for a connection?
If you’d like to check out some of her music, see “CUFF IT,” “Crazy in Love,” “Single Ladies,” and “Formation.”
After moving to south London, Adele took to R&B, and would later cite American singer-songwriter and pianist Alicia Keys as one of her influences.
Keys’ career has been anything but modest. She is one of the world’s best-selling music artists, and she has won dozens of awards too.
If you like Keys’ style, you might want to check out “My Boo,” “If I Ain’t Got You,” “No One,” “Fallin’,” and “Empire State of Mind.”
American singer, songwriter, and actress Ariana Grande has been influenced by the likes of Gloria Estefan, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and Beyoncé, among others.
Of course, she shares some of this in common with Adele, but Grande also famously uploaded covers of Adele, Mariah Carey, and Whitney Houston songs to her YouTube channel, suggesting that Grande is probably a bigger fan of Adele than she might let on.
If you think you might like to hear more from Ariana Grande, see “Into You,” “7 Rings,” “Bang Bang,” “Thank U, Next,” and “Stuck With U.”
English singer Jessie J graduated from the BRIT School of Performing Arts & Technology in May 2006 along with Leona Lewis and Adele.
If that wasn’t enough, critics have compared Jessie J to Adele and Amy Winehouse (although not always favorably), so you know the comparison is on point.
Well, subtlety may not be her thing, but she has done okay for herself so far. See “Price Tag,” “Flashlight,” “Domino,” “Masterpiece,” “Who You Are,” and “Nobody’s Perfect.”
A fellow graduate of the BRIT School of Performing Arts & Technology, British singer, songwriter, and actress Leona Lewis shares several influences with Adele and other singers referenced here – Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and Beyoncé.
Lewis rose to prominence when she won the third series of The X Factor in 2006. After signing a mostly unheard-of five-album deal with J Records, Lewis showed no signs of stopping, selling over 35 million records worldwide.
Have a listen to “Bleeding Love,” “Better In Time,” “Run,” and “Footprints in the Sand.”
Adele has publicly stated her admiration for Rihanna. It’s not hard to understand why – the Barbadian singer and actress has sold over 250 million records worldwide, making her the second best-selling female artist of all time.
Between her music career and her successful makeup line, Rihanna is said to have an astounding net worth of $1.4 billion USD, surpassing Taylor Swift by a considerable margin.
Rihanna has kept the music coming with hits like “Umbrella,” “Diamonds,” “Rude Boy,” “Love on the Brain,” “Where Have You Been,” “Work,” and “Stay.”
American singer, songwriter, and pianist Lady Gaga has cited the likes of Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, and Beyoncé as her influences, which goes a long way toward explaining her presence in this guide.
Gaga has stated her ambition to revolutionize pop music the way Madonna did, and it would seem she is well on her way if she hasn’t already accomplished this feat. Madonna has already said she could see herself in Lady Gaga.
For more Lady Gaga, see “Bloody Mary,” “Bad Romance,” “Poker Face,” “Judas,” “Just Dance,” “Telephone,” and “Alejandro.”
New Zealand singer and songwriter Lorde says she was influenced by the likes of Billie Holiday, Etta James, and Rihanna, which might tell you a thing or two about why she’s in this company.
Lorde is still 26 of this writing, but even in a relatively short period of time from 2009 to 2023, she has released three albums, earning her two Grammy Awards, two Brit Awards, and a nomination for a Golden Globe.
Some Lorde hits include “Royals,” “Team,” “Ribs,” “Green Light,” “Tennis Court, “Liability,” and “Perfect Places.”
English singer and songwriter Ella Henderson competed in the ninth series of The X Factor UK. She finished in sixth place, even though she was a favorite to win. Henderson signed with Syco Music, releasing her debut album, Chapter One, in 2014.
In 2015, Henderson would go on hiatus. Her second album would not see the light of day until 2022.
Adele was one among many to praise Henderson upon her unexpected exit on The X Factor UK.
Check out “Ghost,” “Yours,” “Brave,” and “Glow.”
Adele counts the illustrious Katy Perry among her influences. Perry initially pursued a career in gospel music. Her efforts proved fruitless, and a year later, she moved to Los Angeles to get her start in secular music.
It would be several years until the release of One of the Boys in 2008, but the debut single “I Kissed a Girl” sent her through the stratosphere.
Perry has a long list of influences, which include Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Pink, and Gwen Stefani.
If you’re ready for a trip down memory lane, revisit “California Gurls,” “E.T.,” “Roar,” “Hot N Cold,” and “Unconditionally.”
English singer, songwriter, and actress Joss Stone has been described as the “white Aretha Franklin.” As a matter of fact, Stone is a big fan of American R&B and soul music, especially Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield.
I don’t think the comparison to Adele is out of line at all. Adele’s music might have heavier leanings toward pop, and Stone’s might have heavier leanings toward soul, but it’s not hard to pick up some similarities in their voices.
If you want to hear more from Stone, see “Super Duper Love,” “Right to Be Wrong,” “L-O-V-E,” “You Had Me,” and “Fell in Love With a Boy.”
Welsh singer, songwriter, and actress Duffy is often mentioned in the same breath as Adele, and like Adele, she’s doubtless benefited from the trail Amy Winehouse blazed.
There’s no squinting your ears here – from the opening notes of “Mercy,” it’s clear Duffy has got that Winehouse / Adele thing on lock.
You can also explore her “Warwick Avenue,” “Rockferry,” “Syrup & Honey,” “I’m Scared,” “Rain on Your Parade,” and “Well, Well, Well,” among others.
Lana Del Rey
American singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey is well-known for her infinitely expressive voice.
She counts Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Julie London, and Amy Winehouse among her influences, which might explain why you’re picking up Adele vibes from her singing.
But let’s face it – like it or hate it – Del Rey could probably pull off just about anything. She could honestly sing circles around most.
If you need a refresher, see “Doin’ Time,” “West Coast,” “Say Yes to Heaven,” “Ride,” “Cinnamon Girl,” and “Diet Mountain Dew.”
American singer and songwriter Stevie “Reigning Queen of Rock and Roll” Nicks is best known as the lead singer of Fleetwood Mac. But her solo career hasn’t been a total flop either. Adele has great admiration for Nicks.
And that’s not surprising. Nicks was named one of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time, one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, and she has even been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice (for Fleetwood Mac and her solo work).
Chances are you’ve heard her masterful performances on “The Chain,” “Dreams,” “Landslide,” “Go Your Own Way,” “Gyspy,” and “Little Lies.”
Singers Like Adele, Final Thoughts
God willing, Adele will still have a long career ahead of her. But isn’t it nice to know that there are singers who sound a lot like her?
Did you find some new singers to follow? We hope you enjoyed this guide. Come back soon for more.