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Adele really does want a Grammy -- honest

December 9, 2008 |  4:57 pm

After scoring four Grammy nominations, including one for best new artist, British soul upstart Adele downplayed her chance of winning, telling the British prAdele__ess that she didn't even think she deserved a trophy. But she wasn't setting out to become this year's Grammy bad girl.

Though she may draw from similar music reference points as Amy Winehouse, Adele made it clear this week that unlike last year's best new artist nominee and eventual winner, there won't be any photos of her showing up in the tabloids in the weeks to come. Nor will there be any doubt as to whether or not she'll be appearing at the ceremony Feb. 8.

She'll be there, she says, and yes, she wants a miniature gramophone to take home to England. When she told the BBC that she didn't think she should "get one," and then compared the Grammys to the Oscars, she was only thinking of her career longevity. She wasn't, she promises, dismissing the Grammys when she said, "I don't feel like I need awards."

"The quote that came out on the BBC about the Grammys made it sound like I didn’t want to win a Grammy, and that I didn’t need to win a Grammy," Adele told Pop & Hiss this week. "But what I meant is that a Grammy is like an Oscar. You win an Oscar when you give the performance of your life. I just hope that this isn’t the performance of my life ... I didn’t mean it to sound like I was ungrateful. I don’t need a Grammy to feel good about myself, but I would love a Grammy."

Adele's "19" shot up the charts in the U.S. after she appeared on "Saturday Night Live" this fall, benefiting from singing on the night when Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin guested on the program. Adele has a more singer/songwriter-vibe than country mates Winehouse and Duffy, the latter of which she'll compete with for best new artist.

Her "19" is a showcase for her vocals. With a slight smoker's rasp -- a habit she doesn't appear interested in dropping anytime soon -- Adele graces the most simple of arrangements with a flighty, jazzy styling, an approach she says she picked up from singing along to Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday albums.

And don't talk to the 20-year-old about needing a life's experience to sing soul music. "Etta James is the only artist I’ve ever proper believed when I listened to her, like, ‘Oh, I feel her pain,' " Adele says.

The singer will be in Los Angeles before the Grammys, appearing at the Wiltern on Jan. 30. She'll then be holed up in Malibu, recording her second album, which she says may take a bit more of a country influence. Adele cites the Robert Plant and Alison Krauss collaboration "Raising Sand" as her current music of choice.

Adele says that recording in Los Angeles won't be a diversion. Though not of drinking age in America (she'll turn 21 next spring), Adele assures that she's more likely to hang at home vacuuming than go to a pub. She'll also seen plenty of tabloid photos of her country mates.

"I saw the paparazzi photos, with Lily [Allen] hanging with Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson," Adele says. "I don’t know enough people to get distracted. There’s only three or four people I want to hang out with here. I don’t believe in the Los Angeles celebrity thing, so I’ll just put my head down and work."

More on Adele as the Grammys near.

-- Todd Martens

Photo credit: Associated Press