Story of the Song: Chasing Pavements, Adele (2007)

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The Independent Culture

Adele Adkins had an argument with her boyfriend in a London club.

Punches were thrown, drink spilt, and the singer legged it down Oxford Street. "It was six in the morning," she said. "There was no one chasing me, I wasn't chasing anyone. I was just running away." The 20-year-old realised she was in hot pursuit of nothing. "I remember saying to myself, 'What you're chasing is you're chasing an empty pavement.'" Back home, she wrote the song.

"Chasing Pavements", declared by the singer to be "heartbreak soul", was honed with her producer, Eg White. It became her signature tune, helping her to a nomination for the 2008 Mercury Music Prize and 2009 Grammy for best new artist, and making No 1 in a dozen countries.