Her powerful voice and bittersweet lyrics have helped to propel her to the top of the United States charts as one of the few British artists to crack America, but the strain of success showed yesterday after laryngitis forced Adele to cancel the remaining dates of her sell-out North American tour.
The 23-year-old singer, who postponed five dates after losing her voice, consulted an otolaryngology specialist in Los Angeles who advised her to rest her voice for several weeks.
She said on her website: "I'm really frustrated. I was hoping with a weeks' rest, I'd be better to sing again straight away. However there is absolutely nothing I can do but take the doctor's advice and rest some more. I'm so sorry."
Laryngitis, or the inflammation of the vocal cords, is the singer's nightmare. It causes hoarseness, loss of voice and sore throat and is usually the result of infection. Singers with big voices are especially prone.
Adele's management said it was "imperative that Adele take the next few weeks to recover with absolute voice rest... She was intent on resuming her tour before learning of her advanced condition".
One of Britain's most successful pop exports, Adele's single "Rolling in the Deep" is number one in the US and her songs have featured on the US television series Glee.
Her album, 21, went straight to the top of the album chart in March, knocking Justin Bieber off the number one spot. The album has sold nearly two million copies in the US.
US fans posted supportive messages on her website. Jocelyn Mason wrote: "I'll be patiently awaiting your return to San Diego. Chin up and feel better."
Bryce Davidson, 15, said he had spent hundreds of dollars on hotels and plane tickets, but added: "Nothing else matters in the life of a musician than their ability to make music. You have always been my role model. I hope you reschedule because if I have to, I will fundraise to come see you like I was planning on doing in exactly two weeks."
Others criticised the singer for smoking, blaming her illness on her inability to give up the cigarettes. Adele said she had given up the habit in January but has since apparently resumed smoking. Fan Amanda Kirchner wrote: "Take the time to think about the contents of your ashtray. We love you, pray for you, and support you in taking whatever necessary steps to get better, and not just with your throat."
Adele has had previous problems with her powerful voice. She cancelled a live performance on Dancing with the Stars early last month, described her voice as "knackered." She managed to sing "Rolling in the Deep" on the show but could not hit the high notes for a planned cover of "Natural Woman" and Australian singer Delta Goodrem was drafted in after only one hour's rehearsal to sing the song instead.
Adele is due back in the UK on 7 July to perform at the iTunes festival at Camden's Roundhouse.