Someone Like You” is a song by British singer Adele. It was written by Adele and Dan Wilson for her second studio album 21. It is the second single and final track on the album. The song was inspired by a broken relationship, and lyrically speaks of Adele’s coming to terms with it. XL Recordings released the song as the second single from the album on 24 January 2011 in the United Kingdom and on 9 August 2011 in the United States. Accompanied only by a piano in the song (played by co-writer Wilson), Adele sings about the end of the relationship with her ex-boyfriend. The song received universal acclaim from music critics, who chose the song as a highlight of 21 and praised the lyrics, its simple sound and Adele’s vocal performance.
Following a well-received performance of the song at the 2011 Brit Awards, “Someone like You” became Adele’s first number-one single in the UK and it stayed on the top of the chart for five weeks. The song also topped the charts in Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Italy, France and Switzerland, and has become Adele’s second number one in the US. With that achievement Adele became the first female British solo singer in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 to have two number ones from the same album. In July 2011, it became the first single of the decade to sell a million units in the UK and it was certified 3× Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), as well as being certified 5× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the US.
An accompanying music video for the song was directed by Jake Nava and filmed in Paris, France. The video showed Adele walking alone through the streets with a sad look on her face. Critics praised the video for being simple and perfect for the sound of the song. Adele performed the song on several award and television shows including the 2011 Brit Awards, 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and the song was played on the ABC hit show Grey’s Anatomy. She added the song to the set list of her second tour Adele Live. The live performances of the song were heavily praised by music critics and fans. The song has been covered by Katy Perry, Taio Cruz, the cast of the series Glee, and several other artists.
In a list voted for by the public in conjunction with the Official Charts Company’s 60th anniversary, “Someone like You” was voted the third-most favourite number-one single of the last 60 years in the UK, with Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” voted number two and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” as number one. “Someone like You” is the 36th-best-selling single in the history of the UK Singles Chart. As a critically successful song, “Someone like You” appeared on many year-end lists about the best songs of 2011. “Someone like You” was the first recipient of the Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance, at the 54th Grammy Awards, held on 12 February 2012. As of 2015, it is the third most downloaded single of all-time in the UK and the fourth best-selling single of the 21st century.