Adele Pays Tribute to Amy Winehouse During Boston Performance: 'I Owe 90 Percent of My Career to Her'

"I'd see her on TV or in magazine shoots with a pink electric guitar and I used to think she was the coolest mother----er," Adele told the audience

Photo: Paul Marotta/Getty Images

If it wasn’t for the late musician Amy Winehouse, a young Adele might never have become the international superstar she is today.

Adele told a sold-out audience at TD Garden in Boston Wednesday night – on what would have been Winehouse’s 33rd birthday – that the late singer inspired her to become a musician.

“I feel like I owe 90 percent of my career to her,” the British superstar told the cheering crowd.

“Because of her, I picked up a guitar and because of her, I wrote my own songs. The songs I got signed on were the songs that I wrote completely on my own – if it wasn’t for her, that wouldn’t have happened. … Her first album, Frank, it really changed my life.”

Adele, 28, said she was 15 when Frank was released.

“I’d see her on TV or in magazine shoots with a pink electric guitar and I used to think she was the coolest mother—-er on the face of the Earth,” she said, before dedicating Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” – which she covered on her 2008 debut 19 – to Winehouse.

While she has been known to scold audience members for using their phones to record prolonged stretches of her concerts, Adele encouraged Wednesday night’s crowd to hold up their lighted phones in the darkened arena during her Dylan cover.

Earlier in the day, the British superstar sent out a Twitter tribute to the late singer, posting a picture of a smiling Winehouse and writing “Happy Birthday Amy X.”

Winehouse, who struggled with addiction, died of accidental alcohol poisoning in 2011 at the age of 27. Adele and the “Rehab” singer both attended the BRIT School, a performing arts school in London.

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In addition to recognizing Winehouse during the concert, Adele gave a shout-out to Boston, telling the audience that she’s been enjoying the city. She arrived in Beantown a couple of days before her back-to-back performances and was seen shopping at both J.Crew and Barneys New York at Copley Place, dining at local restaurants and spending quality time with 3-year-old son Angelo.

Adele told the crowd she had snacked on a Boston Cream Bismarck donut (or four, she joked) from the South End’s Blackbird Donuts. She was also spotted at The Charles Hotel in Cambridge, where she was seen eating breakfast at Henrietta’s Table.

And earlier this week, she grabbed a late-afternoon lunch with a male companion at The Merchant Kitchen & Drinks in the city’s Downtown Crossing section.

“It wasn’t busy, and she sat in the back of the restaurant, so it was all very low-key,” said Tena Reynolds, the restaurant’s general manager. “Nobody recognized her or approached her or anything. She was very polite and, like I said, low-key.”

With reporting by MEGAN JOHNSON

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