Sharon Janny den Adel (born 12 July 1974) is a Dutch singer and composer, best known as the lead vocalist and one of the main songwriters in the Dutch symphonic metal/rock band Within Temptation. She has been a performing musician since the age of 14, and was a founding member of Within Temptation, along with Robert Westerholt, in 1996.
Sharon Janny den Adel was born on 12 July 1974 in Waddinxveen, Netherlands. She traveled extensively in her youth, living in at least ten different countries, including Indonesia, where she lived from the time she was a year old until she was six years of age. From the age of 14, she performed with various bands, including a blues rock band called Kashiro. During high school den Adel met Robert Westerholt who introduced her to Paradise Lost. As their partnership grew, in 1996 they came to form a band called The Portal, though the name was changed to Within Temptation before their debut recording. She has a bachelor's degree in fashion design.
Den Adel and long-term partner Robert Westerholt have three children together (daughter Eva Luna, sons Robin Aiden and Logan Arwin), and they currently live near Hilversum. Den Adel was pregnant with their first child, Eva Luna (born 7 December 2005), during The Silent Force tour. On 22 February 2009, den Adel announced that she was pregnant with her second child, Robin Aiden Westerholt, whose birth was announced on the band's official website on 1 June 2009. Going by the name of Aiden, he was born premature at 32 weeks and 6 days. On 26 November 2010, den Adel announced that she was expecting another child which, due to complications with her previous pregnancies, meant that the band's 2011 tour dates would be rescheduled from spring till autumn. The birth of her son, Logan Arwin, was announced on 31 March 2011.
Den Adel never formally studied singing and stated in a 2006 interview that she had sung a short while in a choir and was mostly self-taught. She used to practice alone three or four hours per day. Sharon has a mezzo-soprano range, though she has a light and lyric vocal quality for that range. Her highest note is found on the song "Jane Doe" Netherlands/Australia/Japan release and her lowest on "Empty Eyes".
Sharon den Adel performing with Within Temptation in 2011
Together with her partner, Robert Westerholt, den Adel formed Within Temptation (initially called The Portal, though the name was changed before their first recording) in 1996. She has defined their work as epic and cinematic. Her vocals play a major role in the band's sound, despite having never received formal vocal training.
Before Within Temptation became famous, she worked for a fashion company, leaving after the band found success with their hit single "Ice Queen". She utilises her fashion expertise by designing her stage costumes and the band's merchandise.About.com described den Adel as a "versatile and skilled singer who is equally adept at singing powerfully with a full orchestra and choir as she is at singing quietly and emotionally with just a piano." When asked if she prefers to sing in Dutch or English, den Adel said that she favours the latter because "Dutch just doesn't fit to our music style. It is also not the nicest language to sing in. Italian or Spanish would then be better options."