Helen Mirren Recalls First Hearing Adele Sing: 'This Shiver Went Down My Back'

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"Her voice is one for the ages. It is truly timeless," Helen Mirren said as she presented Adele with The Hollywood Reporter's Sherry Lansing Leadership Award

<p>Stefanie Keenan/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images</p> Adele and Hellen Mirren on Dec. 7, 2023

Stefanie Keenan/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images

Adele and Hellen Mirren on Dec. 7, 2023

Helen Mirren vividly remembers the first time she heard Adele sing.

On Thursday, Mirren, 78, presented Adele, 35, with the the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at  The Hollywood Reporter’s Annual Women in Entertainment Gala in Los Angeles. As Mirren spoke to Adele's star power at the event, she likened her first time hearing the six-time Grammy winner to when she first heard music legends like Edith Piaf and Elvis Presley.

"You know, there are moments in life that you never forget and none more so when you first hear an artist and a song that's truly different from anything that's come before and really speaks to you," Mirren said. "And I'll never forget the first time I had that experience was when I heard Edith Piaf sing, and then when I heard Elvis Presley sing, and I had exactly the same reaction a few decades later. I think it was about 2008, maybe, when I heard Adele singing 'Hometown Glory,' and this shiver went down my back."

"That chill that comes just a few times in your life when you realize you are listening to a brilliant and game-changing artist," she said of that moment. "And I thought, wow, a goddess walks amongst us."

Mirren added that she was equally surprised when she first heard Adele speak in a radio interview.

Related: Adele Says Becoming a Mom at the Height of Fame Was Considered 'Career Suicide' but 'I F---ing Got Away with It'

<p>Matt Winkelmeyer/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images</p> Helen Mirren and Adele on Dec. 7, 2023

Matt Winkelmeyer/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images

Helen Mirren and Adele on Dec. 7, 2023

"I thought, 'Oh my God, not only is she a goddess, she's an ordinary Londoner just like me,' " she said. "I mean, what an extraordinary rare combination of being one of us, but also having a talent and a tenor that can take us, transport us to somewhere truly otherworldly."

Adele's latest recognition "recognizes trailblazers and philanthropists in entertainment and media," according to THR. When the "Easy on Me" singer was announced as the award's recipient in November, the outlet noted that past winners include Charlize Theron, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Barbra Streisand and Viola Davis.

<p>Matt Winkelmeyer/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images</p> Adele speaks as Helen Mirren looks on on Dec. 7, 2023

Matt Winkelmeyer/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images

Adele speaks as Helen Mirren looks on on Dec. 7, 2023

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"I read in an interview recently where Adele was called 'The Voice of Her Generation,' and I totally disagree with that," Mirren added during her speech. "Her voice is one for the ages. It is truly timeless."

Related: Adele Thanks Rich Paul's Late Mom for Raising a Man Who Doesn't Think a 'Woman's Power Diminishes' His Own

<p>Matt Winkelmeyer/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images</p> Adele and Helen Mirren (right) on Dec. 7, 2023

Matt Winkelmeyer/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images

Adele and Helen Mirren (right) on Dec. 7, 2023

Mirren cited Adele's talent as a singer and songwriter and her work as a philanthropist while speaking with PEOPLE about why the "Rolling in the Deep" singer was the right recipient for this year's award.

"The incredible talent of her, not just as a voice, as a singer, as a songwriter, the beautiful music she creates, and also her philanthropy is what we are recognizing today," she says. "A quiet philanthropy that she does without a song and a dance, but she's an incredibly generous and philanthropic person, so that's what we're celebrating."

Thursday's event also featured Kerry Washington as she received the Equity in Entertainment Award, presented to her by Wish star Ariana DeBose.

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