The Someone Like You singer is one of the 12 names on the list and the nomination tops a successful week for the star.
21, the star’s second album, has now been in the charts for 25 weeks, never outside the top two, and recently returned the number one spot after beating off competition from US rival Beyonce.
What’s more, the songwriter’s debut album 19, originally released in January 2008, currently occupies the number three spot, with Lady Gaga and The Horrors making up the top five.
The shortlist for the prize was unveiled by BBC 6Music DJ and TV host Lauren Lavern at The Hospital Club in London last night (July 19th).
Joining Adele on the list will be British hip-hop’s man of the moment Tinie Tempah.
The Pass Out and Wonderman rapper, who already lays claim to a clutch of Brit Awards, sees his debut album Disc-Overy among those in with a chance of scooping the coveted award on September 6th.
James Blake, who has had chart success with his dub step-infused chill out material this year, sees his self-titled debut on the list, while Elbow (Build a Rocket Boys!) and PJ Harvey (Let England Shake) are among the other big names in the running.
Man Alive by Everything Everything, Ghostpoet’s Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam and Good Days At Schloss Elmau by pianist Gwilym Simcock also made the cut, as did King Creosote & Jon Hopkins’ Diamond Mine and Metronomy’s The English Riviera.
Completing the list is a duo of female stars, set to battle Adele for the award, with Katy B’s On A Mission and Anna Calvi’s self-titles album also nominated.
Simon frith, chair of judges for the prize, commented: “This year’s Barclaycard Mercury Prize shortlist highlights the remarkable possibilities of what can be achieved with music – the grand gesture and telling detail, albums that are dramatic, ambitious and artful, emotional and affectionate, funny and profound.
“Much of the music here evokes a sense of place and time, providing a wonderful snapshot of Britain’s varied musical life.”