It’s not everyday that a voice like Adele’s is introduced to (and praised by) the world of popular music. Artists like Christina Aguilera and Lady Gaga have pipes that’ll leave you in awe, but you can’t talk about Adele without mentioning the word “soul,” because she’s got more of it in her voice than TuneWiki has lyrics. Often recognized for a sound reminiscent of the 1950s and 60s, Adele represents popular music’s current shift from the manufactured to the authentic. Behind her songs and lyrics is a real person – a woman poignantly singing her own heartaches for the world to hear.
Listeners in the U.S. typically came to know Adele after her song, “Rolling in the Deep,” hit airwaves in 2010, but her story began a bit before that. She graduated from a performing arts school in the U.K. in 2006 (alongside Leona Lewis) with the intention of finding a job in the management side of the music industry. But her intentions shifted when a friend posted Adele’s three-track demo on a Myspace page. The songs gained some success, and she gained the attention of a record label (XL Recordings). They signed her immediately.
Her song, “Chasing Pavements” from her album, 19, became popular in the U.K. and debuted at number one, but it wasn’t until her appearance on the SNL episode guest-starring politician Sarah Palin that she broke through to U.S. audiences. The day after the episode aired, her album was at the top of the charts at iTunes and Amazon. Slowly but surely, she started gaining recognition as an artist internationally, and won two Grammys in 2009 – Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best New Artist.
Her next album, 21, (yes, she named her albums for her age at their recordings) is currently the best-selling album of the 21st century. (Woah!) She released the famed “Rolling in the Deep,” which didn’t hurt record sales, and then followed it up with “Someone Like You,” the latter of which she performed at the MTV Music Video Awards in July of 2011. Her epic solo performance, with only a piano to back her up, was one of the most-anticipated and most-talked about performances of the year. Needless to say, she got a standing ovation. Nominated for seven awards that night, she took home Best Art Direction, Best Editing, and Best Cinematography. 21 spent more than eighteen weeks in the top spot for best album in 2011.
Now Adele is recovering from surgery for a hemorrhaged vocal chord and is taking a bit of time off before recording her next album. Undoubtedly, neither of these facts will have the slightest effect on what is sure to be a long, prosperous career and lasting influence on the world of music.