Adele’s Current Dominance
by The Milton Measure on Friday, February 24th, 2012
Ever since the 2011 debut of her first album, 21, British singer-songwriter Adele has taken the music world by storm. The record, which earned six Grammy awards at last Friday’s ceremony, has been inescapable on the radio over the past few months: With their unique fusions of soulful poetry, pop hooks, and R&B rhythms, hits such as “Rolling in the Deep,” “Someone Like You,” and, most recently, “Set Fire to the Rain” have found their way onto stations ranging from 92.9 Alternative to the Pop hub Kiss 107.9.
Last Tuesday, 21 managed its twenty-first week atop Billboard’s top 100 bestselling albums, setting a new record for the most time a single album has spent at the top of the charts. Who is this vocalist, who, at age twenty-three, is already on the fast-track to international superstardom?
“As soon as I got a microphone in my hand when I was about 14,” Adele shares on her personal website, “I knew I wanted to do this.”
Contrary to what one might expect, Adele was not raised in a household of musicians. When asked by an interviewer about the origins of her vocal talent, she lightheartedly relates, “It all comes from impersonating the Spice Girls and Gabrielle.”
Only after transferring in her late teens to the Brit School, a secondary school for aspiring artists whose alumni include Amy Winehouse and Kate Nash, was Adele provided with the opportunity to refine her craft. “It had free rehearsal rooms, and free equipment, and I was listening to music all day, every day for years.” In 2006, she was signed with the record label XL.
Stardom itself has not been without its challenges. Earlier this year, Adele underwent surgery at a Boston hospital after the strain performing took on her vocal cords. Critics and fans held their breath as the singer entered and emerged from the operating room. Adele’s first post-surgery public performance at the Grammy awards earned her a standing ovation with its flawless pitch and intensity.
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