It’s rare in the music world to find a successful artist who doesn’t conform to a traditional genre. Adele is staggeringly popular despite belting out tunes that sound like they are from 1940s. Adele (Adkins) has crept onto the music scene the past couple years and has already become one of the top female artists of the pop genre. What’s most interesting about Adele is that she isn’t really a pop artist at all.
Adele’s blues soul style is unique for the pop scene. She doesn’t use any electronic enhancement and usually her songs rely solely on her voice, a piano, and an undistorted guitar. It’s incredible that her “classic” style is able to compete in the ever evolving and incredibly similar sounding pop music market. Adele already has a pair of number one hits around the globe.
Her first big hit in the US was “Rolling in the Deep” which hit number one in May 2011 and remained at number one for seven straight weeks. It sold more than five million digital copies and is already one of the most prolific female British singers in American sales. Her follow up release “Someone Like You” is fairing equally as well. After a performance at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards the song jumped from 19th to first on the US Hot 100, the largest ever jump for a song not driven by the release of a single. It is also the first ever song to be number one with a strictly voice and piano composition. “Someone Like You” remained atop the charts through the end of October 2011.
Adele’s popularity spreads beyond the traditional pop music genre. Since she has a certain indefinable style, she can appropriately chart in many different genres. For example, “Someone Like You” charted high on the Pop and Radio charts. Understandable, but what is more surprising is its ability to cross genres. It has charted in the top 30 on the Rock charts, Dance charts as well as the Latin charts. Suffice it to say, Adele with her style, while unique for the era, manages to appeal to everyone with no regards for music preference.
In addition to commercial success, Adele has impressed critics and award selection committees. Adele has a pair of Grammy Awards at the young age of only 23. She has five nominations including “Best New Artist” in 2009 and the award for “Best Female Pop Performance” for the song “Chasing Pavements” also at the 2009 Grammys. A testament to her versatility, Adele’s also been nominated for a Country Music Award, won a MOBO (British hip-hop/R & B and Soul Awards), and also won a pair of Q Awards.
Adele will be sidelined for the next few months with throat surgery, but she already has her third album in the work, though the name is still to be determined. It’s unclear exactly where Adele will head from here, but not matter what she decides to do next, it’s apparent that her fans will follow.
It is Adele’s unique persona and musical style that has jumpstarted her into the spotlight. Keeping her distinctiveness will retain her place in the music world.
Source: Gerrick Kennedy, British soul singer Adele preps summer U.S. tour, LA Times.com
Billboard Staff, Someone Like You-Adele Song Info, Billboard.com