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Music / Adele

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There's a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch, it's bringing me out the dark
Finally I can see you crystal clear
Go ahead and sell me out and I'll lay your shit bare
See how I'll leave with every piece of you
Don't underestimate the things that I will do
There's a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch and it's bringing me out the dark
"Rolling in the Deep"

Adele Laurie Blue Adkins MBE (born 5 May 1988), usually known by only her first name, is a British R&B singer known and respected for her soulful vocal performances. With over 100 million albums sold worldwide, she is one of the best-selling artists of all time.

After graduating in arts from the BRIT School in 2006, she signed a record deal with XL Recordings. Her debut album, 19, was released two years later, selling over 2.5 million copies in the UK and spawning several hit singles including "Chasing Pavements", for which she won a Grammy Award (she also won for Best New Artist at the same ceremony). This success in North America was aided by a twist of fate — her being scheduled to perform on Saturday Night Live on October 18, 2008, the same night that featured Sarah Palin as a guest star. The stunt with Palin gave SNL its highest ratings in 14 years, and just so happened to expose Adele to a whole new audience.

Her second album, 21 (2011), solidified her rise into mainstream fame, producing the smash hit singles "Rolling in the Deep", "Someone Like You", and "Set Fire to the Rain", and going on to sell 31 million copies worldwide, becoming the single highest-selling album of the 21st century. The album helped Adele become the first living artist in the UK to achieve the feat of two top-five hits in both the Official Singles Chart and the Official Albums Chart simultaneously since The Beatles in 1964. It also spent eleven consecutive weeks at #1, the longest ever by a female solo artist on the UK Albums Chart, surpassing Madonna's nine weeks at number one back in 1990. On top of that, the album spent 24 non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making it the single best-performing album in US chart history. The album further won six Grammys, including Album, Record and Song of the Year. With these wins, Adele tied Beyoncé for the most Grammys won by a female artist in a single night, and became just the sixth person to win the "big three" in a single night as well as only the second artist to win all four General Field categories (Best New Artist + Big Three), a feat that hadn't been matched for 31 years.

In 2012, Adele sang the theme song for the James Bond movie Skyfall; said theme won a Grammy, Golden Globe, and Oscar, making it the first Bond theme to win all of the aforementioned awards.

On October 23, 2015, Adele released her first single in 3 years, "Hello," creating a massive buzz worldwide and paving the way for the release of her third album 25 on November 20 of that year. The album debuted at #1 in 32 countries and went on to sell over 23.3 million copies worldwide, of which over 3.38 million (in the US) were sold in the first week, the biggest first-week sales performance of any album in the US. Its five-Grammy win included another sweep of the "big three" categories, with "Hello" winning Record and Song of the Year.

Her fourth album, 30, was released on November 19, 2021 to continued success, becoming the highest-selling album of the year (5.54 million copies) and winning a Grammy for its lead single "Easy on Me".

Not to be confused with Adele Sandé, who actually goes by her middle name Emeli, or Adele Astaire, Fred Astaire's sister and dancing partner.


  • 19 (2008)
  • 21 (2011)
  • 25 (2015)
  • 30 (2021)

We could have troped it allllll, troping in the deeeeeeeep...

  • Amicable Exes: "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" is about becoming one of these after a rough breakup and moving on with their lives.
  • Audience Participation Song:
    • "Rolling In the Deep" and "Someone Like You" as seen in her Live at the Royal Albert Hall concert video.
    • Sia said on The Graham Norton Show that this was a singing tip Adele gave her; when you're having trouble hitting the right notes, hold the mic out to the audience!
  • Break-Up Song: Pretty much the entirety of 21. Almost all of the songs are sung to a (recent) ex. Also 25's "Send My Love to Your Next Lover", which is bouncier.
  • Call-Back: "Easy On Me" video uses practically the same setting as "Hello", but with one significant contrast: in "Hello", she walks into an old house, while in "Easy On Me", she walks out of it.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: "Someone Like You" is all about a guy friend from her childhood who eventually became her lover.
  • Chronological Album Title: Each album thus far has simply been how old she was at the time the album was written/recorded: 19 was released when she was 19, 21 when she was 21, and 25 when she was 25. Each one also manages to be quite evocative of life at that age.
  • Cover Version:
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Alluded to in "I Drink Wine", particularly the following lines.
    When I was a child, every single thing could blow my mind
    Soaking it all up for fun, but now, I only soak up wine
  • Humble Hero: After receiving the 2017 Grammy for Album of the Year, her first words backstage were that Beyoncé really deserved it.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Her albums are all named for her age around the time of recording (19, 21, 25)
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: "I wish nothing but the best for you two..." A theme in "Someone Like You".
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: "Hello". Her first song in three years. Opening lyrics? "Hello, It's me. I was wondering if after all these years..."
  • Literal Metaphor: In the music video for "Hello", whenever the line "Hello from the outside" comes up, Adele will be outdoors in the forest setting.
  • Loudness War: Most of her recordings don't have much dynamic range. Granted, this is part the course most pop music artists today, but her style of music makes it all the more apparent and unfortunate.
  • Love Nostalgia Song: The very bittersweet "Someone Like You". From 25, "When We Were Young". In fact, this is the theme of the latter album, with many of its songs dealing with longing for the past.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: Adele has been able to appeal to listeners of all ages and backgrounds - and more specifically to the top 40, adult contemporary, R&B, and alternative/indie audiences, as well as music critics.
  • New Sound Album: 21, arguably. "Rolling In the Deep" and "Rumour Has It", the leading two tracks, have a strong R&B/soul element similar to her first record... which is pretty much completely different in sound and style from the rest of the album.
    • She did it again with 25, incorporating more elements of R&B, alongside electronic music.
  • Power Ballad: Adele expected producers to arrange "Someone Like You" as such, only for them to keep the demo as a final version. However, "Chasing Pavements" is a straight example.
  • Precision F-Strike: When playing "Box of Lies" with Jimmy Fallon note  and he correctly guesses that she was telling the truth about her toy giraffe with doughnuts around it neck. Adele's response is to simply say "Bitch!"
  • Self-Deprecation: One of her songs compares her heart to a valley, as both are "shallow and man-made".
  • Shout-Out: Her song, "I Found a Boy" uses the lyrics and the melody to the line "Stand By Me" and even used that title when it was in a work-in-progress. (Though lyrically, the songs are very different)
    • The theme from Skyfall features a line, "You may have my number, you can take my name/But you will never have my heart", which may be a reference to a line from the Johnny Rivers song "Secret Agent Man" ("They've given you a number and taken away your name.")
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Someone who knows her only by her singing voice would be thrown for a loop by her speaking voice, which possesses a very strong North London accent. After she swept the 2012 Grammy Awards, "Fank you" trended worldwide on Twitter.
  • The Something Song: She has covered "Lovesong" by The Cure.
  • Super Group: As part of "Truth+Soul" with Amy Winehouse and Aloe Blacc for the L.A. Noire soundtrack.
  • Telephone Song: "Hello" is about calling to apologize for breaking her lover's heart.
  • Textless Album Cover: Unlike her first two albums, the covers for 25 and 30 just has her face without her name and the title on it.
  • Title-Only Chorus: "Rumor Has It" just repeats the title in the chorus with some accompanying "woo"s before ending with "Rumor has it he's the one I'm leaving you for".
  • What Does He See in Her?: The other woman in "Rumor Has It".
  • Woman Scorned: "Rolling In the Deep". The song may acknowledge that she can't be in a relationship anymore but her rage is still there.
  • Your Costume Needs Work: Attempted this one the same way Jewel had done before by disguising herself to prank an Adele impersonator contest. While her make-up, including a prosthetic nose, managed to fool everyone, that disguise failed the moment she started singing, moreso when she kicked away her shoes, something she's well-known for when singing live.


Video Example(s):


Adele Saves Thanksgiving

2015 politics is ruining this SNL family's Thanksgiving, until they find one thing they can all agree upon: the overwhelming power of Adele's "Hello".

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

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