- "Hello. It's me."
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins MBE (born 5 May 1988), usually known by only her first name, is a British R&B singer who has gained fame for her soulful vocal performances. She won Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Performance for "Chasing Pavements" from her album 19 at the 2009 Grammy Awards.
The second album, 21 (2011) fared even better, and she is flying high with the commercial and critical success. In the UK, Adele is the first living artist 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. 21 has also spent eleven consecutive weeks at No. 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 has spent 23 non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, more than any other female artist. At the 2012 Grammys, 21 won six awards, including Album, Record and Song of the Year. So not only did Adele tie Beyoncé for the most Grammys won by a female artist in a single night, she became just the sixth person to win the "big three" in a single night and only the second artist to win all four General Field categories (Best New Artist + Big Three), a feat that hadn't been matched for thirty-one years.
Her success in North America came somewhat by a twist of fate. She was scheduled to perform on Saturday Night Live in October 2008, the same night that featured Sarah Palin as a guest star. The stunt with Palin gave SNL its highest ratings in years, and just so happened to expose Adele to a whole new audience. Her worldwide fame has only been growing since then.
She also sang the theme song for the James Bond movie Skyfall; said theme won the award for Best Original Song at the 70th Golden Globes (2013), the 56th Grammy Awards (2014) and the 85th Academy Awards, becoming the first Bond theme singer to win an Oscar.
On October 23rd, 2015 Adele released her first single in 3 years, "Hello," creating a massive buzz worldwide and paving the way for the release of 25 on November 20th. While it didn't fare quite as well with critics and listeners, it was still hailed and praised from coast to coast, America and Europe.
At the 59th Grammy awards on February 12, 2017, she swept the major three categories again, winning "Album of the Year" with 25 and "Record of the Year" and "Song of the Year" with "Hello".
- 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 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:
- "Make You Feel My Love" and "Lovesong" on her albums
- "Many Shades Of Black" by The Raconteurs, "Hiding My Heart" by Brandi Carlile, "If It Hadn't Been For Love" by The Steeldrivers, and "Need You Now" as region-specific bonus tracks
- "Fool That I Am" by Etta James as a B-Side and on iTunes Live From Soho
- "That's It, I Quit, I'm Moving On" by Sam Cooke and "I Can't Make You Love Me", both live.
- Harsher in Hindsight: "Love in the Dark" is a deeply melancholy song about a failing relationship. A sad song in its own right, but all the more sad given Adele divorced from her husband but three years later.
- 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: When she speaks, she retains her very strong North London accent, but you couldn't tell it from her singing voice. After she swept the 2012 Grammy Awards, "Fank you" trended worldwide on Twitter.
- The Something Song: She has covered "Lovesong" by The Cure.
- Spiritual Successor:
- To Amy Winehouse. Also recognized as spiritual successor to Dame Shirley Bassey at the 2013 Oscars due to her success with the theme from Skyfall. She herself openly loathes this notion, however, claiming that she only shares with other British singers like Amy the "gender, not the genre".
- For her own songs, "Hello" to "Someone Like You" and "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" to "Rumor Has It".
- 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. However, that disguise failed the moment she started singing.