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A Baby Boomer's Thoughts About the Success of Singer Adele

Updated on January 4, 2017
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Gary has a great interest in music, especially in classic rock and roll. He likes making lists and bringing his experience with music to you

What Do You Think About Adele?

Is Adele the R&B Queen of our time?

See results

What Adele Means for Me

Adele is R&B with a big voice. Even the great Diana Ross, whose songs were compelling, cannot match the big voice. For me Adele is a genuine deal, the real deal and her songs have compelling drama and express the human condition. I think she is a musical genius and her work rose out of pain and despair.

I grew up listening to rock when it was all one; soft rock, R&B, and surfer music were all one. So, for me, Adele is the current queen of R&B in my mind. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, Diana Ross and Aretha Franklin were all on the same radio station, so the appeal of great R & B still impacts boomers.

Dusty Springfield, also from the UK, had the voice and great R & B songs, but her songs were not as great as Adele's. Some liken Adele to Etta James in her sound, which may account for some added popularity among baby boomers. Ronnie Spector of the Ronettes had the most beautiful R & B voice, but her evil husband Phil didn't let her record enough songs written for her.

I first heard the album, 21, when driving from Las Vegas to Reno in June, 2011. One of my sons has an African American girlfriend who said she loved the album. I listened, and before I knew the fame Adele had achieved, I knew she was awesome and commented about that to the others in the car.

For me, Adele brings out the goose bumps that you feel when you hear music that can profoundly move you emotionally. This girl, young enough to be a daughter, maybe even a granddaughter had my children been born earlier, is setting not only the music world on fire, but also the hearts of many who crave good music on fire. It is a craving to hear the best, to be in the presence of something greater than maybe she knew she was creating.

These songs that have reached number one from this album 21, are haunting, dark, serious, using words Stevie Nicks used to describe her own songs. Yet these songs have a soaring quality to them, and that is the genius of them.

For any who have a broken heart from a relationship, or like me, who regrets breaking hearts in the past, these songs are powerful emotional releases. They are highly focused songs that bring the point home with masterful lyrics and a voice that clearly identifies the pain of the moment for Adele herself.

Reading about the recording of the album, links below, shows how she was able to withstand a serious hole in her heart as she determined to travel far and wide to make the album the best it could be.

When finding out that her ex-boyfriend was engaged, she wrote the lyrics to Someone Like You in ten minutes!

How such a young woman was able to capture the essence of the broken relationship with soaring escapes through her lyrics and voice is incredible and is a tribute to her gift of music, a special one in the history of recorded music.

Rolling In the Deep is the Grammy Winning song for 2012. The performance of Set Fire to the Rain at Royal Albert Hall was incredible. Best pop performance of the year was Someone Like You.

The dramatic sound of Adele amazed millions. And it amazed and still amazes me as well.

Here are the videos of the three number one songs, in their order of release, that changed the music world:

1. You Have to Listen This Song in the Car. Powerful and Intense

2. Last Song on the Album: Ex Is Engaged. Final Heartbreak

3. Sometimes I Don't Want Set Fire to the Rain to End

From Set Fire to the Rain:

Sometimes I wake up by the door,

That heart you caught must be waiting for ya.

Even now when we're already over,

I can't help myself from looking for ya.

My Thoughts are Positive About Adele as a Great Singer

Adele is one of the great talents and gifts to the world because of her extraordinary songwriting and singing ability. She is not only a gifted writer, but she has a certain intangible element in her delivery of the music she writes.

It is like she is Joe Cocker giving his all with a voice that is soulful and almost from the other side of town. Adele's home, Tottenham, no doubt is considered by the elite banker Brits to be the other side of the tracks. She is loved by all peoples and races and I think it is good that this is the case.

I have been listening to music for many years. I have heard it all, from swing music of the 30's and 40's that my parents used to play. I have heard classic rock which is my favorite over all. I have listened to the great singers, like Rosemary Clooney, Barbara Streisand, Mariah Carey and the late and great Whitney Houston.

They were great, no doubt. Alicia Keys is great as well. So was Toni Braxton and guys like Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, and Andy Williams and Elvis (goosebumps listening to his ballads) and Journey's Steve Perry. A lot of the male singers are not interested in anything but a hard rock sound now, which I think diminishes great music, although some hard rock is great music.

Great singer/songwriters are harder to come by. Stevie Nicks, whose music I love, Elton John (goosebumps for Diana's funeral) and Mariah Carey have had the most success according to record sales, along with the Beatles as the greatest success, of course.

But Adele is like cream that rises to the top. I realize that she is just starting out. But the three songs featured in these videos have had unprecedented popularity, with some versions of the songs on YouTube having numbers approaching or above 200 million views. Rolling in the Deep is approaching an astonishing 300 Million views. That is amazing for a female singer.

Some Interesting Facts About Adele's Success

I won't cover all the successes that Adele has had so far, but a few stand out. Adele is the first artist ever to sell more than 3 million albums in one year in the United Kingdom alone. You heard me right. Not the Beatles, Stones, Elton John, Pink Floyd, or anyone else has ever done this.The album 21 has set a major milestone in popularity.

That album also is number 1 for 24 weeks in the US. Here are the all time longest running number one albums in the Billboard top 200:

  • West Side Story Soundtrack (54 weeks)*
  • Thriller, Michael Jackson (37 weeks)
  • Calypso, Harry Belafonte (31 weeks)*
  • South Pacific, Soundtrack (31 weeks)*
  • Rumours, Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks (31 weeks)
  • 21, Adele (24 weeks) [Also 24 Weeks Number 2]
  • Purple Rain, Prince and the Revolution (24 weeks)
  • Saturday Night Fever, Bee Gees/Soundtrack (24 weeks)
  • Please Hammer, Don't Hurt "Em, MC Hammer (21 weeks)
  • The Bodyguard, Whitney Houston (20 weeks)
  • Blue Hawaii, Elvis Presley (20 weeks)

*West Side Story sales (as well as South Pacific and Calypso) in the 50's and 60's do not approach sales in subsequent decades. And part of the time at number 1, West Side Story was in the stereo album group, and most albums were mono recordings. West Side Story was certified 3x platinum in the US with 3 million sales compared to Thriller, which was estimated to have equivalent sales worldwide equal to a certified 100x platinum, Rumours estimated 40x platinum worldwide with 40 million sales, etc. Certification only applies to US record sales but you can see that worldwide some albums exploded in sales.

Worldwide, there has been one 60+ million sales album, Thriller. There has been one album at 50 million. There have been 6 more over 40 million but under 50 million. Will Adele's 21 reach or surpass any of those 8 best selling albums?

Adele's second album, 21 has already surpassed over 35 million sales worldwide. And her album, 25, has sold 20 million copies!

So, in an age of downloading individual tracks through Itunes, these numbers are pretty amazing.

Adele is the first artist in the history of recorded music to have a number one album with 3 number one hits during the same time period. She is the first female with 3 top 10 hits at the same time, ever.

The three hits are those featured in the videos above.

And thing about it, she deserves the success because of the dramatic quality of her work.

In Tears at the End: Compelling Live Performance of Someone Like You

When We Were Young from Album 25. Spectacular Song


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    • bgamall profile image

      Gary Anderson 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      That is for sure, Sandy.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 5 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      She has a very powerful voice.

    • bgamall profile image

      Gary Anderson 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Thanks for stopping by Ruth. She does.

    • profile image

      Ruth T. 5 years ago

      She sounds good.

    • bgamall profile image

      Gary Anderson 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada


    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Her names Emili Sande and her debut US album comes out in June bgamall. She was the guest on NPR's World Cafe today.

    • bgamall profile image

      Gary Anderson 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      I think she has that affect on women and men alike.

    • GypsyFootedWoman profile image

      GypsyFootedWoman 5 years ago

      I fell in love with her 19 album after I heard her sing hometown glory on Jimmy Fallon. Melt my heart to stone makes me catch my breath every time I hear it! I waited like a crazy lady for 21 and groaned every time they pushed back the releae date. She is amazing!

    • bgamall profile image

      Gary Anderson 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      We will watch for her. Is she on youtube?

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Adele is great. There's a new Scottish singer with the surname Sanday? who some say is the next Adele. Goose bump city for real bgamall.

    • bgamall profile image

      Gary Anderson 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Ok, Justom. We get your point. In the grand scheme of things your point doesn't matter that much. Again, I heard her album before she was as famous, and I didn't even know who she was, and I knew she was special.

    • justom profile image

      justom 5 years ago from 41042

      I think the fact she sold so many albums has much to do with a glut of Idol mentalities that exist with today's world. I never judged music by how many albums were sold, Beatles or whoever. If I did that I'd have a slim list of music to like. I'm not saying she's a no talent (which I did think when I first heard her) I just think there's too much hype in comparison to talent. But that's just my opinion and you know what they say about that :-P

    • bgamall profile image

      Gary Anderson 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Thanks Frog. Hey Justom, if she fades it won't matter. This girl became the only person in the history of the UK to sell 3 million albums in one year. That includes the Beatles!

      There is something to that, something powerful about this singer that no one else had. The Beatles were 4, this is one female singer making the American charts in ways no one has since the Beatles.

      It could be difficult to follow her own act. I hope she does but what she has given us has been superb.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

      She is truly a song bird. She was given a gift and knows how to use it.

      The Frog Prince

    • justom profile image

      justom 5 years ago from 41042

      I'm gonna' guess that I've been listening to music at least as long as you have and I could not disagree more. When I think of soulful I think Aretha first and absolutely nothing Adele does comes close to soulful IMO. It would be my bet in 5 years she will be just a blip. Peace!! Tom

    • bgamall profile image

      Gary Anderson 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Thanks for the support. I was an Adele fan before being an Adele fan was cool! Wait, that is really an old saying. I told you I have been around for a long time!

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      I get how you feel about her,I really do, she's just a little bit brilliant isn't she??? I totally love an amazing Adam Lambert's voice. And I think what makes Adele so special is she has a voice most of us can sing to. The Royal Albert was such a great concert and so was the ITunes festival live... Seriously astonishing vocals. Love this hub, up & awesome!