Sunday, 8 January 2012

The Urbanite R&B Artist of 2011 - Adele

"Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead"

What a rollercoaster two years it has been for Adele Atkins, the consistently unlucky in love songstress with the voice of an angel.  After releasing her critically acclaimed debut album, 19, in 2009 the singer looked set to follow in the modest footsteps of other gobby London singers, Lily Allen and Kate Nash, and sell a good amount of records whilst not being too spectacular.

There was always something a bit more special about Adele, however, and it was this 'specialness' that made her appeal to celebrity fans such as Bob Dylan and Elton John and take the American market by storm.  And by God, has she taken America by storm.  She is the first British act in over 20 years to achieve 12 non-consecutive weeks at number one and, by the end of 2011, she had broken Usher's record of most albums sold in a year, shifting 5.28million copies of 21 in the US alone.

It is this American success that makes her the R&B singer of the year.  With the help of heavyweight producers like Rick Rubin and Paul Epworth, her sophomore album is a masterpiece that is filled with large amounts of old school soul, country and rhythm and blues. It was an ambitious project from such a young singer, but such is her talent that she has successfully appealed to young and old, men and women, urban and pop.

And this is down to two things and two things only; her heavenly voice and her obvious vulnerability.  Two of the most memorable live performances seen in 2011 were two of her renditions of Someone Like You; one at the Brit Awards and one at the Royal Albert Hall.  The teary performance at the Brit Awards was particularly monumental, increasing sales of both her albums by 800%.  The song reduced the singer, and probably half the country, to tears and became one of the highlights of the year as a result.

With fears growing over the health of her voice, do not be surprised if 2012 is a quieter year for Adele.  With the continued success of both of these albums, however, she need not worry too much.

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