Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Adele: Lessons in How To Achieve Success

After only 10 months since its release, Adele's album 25 achieved diamond status - 10 million copies sold.  This is a remarkable achievement in an era where many consider the album format to be almost extinct as people purchase or stream songs instead.  Many albums take years to go platinum 10 times but Adele did it in less than a year.  

What was the last album to reach diamond status?  It was Adele's own 21.  It has sold 14 million copies so 25 may surpass it in a short time!

Adele kicked off her 56-city American tour in St. Paul, Minnesota this year to rave reviews, such as in Rolling Stone.  Unlike other singers, she uses her band, her voice and a cup of tea as a backdrop.  It definitely shows how you don't always need fancy lights and a cast of thousands when you let you talent shine through.

Her appearance on the March 2016 cover of Vogue gave an insightful quote into her absence and how she's comfortable now with her success and trying to prove herself.

“I didn’t miss being in the spotlight, but I really missed that side of myself. I was happy to be lost in the wilderness for a while, but I was a bit frightened that I was never going to get back. I suppose there was lots riding on what to follow '21' up with. Once ‘Hello’ came out, I felt like I’d got nothing to prove. I’m just going to sing now because I want to, and I’ll make records when I want to and not because someone is forcing me to do it. Not that anyone ever has. I’d fire them if they tried!”

She also has sold out her 56-city North American tour in a matter of minutes.  It should be pointed out that this isn't a tour of theaters or clubs but rather full-size arenas.  She sold out a record-breaking 6 nights at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, the same place where the L.A. Lakers play.  From St. Paul, Minnesota to Mexico City, every arena has sold out and there are still tens of thousands of fans who were left out because of the huge demand.

What's also remarkable is that this tour is without the promise of a huge spectacle or a massive glittering stage show with all the bells and whistles.  Adele could perform the tour all by herself onstage singing acapella and it wouldn't make a difference to her fans.  They might even prefer it!

All of the above is remarkable for a singer who had her last release 4 years ago and has been basically under the radar during that time period.  Compared to singers like Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus, Adele has been virtually invisible.  In this fast-paced world of social media where you must be constantly online or be forgotten, that is a remarkable achievement.

What Lessons Can Be Learned?

1) Be Yourself And Let Your Talent Speak For Itself

Adele began singing at age four and hasn't looked back since.  For her, it was about the music and the performance and not the glitz or glamour.  She sings without back-up dancers or an overwhelming display of pyrotechnics.  She can easily sell out arenas without needing an elaborate stage show or a dozen costume changes.

Adele simply needs to be honest and to be herself.  She doesn't feel the need to maintain a perfect body image or to do anything outrageous.  Nobody believes that she needs to do those things and as she remarked, "That’s my worst fear: people not believing me,”.

She definitely doesn't need any props or to sing on a horse.  That's not to see that every singer should have the same minimal approach but make sure that you have the basic talent to have success in your field.  Make sure there is steak along with the sizzle.

Katy Perry has an elaborate stage show but she also has the talent to go along with it.  If you wish to be a successful singer or artist or even a successful business person, make sure you have the training and the talent.  This will take some hard work but there has to be a solid foundation to anyone's success.

2) Sometimes Less Exposure is More

Her last album '21' sold 30 million copies worldwide but she only released 3 singles and two videos. After the success of the album, she stayed out of the limelight and only came out to record and sing the James Bond song 'Skyfall'.  Even then, she did not appear in the video although she did perform at the Oscar ceremony.  Her interview this past week with i-D Magazine was her first in 3 years.  In these days of countless talk shows and numerous online entertainment sites, that's quite an accomplishment.

In this age of social media, there's a fine line between being overexposed and leaving the pubic wanting more.  Kim Kardashian does not leave people wanting more but there is still an insatiable demand for her and her family, for the time being.  How long will it last until it burns out?  Nobody knows.

Adele, with her talent, has set herself up for a truly long career.  It wouldn't be surprising if she's still this popular when she's in her seventies, like a Barbra Streisand.  We can all definitely enjoy her singing but we can also learn some lessons in success from her remarkable and inspiring story!

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  1. great post.. so true.. it is amazing that she is so invisible yet all over!!.. great recipe for success..

  2. She's the best. Give me Adele over Miley Cyrus anyday!