Singer Adele is a world star, regularly breaking records. And that from the beginning. What she herself says about it and what U.S. politician Sarah Palin has to do with it is shown in a recent documentary in the ZDF media library.
It's almost ironic that Adele's latest album, "30," is the first to be released Is the worst-selling of her career – and it still broke records. It remains the best-selling album of 2021, but a very small amount of Adele's image has been scratched lately. This is not only due to lower sales figures, but mainly due to a concert series in Las Vegas, which was canceled at short notice and left many fans angry. A recent documentary is now dedicated to her career, showing in old interview clips and videos from the past how the British woman became a world star.
The recent headlines surrounding the Brit's tearful apology and rumors that the concert cancellation had something to do with her struggling relationship are not addressed. But "The True Story of Adele" makes it clear that the singer has always been a perfectionist – and had a mind of her own.
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For it is not the first tour that Adele has canceled. In 2008, she had the guts to cancel a planned U.S. tour as a newly emerging artist. The reason: a man, of all people! In the documentary, industry insiders recall that Adele did not want to be separated from her then-boyfriend for so long. She was stuck in a toxic relationship, which the world later the album "21" owes with hits like "Rolling in the Deep" and Someone Like You.
Adele owes her early world fame to a coincidence
Instead of the tour, there was a small concert in New York, but in the audience sat a producer of the popular US comedy show "Saturday Night Live". He spontaneously invited the young British woman to the show as a musical guest -. This should change Adele's career forever. Because in the episode with her, of all people, the guest was not a Hollywood star, as is usually the case, but the U.S. politician Sarah Palin.
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The show made fun of the Republican for weeks back then, actress Tina Fey even won an Emmy for her Palin parody. And so, on a Saturday night in October 2008, more than 17 million Americans tuned in to "SNL" and got to listen to two songs by Adele. The next day, her album was number one on the iTunes charts in the U.S.
"I didn't realize until I got there that Sarah Palin was there and how big it all was. Whenever someone talked about 'overnight success,' I laughed and said it takes a lot of hard work. But for me, it was literally overnight", Adele said in an interview shown in the documentary. And another clip proves that with Adele, talent and self-confidence go hand in hand. "I thought I'd only be successful in the USA by the third or fourth album, she said in 2008, shrugging her shoulders.
The documentary doesn't really bring anything new to light, but it's worthwhile above all because it recalls numerous great Adele moments that you'd love to watch again on YouTube in continuous loop: Her performance at the 2011 Brit Awards, for instance, where she ends up with tears in her eyes accompanied only by a piano "Someone Like You" sang. Or her performance of the Bond song "Skyfall." at the 2013 Oscars. Or the entire 2016 Glastonbury Festival gig, which was brimming with Adele's signature blend of vulnerability, approachability and ribald humor.
"I can only write songs when I'm not feeling well", Adele says again and again. She makes it sound like a promise: In the end, maybe even the trouble over the canceled Vegas concerts will lead to magical Adele moments again.