By Elizabeth Lancaster
Forty four may seem like an irrelevant number in individual album sales for heavy hitters like Adele and Jason Mraz, who are accustom to selling millions, but this week that number made all of the difference.
Adele held on to the top spot on the U.K. album chart this week with her record-setting blockbuster 21 by selling just 44 more copies than Mraz's debuting Love is a Four Letter Word.
Love is Mraz's first new release since 2008's smash We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things, which gave the singer the longest running song ever on the Billboard Hot 100, "I'm Yours." In 2010, Mraz won two Grammys for his work on the album, so needless to say the bar has been set high for his follow-up. His first single off the new album, "I Won’t Give Up," peaked at #1 on iTunes after its release in January, and we expect the rest of the album to continue gaining momentum!
Listen to "I Won't Give Up" below:
Have you picked up Jason's Mraz's new album? Let us know what you think of it in the comments below!
Just a few years ago, Adele was another high school kid with a dream. Of course, she also had a once-in-a-generation voice and a charisma to spare, so it's only natural that she went on to become a superstar.
And now we have proof that the powerhouse voice that blew everyone else off the stage at last month's Grammy Awards has been there all along. Video shot by a high school friend of a 16-year-old Adele singing an early, acoustic version of her song "Daydreamer," which appears on her hit 2008 debut 19, was provided to Britain's The Sun and showcases her amazing voice … and a bit of the fun-loving attitude that makes Adele such a fun-favorite.
"It was clear she was going to be a star. Some people were that step above everyone else. And Adele was one of them," Allan Rose, a classmate at London's BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology, told The Sun. She's clearly stayed grounded. She was bubbly, fun, outgoing and popular at school. ... Everyone is proud we spent time with this amazing talent."
The BRIT School for Performing Arts has a long history of producing top-notch talent. Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis, Jessie J and Kate Nash all attended BRIT and it is where the band The Kooks came together.
Check out video of 16-year-old Adele performing a stripped-down, early version of a song that would go on to be one of her first hits, after the jump. Read More...
By Zachary Swickey
We recently told you about Adele’s new jaw-dropping digs – a 10 bedroom mansion in West Sussex, England – but all is not well with the singer, who now believes the home is haunted!
The British chart-topper had been living it up in her multi-million dollar mansion that rents at the pricey tag of $24,000 a month, but now she fears staying there alone due to possible paranormal activity – reportedly telling her friend that the house “gives me the creeps” after hearing one too many peculiar sounds in the night.
The security industry is getting a boost from Adele being so spooked – she’s moved her female bodyguard into the house for 24/7, monitoring at the low annual rate of £100,000. Additionally, she’s hired two new security guards to add to her task force and protect the 25-acre property. The creepy estate used to a be convent and even has a private chapel on the grounds – adding to the possible haunt factor.
“Adele was so excited to be renting such a lavish property, but it has not turned out as happily as it should have,” a source told The Sun. “She is convinced it is haunted. She knows about its religious history – and it’s a big place to be in on your own in the dead of night.” Read More...
By Zachary Swickey
While Adele hangs around her multi-million dollar mansion, we know of one person who is still clearly not welcome: her father.
The British songbird told Vogue that she has absolutely no interest in keeping a relationship with her father, Mark Evans (who abandoned the Grammy-winning singer when she was three), following his story that he sold to The Sun last year that discussed his personal alcoholism and split from Adele’s mother.
“I was actually ready to start trying to have a relationship with him again. He’s f**king blown it. He will never hear from me again,” she told Vogue. “Because there is nothing that would upset me more than my dad being bribed by the press. It’s like, ‘Just let them run it, then. Don’t you give them ammunition.’”
She had plenty more left to say: “It makes me angry! To come back after ten years and be like, ‘Maybe her problem with men comes down to me.’ It’s like, ‘F**k off! How dare you comment on my life?’ It makes my blood boil.”
Adele feels her father doesn’t realize the consequences of publishing his story. “There’s consequences other than just getting a bit of f**king money that lasts you half a year. It blows my mind," she said. "‘I love her so much.’ Really? Why are you telling me that through a newspaper? If I ever see him, I will spit in his face."
In other, brighter, Adele news, the powerhouse singer has tied the late Whitney Houston's "The Bodyguard" soundtrack's 20 weeks at #1 with her smash-hit 21. The singer has also backtracked on her much-publicized quote about taking a break “for four of five years” – saying that’s simply not the case. (Thank goodness!)
What an awfully big house you have, Adele!
One of the things we love so much about Adele is that she seems like a down-to-earth girl you'd like to go to the
bar pub with for a few drinks. She's neither pretentious nor exhausting and seems like an all-around normal person.
But there's one element of her life that is far from normal – her new digs! Rolling deep in some cash from her blockbuster album 21, the pop star is currently renting a MASSIVE, 10-bedroom multimillion dollar mansion in West Sussex, England, for nearly $24,000 a month.
"Fed up with paparazzi staking out her home in London, she's just rented this very large, but very private home in the English country side," Anderson Cooper said during Adele's pre-Grammy "60 Minutes" interview as the British songstress gave the anchor a tour of the home.
"This is just safety, this house," Adele said. She even called the mansion, which Cooper revealed remains mostly unfurnished, a "cliché" but it's sadly apparently a necessary one. The paparazzi and tabloid press in her native England have become so intrusive that she sometimes plants semi-fictional stories within her own entourage to root out the rats. Once she sees the falsified details splashed across the papers, she knows who around her is talking to the press and fires them. Her new palace is really more of a hideaway so she can escape all the bull.
Having snitches in your midst is an unfortunate byproduct of notoriety (everyone wants a piece of you), but as you'd expect, Adele seems to have her head on straight about the whole thing.
Take a tour of the house, after the jump. Read More...
If you were looking for any insight into 78-year-old Chanel designer/creative director Karl Lagerfeld's level of taste and class you've got it: While inexplicably discussing Born To Die singer/national discussion topic Lana Del Rey, Lagerfeld praised the "Video Games" singer for being beautiful (because that's what matters most when you're a singer, right?), but said he preferred the vocal stylings of Florence Welch and Adele … you know, even though she's "a little too fat."
“I prefer Adele and Florence Welch," Lagerfeld told Metro of Del Rey. “But as a modern singer she is not bad. The thing at the moment is Adele. She is a little too fat, but she has a beautiful face and a divine voice. Lana del Rey is not bad at all. She looks very much like a modern-time singer. In her photos she is beautiful. Is she a construct with all her implants? She’s not alone with implants.”
This guy! He says a bunch of other crazy things in the article, including that President Obama deserves to be reelected because he likes Michelle Obama's spitfire attitude and that M.I.A.'s Super Bowl halftime middle finger flip was a "bad habit," adding that "people in magazines are 50 percent bimbo and 50 percent pregnant women" and proving 100 percent that he had no idea what the interviewer was asking him about.
And it's not just him, of course. When will people learn to shut their faces about Adele's weight? She's made it very clear that she doesn't really care what people think about her appearance, so can we all just agree that discussing her weight is silly and classless and says more about the one speaking than it does about Adele? OK then.
(Oh, and for the record, maybe Uncle Karl is just living out some repressed issues ... after all, he hasn't always been the lightest guy in town himself!)
Do you think the Chanel designer's comments about Adele went a little too far? Let us know in the comments below!
By Zachary Swickey
Adele had a stellar year in 2011. Despite persistent voval chord problems that required surgery, she still managed to have the best selling album of the year with 21, which has moved more units than any release since Usher’s 2004 effort Confessions. So it’s pretty safe to say most of us are familiar with the heartache Adele channels on the album, which makes us happy to hear that she’s supposedly got a new beau to start the New Year with.
According to reports from The Sun (along with photographic evidence), Adele was seen kissing on her new boyfriend Simon Konecki while they were enjoying themselves at Florida’s Everglades National Park – indulging in an airboat ride together through some marshes, while both donning aviator shades. She may have gotten better about choosing a gentleman too, because Konecki sounds like a pretty stand-up guy – he’s the head of Drop4Drop, an English charity that is devoted to solving the world’s current water crisis. Perhaps his good karma will keep any songs from being written about him if things don’t work out.
Not that Adele was particularly harsh about her ex who is the main lyrical inspiration behind 21. The album progressively showcases all sides of the emotional rollercoaster that everyone goes on when ending a relationship. For example, album-opener (and smash hit) “Rolling in the Deep” is basically Adele’s big “f*** you” to her former lover, who reportedly called her weak and told her life without him would be boring for her (we’re sure it’s pretty easy for her to laugh that comment off at this point). Read More...
By Zachary Swickey
It’s been no secret that the music industry has been on a sharp decline over the last decade - or at least album sales have. With the emergence of Napster in the ‘90s and the eventual widespread acceptance of purchasing music online, the industry has had a tough time keeping up with these new trends and combating piracy, but things are looking up.
While there’s still a week of reporting left for Soundscan – the company that counts the amount of albums sold – 2011 appears to be the first year boasting an increase in overall album sales since 2004. Granted, the increase is only 1 percent, but that’s coming off 2010, when sales were down 13 percent and the years prior when sales dropped an average of 8 percent regularly year-over-year.
Who does the industry owe a big ups to for this achievement? Well, it’s a no-brainer that Adele’s 21, the best-selling album since Usher’s 2004 effort Confessions, with 5.68 million units moved so far, is the biggest reason - an achievement made all the more impressive considering she had to axe her stateside tour (twice!) due to vocal problems.
Of course, classic crooner Michael Buble has seen his Christmas album move a half milli a week this entire month. Christmas is Buble’s third number one album, and with 2.43 million sold, it’s the second best selling of the year behind Adele – overtaking Lady Gaga’s Born This Way within the last week.
Gaga’s numbers are nothing to scoff at with Born This Way going solidly double platinum this year. Amazon’s 99-cent firesale of her new album during its first week of release helped Gaga to a million-unit debut, but the controversy stemming from the sale also caused Billboard and Soundscan to readjust the rules for charting albums – full-length releases priced below $3.49 no longer count. Read More...
By Sterling Wong
"She works hard for the money," Donna Summer once sang, and just as it was the case in 1983, pop stars these days have to work their butts off to earn those album purchases, downloads and concert ticket sales in this age of YouTube, X-Box and Angry Birds.
But while some singers identify with the Protestant work ethic espoused by Donna, there are others who, as Bruno Mars puts it, “don’t feel like doing anything [and] just wanna lay in my bed.” And it’s not always only those who are hardworking who find success, as the popularity of Bruno proves. Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it.
So, who’s working hard and who’s not? In the spirit of Christmas, we decided to put together a pop star naughty and nice list for Santa. Read More...
By Sterling Wong
It wasn’t supposed to be like this: 2011 was supposed to be the year of Lady Gaga. Coming off a mammoth first album and incredibly successful world tour, the 25 year-old was expected to rule the world with her massively hyped and eagerly anticipated sophomore album, Born This Way.
Make no mistake, Gaga’s Born This Way was a success, debuting on the Billboard 200 with over 1 million copies sold and putting four singles in the top ten. But the real zeitgeist this year was unexpected: a humble, English, 23 year-old soul singer who we know simply as Adele.
The songstress found success with her first album, 2008's 19, but it was she, and not Gaga, who enjoyed sophomore success the likes of which have not been seen since… well, ever!
The key to Adele’s success is simple: Her soaring, soulful vocals, coupled with heartfelt lyrics and elegiac production, stood out and struck a chord in the hearts of everyone from teenagers mourning the loss of love to grandmothers enjoying the throwback feel of her songs.
Here’s a gander at some of the impressive numbers Adele’s racked up this year (there were so many we couldn’t begin to list them all!): Read More...