Is this the secret to Adele’s success?

[This was my weekly column for – AC]

Adele, the most famous and successful mononymous person in music since Prince, is having yet another moment.

Her 30 album, released Friday, set a pre-order record of more than one million on iTunes. Sony, her label, put in an order for 500,000 vinyl copies more than six months ago in order to meet the expected demand. This exacerbated the already dire shortage of polyvinyl chloride that’s been dogging the recorded music industry for the last 18 months. The gigantic order from Sony forced an untold number of other artists to seek pressing plants overseas, delaying their vinyl plans by months.

Her One Night Only TV special with Oprah Winfrey earlier this month (Nov. 12) drew more eyeballs than both the Grammys and the Academy Awards. We haven’t seen this kind of prime-time attention for a single artist since ABC-TV pre-empted prime-time programming for the debut of the Scream video from Michael Jackson back in June 1995.

The white pantsuit she wore for the interview is being hailed as a dress-for-power masterstroke by the chattering fashionistas. If you’ve stood in line at the drugstore recently, you’ll have seen her on the cover of half a dozen magazines looking quite glamorous.

When she does head out on tour, demand for tickets will be as high, if not more insane, than anything that’s come before. (On the last tour, I was told by The Wife that if I did not secure tickets that I’d be sleeping on the couch for a week. I failed, but was able to negotiate this transgression down to something less uncomfortable.)

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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