On Monday we reported Billboard’s top music earners of 2011, and there were more than a few surprises. One in particular was Adele coming in at number 10 — which The Guardian has also pinpointed as a notable occurrence, given that 80s-90s star Sade came in at number 6, making her England’s biggest music export to the US. And all this despite Adele’s staggering US chart success and multiple Grammy wins. The Guardian says, “What’s really surprising is that the No 1 British act in America isn’t Elton John or Paul McCartney or any of those obvious British behemoths abroad (although Irish band U2 did come in higher and Coldplay haven’t released anything recently). Nor is it a young stealth interloper such as Mumford & Sons. It is, in fact, Sade, who many of you will have forgotten decades ago.”
Sade made a comeback in 2010, including new album, greatest hits album and a tour, and for one reason or another — The Guardian cites Sade’s culturally ambiguous looks and the “sophistication” her music embodies — the soulful singer found a huge following in the US, which incidentally also dwarfed her comeback in the UK. The Guardian points to Billboard’s ominous opinion of Sade’s comeback, “It’s been 10 years since Sade released an album, but be forewarned – the giant has awoken.” Indeed, last year Sade made $16.4 million from combined album and ticket sales, while Adele’s sales, especially in the tour sector, were hampered by her throat surgery and late-year commitment cancellations.
The Guardian opines on Sade’s success, and throws her up as the antithesis of Adele; “The music industry still talks in hallowed tones about “cracking America”, something Adele has done with huge impact, but when Sade did it, she wasn’t so obviously British. She didn’t court the chatshow circuit with a gobby accent in the way that Adele does, so her speaking voice went largely unheard.” The publication quotes journalist Paul Simper who agrees, “Her Englishness was never a selling point. CBS just wanted to sign her and build her up to be somebody like Whitney, get her a professional studio band, but she resolutely stuck to her guns and stayed with the band from London she’d always had. And she still has – she’s always done it on her terms. Being successful in America didn’t involve any compromise or sounding any more American; her sound was always the same throughout.” Ineed, Sade has been a surprising alternative to Adele — and an unexpected candidate to usurp her throne as America’s favorite Brit.
Why Sade Is Biggest In The Us Than Adele [The Guardian]
[Photos: Getty Images]