The last few years have seen Pop’s arena welcome a troupe of fresh faced Gladiators all competing in tandem to win the affections of the record-buying public.
There is Rihanna, whose weapon of choice changes with the sway of public opinion. Ever ready to vaguely adapt to what she believes will help her win the fight.
Then there is Katy Perry and Ke$ha, with swords forged deep in the pits of Dr. Luke‘s imaginirium. Satisfied with receiving whatever spoils of war a certain Britney Spears is too pre-occupied to claim for herself.
From the realm of Rap comes Nicki Minaj, with a battle axe stolen from Lil Kim‘s weapons cabinet. Slicing through Hip Hop’s archaic code and conventions to carve her name in the sand as Rap’s first Pop Empress, ready for battle at any given moment.
Then of course is the reigning champion Lady GaGa, equipped with a glitter stained double edged sword. Controversy on one edge and undeniable talent on the other.
And while these assassins battle each other, hoping to out-perform one another in the pits of Pop’s amphitheatre, an unlikely contender watches from the crowd.
A lone voice amidst the noise that is Contemporary Pop.
She is Adele. Pop’s unlikely Warrior Queen.
Now certified 10x Platinum in the UK and moving more than 10 million copies around the globe, her ‘21‘ LP is one of the world’s highest and fastest selling albums in modern memory.
The follow up to the Grammy winning ‘19′, Adele’s latest effort has seen her go from just another staple in Brit Pop’s re emergence in foreign markets, to the world’s most critically acclaimed and commercially accomplished artist in last five years.
Averaging with sales of 200,000 units sold worldwide per chart week, XL Recordings’ strategy of aiming the LP at the middle aged mother unable to download music illegally has paid off – quite literally.
Her success, to many, has come like a thief in the night.
Described by the Wall Street Journal as ‘deliberately unflashy’, her dominance of the charts is all the more boggling to a generation accustomed to the pomp and pageantry endorsed by even the most talented of chart regulars.
Successfully creating her own unique sound by seasoning mid-tempo Pop with a healthy dose of Contemporary Soul, Ms Adkins has gone on to inspire the work of artists she herself grew up listening to. From Beyonce to Christina Aguilera.
Will her future releases live up to the success of ’21′, or will Ms ‘Rolling In The Deep‘s success turn out to be short lived, ready to be outperformed by whatever strikes the fancy of the general public next.