The Songs That Made Adele a Pop Star

Adele has achieved great fame thanks to her powerful voice and vulnerable persona, earning her millions of fans around the world. This book chronicles Adele’s journey from London childhood through Grammy and BRIT Award triumphs to 2012 Grammy/BRIT wins.

Adele expanded her sonic palette on 21; 25 returns to its roots by emphasizing bluesy sounds from her first two albums. Producer Greg Kurstin and co-writer Tobias Jesso Jr. add maximalist pop production, but Adele remains at the core of this album.

1. “Chasing Pavements”

Adele first rose to international recognition with this song’s heartache-inspired ballad structure and lyrics about heartbreak that resonated with listeners across all nations.

Adele showed the breadth of her musical capabilities with this track from 19. It features rhythmic clapping and vocal flourishes on the bridge that showcased her fiery side audiences hadn’t experienced previously on 19. Additionally, this song foretold what would come on her next album “25.”

2. “Rolling in the Deep”

Adele’s 2011 pop-soul hit, “Rolling in the Deep”, remains her signature anthem about being dumped. This heartbreak ballad can only be described as emotionally raw.

Adele’s breakthrough hit song. The powerful drumbeat acts like an emotional pulse while her chorus melody strikes an up-tempo high note that will move anyone listening.

3. “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”

Get ready for an emotional ride: Adele explores her relationship with herself after her divorce from Simon Konecki and father’s death in this song.

Adele’s signature acoustic sound and unpredictable vocal intensity shifts can be found here, produced by Greg Kurstin and Tobias Jesso Jr. of 25 fame, who also directed an equally moving music video by Xavier Dolan for this track.

4. “Someone Like You”

Adele had perfected the art of appealing to an audience looking for soulful emotive singers with traditional voices like herself with this heartbreak ballad featuring rhythmic clapping and piano flourishes that add contemporary pop appeal.

With 21, she proved she could compete with global superstars such as Madonna. It became the best-selling album of 2011.

5. “Set Fire to the Rain”

Adele brought emotions alive through her voice and piano performance of “Set Fire to the Rain,” an atmospheric easy listening ballad which could serve as the theme song to any generic prime-time network drama.

Adele appears in long, shapeless black clothing similar to Emily Blunt in its video for this track, conveying its symbolic message of anger toward an ex who must now move on.

6. “River Lea”

Adele was born into a world of privilege but maintains a staunchly working-class attitude. As CEO of her multimillion pound international brand, she takes her work very seriously and takes every responsibility seriously.

XL Recordings was impressed with her three-track demo produced for Brit School class and signed her after hearing it. Since the start, her core team – comprised of top producers and managers – have been supporting her.

7. “Set Fire to the Flames”

Adele’s lead single from 30 is an exquisite piano ballad that showcases her artistry as one of pop music’s most emotional and vulnerable performers. “Make You Feel My Love” is a touching ballad about unexpected love encounters.

Loss and grief are ever-present themes in her music; here, however, they take an extreme form – in this heartrending track she showcases her own growth and inner resilience.

8. “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”

Adele’s most recognizable hit, this ballad remains an absolute classic, topping charts globally and being honored as Song of the Year at 2017 Grammy Awards.

Adele is also an outstanding business executive, taking music’s business side very seriously. Against a global industry that has witnessed its value halve in ten years, she stands as an exception and source of hope.

9. “Hello”

Adele expressed her thanks for remaining engaged with her music despite an extended hiatus, with “Hello” from 25’s first single breaking the 24-hour views record on Vevo.

This ballad offers listeners plenty of leeway in terms of interpretation and invites them to insert their experiences and life journeys into its lyrics. It includes six types of instruments including piano, strings and drums.

10. “Set Fire to the Flames”

Adele’s 2012 album 21 became an international success with sales records breaking worldwide and dominating charts worldwide. One standout track from that record is “Set Fire to the Flames”, an exquisite romantic ballad from which “Set Fire to the Flames” stands out.

Adele remains unflappably grounded despite her massive success, employing an approachable, down-to-earth personality both on stage and during interviews. She adeptly avoids all of the potential pitfalls present in modern fame game with surprising ease.