Adele Reveals The Five Secrets To Her Success

August 8, 2011

Adele, photo courtesy of

In a recent interview with a British music magazine, Adele revealed the five secrets to her success. I was hoping to read about how she manages to be a big-time smoker while still keeping that velvety voice (does she guzzle olive oil?!). Instead, I was treated to a few heaping servings of b.s. sweetened by a British accent.

My thoughts on Adele’s five secrets (she made me do it, really):

Rule #1: Don’t sell out
Adele says that she refuses to sell out and despises artists who exploit their fans for financial gain. She continues, “I think it’s shameful when you sell out. It depends what kind of artist you wanna be but I don’t want my name anywhere near another brand.”

Don’t even get me started on the selling-out debate! What’s wrong with your favorite band now being able to afford to rent hotel rooms during a tour vs. crashing on a buddy’s couch?

Back to Adele: I’m calling her bluff. Were you one of the 111 million viewers who tuned into the Super Bowl this year? Perhaps you remember a preview for the new movie I Am Number Four featuring Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep?” Foot, meet mouth.


Rule #2: Restrict interviews, remain mysterious
Adele says that she doesn’t want to be in everyone’s face, and hates when artists get like that.

Despite the fact that she’s saying this during an interview with the U.K.’s best-selling music magazine for its 300th issue, I get where she’s coming from and I think she’s doing a decent job. While I think that her fans would really appreciate more opportunities to get to know the songbird, if she wants to cut off the very people who support her, go for it.

Rule #3: Don’t allow albums to be re-released with bonus tracks
Adele’s doesn’t agree with the traditional tactic of re-releasing a record with bonus tracks to get fans to buy a record twice.

Despite this, her last record, the wildly successful 19, was re-released with extra tracks. Adele defends herself, “I was furious when they did that on 19. I said ‘no’ and they did it anyway.”

Well, then it’s really not a rule, Adele. You know what they say about talking the talk.

Rule #4: Don’t play festivals
“I will not do festivals,” says Adele. “The thought of an audience that big frightens the life out of me. I don’t think the music would work, either.”

Agreed, the music would be a snoozer at a festival. No argument here.

Rule #5: Don’t play large venues
Adele refuses to play a large venue for the same reasons she doesn’t want to play festivals. “I’d rather play 12 years at the Barfly (small venue for indie bands in the U.K.) than one night at The O2 (arena in London with a capacity of 23,000)!”

I would love to see Adele in a smaller, more personal arena. I think her smoky voice would just purr in a place such as First Avenue in Minneapolis. Oh, wait. She cancelled that tour stop due to illness. When she rebooked, she switched venues to Xcel Energy Center. Capacity of First Ave? 1,500. Capacity of Xcel Energy Center? 18,000+ (9,000 if you count the fact that they’re only planning to use half the space).

Was this a fluke? A one-time exception to her rule? Hardly. According to the Star Tribune, seven of 14 total postponed tour dates were moved into larger venues.


There you have it — Adele’s five secrets to success. Time will tell if she gets better at following her own rules, but I’m curious to hear if this interview affected your view of her. Alternatively, in general, is it all about the music, or does your perception of an artist as a person dictate who you support?