Adele Ties Record With Whitney Houston

Adele Ties Record With Whitney Houston
Music News
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook
The 2012 Grammy Awards was supposed to be Adele’s night, the coronation of a singular pop star whose epic voice stunned and won over the world in a manner not seen since, well, a woman named Whitney Houston burst forth almost three decades earlier.

So perhaps it’s fitting that they shared Grammy night as Adele completed her triumph over a broken heart (and vocal chord) with a six Grammy sweep, including album of the year, just as Houston finally succumbed to a broken soul.

Even before Saturday’s shocking news of Houston’s death, the two divas were on a cultural collision course. Barring a Van Halen chart-top, Adele is on track to land a 20th non-consecutive week at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, tying her with the current title holder — Whitney Houston’s soundtrack for ‘The Bodyguard.’

With both women on everyone’s mind, the 54th Grammy Awards began with the manliest of men, Bruce Springsteen — a rocker whose big breakthrough came just a year before Whitney’s — playing his new, and in hindsight somewhat ironic, single ‘We Take Care of Our Own.’ Because we don’t — or rather the music industry doesn’t.

When Whitney was at her most strung out in 2000, she was handed a mind-blowing $100 Million recording contract. Her death was a shock, but not a surprise — much like that of Amy Winehouse, who picked up a sadly posthumous pre-telecast Grammy for her duet with Tony Bennett.

Adele had already won best pop album and music video by the time she got a shout-out from host LL Cool J, who drew our attention to her before saying: “‘Welcome back!” It was a subtle reminder that this was to be her first public performance after throat surgery, adding considerable drama to what was expected, and turned out, to be a sweep.

But even here, she had to follow footage of Whitney’s own triumphant performance of ‘I Will Always Love You’ from the best album Grammy-winning ‘The Bodyguard’ soundtrack (yes, that actually happened). She looked like an angel back in 1994, with her white dress and a voice that even sounded heaven-sent to atheists.

But it had been sometime since Whitney had deserved an award, so it was something of a shame that her ghost threatened to overshadow Adele. Everyone else had stepped aside. Even Kanye West, whose equally epochal ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ was somehow robbed of a spot on the best albums list, stayed home and out of the way. (Though he still wound up winning four awards, including Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for ‘All of the Lights’ and a shared Best Rap Performance prize with Jay-Z for their ‘Watch the Throne’ single ‘Otis.’)

There were other stories beyond the Adele and Whitney melodrama, of course, like the invasion of dance music. It wasn’t just the rock-rap-dance mash-ups out in the tent with Deadmau5 and David Guetta respectively paired with Foo Fighters and Lil Wayne. (Ironically, Dave Grohl accepted the band’s Best Rock album award by saying “It’s not about being perfect, it’s not about what goes on in a computer!”) Dance also dominated the main-stage performances of Rihanna’s ‘We Found Love’ and her former boyfriend-slash-batterer Chris Brown’s ‘Turn Up the Music.’ Not to mention Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon topping his infamous Grammy disses with a pair of wins for Best Alternative Album and Best New Artist.

And there were other deaths, too. Etta James got an early tribute performance from Alicia Keys and Bonnie Rait while Gil Scott Heron got only a shout out, but will no doubt be brought back up when ‘Take Care’ — Drake and Rihanna’s reinterpretation of his song ‘I’ll Take Care of You’ — hits next year’s awards.

When Adele did finally take the stage she wrested that Grammy spotlight back with her own Whitney-esque moment, performing publicly for the first time in months and absolutely destroying her all-time classic ‘Rolling in the Deep.’

Her voice was as strong, emotion streaked and soul stirring as we’d remembered. And, dare we say it, Adele may even have the better voice. Yes, Whitney’s was more technically perfect (often brilliantly so, as evidenced by this awe-inspiring isolated vocal track from ‘How Will I Know’) but like Grohl said, sometimes “it’s not about being perfect.” Adele’s voice had little cracks and avoided acrobatics but it rose up from her gut, gained force in those powerful lungs and then escaped her throat to grab the audience by theirs. Her adorable expression when she pulled it off was the perfect capper — Whitney always knew how good she was, but Adele, well, Adele, still just a kid, is almost as surprised as we are at how powerful she can be.

Or maybe ‘Rolling in the Deep’ is just a better song — there’s a reason why it took both Best Song and Best Record as well as being 2011′s biggest-selling single despite, as Adele mentioned in her fifth acceptance speech, that “it’s not really a pop record.” At the least, it more than stood up to two performances of ‘I Will Always Love You,’ especially the tribute by Jennifer Hudson, who again has the technical chops but even in mourning was unable to match Adele’s pure-strain emotion.

Emotion was the through line for this year’s Grammys. But though it began in abject sadness over Houston’s passing, it ended in tears of joy with Adele’s sweep (as deserved an award run as any ever). If there’s one positive thing about death, it’s that it makes us appreciate life — and the loss of one legend helped remind of us what we still had with Adele, whose own was cemented one tragic yet glorious Sunday night.

Share Tweet

Anthony Selden

Anthony is a New York-based writer and a graduate of Johnson & Wales University with a passion for exploring the cooler things in life. Always eager to inform, Anthony is the lifestyle editor at Elite Daily and is knowledgeable about pretty much anything within the walls of awesomeness: from the latest Lamborghini, to the most absurd burgers around. He also enjoys spontaneous skateboarding sessions on New York City's Upper East Side. Much like writing, it's what keeps the guy alive.

More In Music News

Music News Kristen Lyn Ingram

10-Year-Old DJ Aiden Jude Proves EDM Is For The Kids

Just in case your faith in humanity was still intact, this is Aiden Jude: 10 year-old producer and DJ. Aiden has already landed gigs playing at top-name nightclubs in LA and NYC, even opening up in Hollywood for Mobb Deep. His persona may be the ghost-produced gimmick of an elder trying to gain attention, but […]

Music News Kristen Lyn Ingram

Grammy And Oscar Award-Winning Composer Hans Zimmer Will Compose The Official Tomorrowland Hymm

Reaching its 10-year anniversary, legendary film composer Hans Zimmer has been brought in to create the official hymn for Tomorrowland, the world-renowned festival of Belgium that recently made an epic expansion onto US soil. “The 10-minute-long composition takes listeners on a magical journey that embodies the mythical qualities, magical atmosphere and international character of Tomorrowland.” […]

Music News Kristen Lyn Ingram

EDM Fans, Rejoice! Miami Officials Have Dropped Their Bid To Ban Ultra Music Festival

After facing backlash from city officials for hospitalizations, arrests and “unruly” behavior from partygoers, Ultra’s future in Miami has come under recent scrutiny. However, according to Billboard, Mayor Tomás Regalado and Commissioner Marc Sarnoff have withdrawn their call to ban Ultra from Miami city limits. It is still unclear why the mayor and commissioner have given […]

Also On Elite


Canadian Lawmakers Are Debating Whether Weed Smokers Should Get Toke Breaks

Lawyers in Canada are pushing for workers’ rights to take marijuana smoke breaks on the job. In an effort to expand Canadian policies, some attorneys are arguing that employees are entitled to smoke prescribed marijuana. They believe that the medical use of cannabis is no different than other prescribed painkillers. According to Attorney Patrizia Piccolo: “It’s like […]


The 23 Most Pathetic Moments That Sum Up The Knicks’ Awful Season

What more can be said about the Knicks’ awful season? They came, they got their money and, in the end, were tossed out of the playoffs by the Hawks. The lack of heart that the fans were subject to all season must have killed at least a couple of people in the Tri-state area, and […]