It’s hard to imagine that Adele, at 27, is technically a millennial.
Just the word “millennial” conjures up so many negative stereotypes. We’ve heard that they are entitled, self-involved, praise-hungry trophy seekers who can’t get off their smartphones long enough to do anything important. While those labels are mostly unfair and untrue, sometimes they are right on target. (Lindsay Lohan, Khloé Kardashian and the Olsen twins come to mind.)
Kendall and Kylie Jenner say they don’t remember not being famous, while Paris Hilton laments to her fans that if you want everything she has in life, you’re "going to have to work, yourself, just like I did."
If you were born between 1981 and 1996, might I suggest using an Adele photo as your wallpaper to remind you that millennials can also be super cool, with some next-level awesomeness.
You would think that as the creative director of Chanel, Fendi and his own label, Karl Lagerfeld would understand women. But dumbass that he is, he showed his true colors when he told Metro US that Adele is "a little too fat, but she has a beautiful face." Adele didn’t start a Twitter war or bash him in a song; instead, she responded calmly, simply saying, "I’ve never wanted to look like models on the cover of magazines. I represent the majority of women and I’m very proud of that."
Oh, she’s been offered many. "They wanted me to be the face of a car. Toys. Apps. Candles. It’s, like, I don’t want to endorse a line of nail varnishes, but thanks for asking." This is very anti-millennial, since they love nothing more than to have their faces everywhere
Adele’s manager says that she has a very "sorry not sorry," "f*** you" attitude when it comes to using Auto-Tune. She simply won’t do it. Many famous young singers like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and even Glee stars use the software to correct their singing voices so that their pitch and key is utter perfection. Adele won’t use Auto-Tune since she doesn’t want to sound robotic — she'd rather sound authentic.
The image of a money-hungry millennial trying to be a billionaire by 30, or at least land on the Forbes Highest-paid Celebrities list is not at all a goal for Adele. Leave that to Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, since Adele won’t do the quick-and-dirty money gigs for the 1-percenters just to pad her bank account. She has standards that money can’t buy. "A million pounds to sing at your birthday party?" Adele tells The Guardian, "I'd rather do it for free if I’m doing it."
Her only scandal was that BRIT Awards thing. Pop stars usually have one scandal after another (I’m looking at you, Justin Bieber). But in the midst of her acceptance speech for British Album of the Year, the BRIT Awards' most prestigious prize, her buddy and host James Corden was sent up there to shut it down because the show was running long. When he came to collect her and help her offstage, she half-jokingly flipped the bird. Realizing what she did, she apologized immediately, prompting fans to defend her and criticize the producers. The BRIT Awards people ended up apologizing to her publicly.
You know how every unknown millennial has their Insta game on fleek and is ready at any given second to walk a red carpet or accept an award for nothing in particular? Well, Adele never got that memo. In 2009, during her first Grammy win, she didn’t even have her shoes on, her belt was undone and she had prepared nothing to say. This all spoke volumes about her genuinely kind and non-millennial soul.
Adele has been at every meeting concerning her career since she started. Not only is it common for artists to sit it out and let their business folk do everything for them, the last place a 20-something pop star wants to be is in some meeting with a bunch of suits. Then there's the dozens of pop stars who are just hired hands, singers who let others write and produce everything they do. Their only job is to record and then collect a paycheck. Adele writes and collaborates on every song she’s ever done and is very involved with her career. Let’s not forget that at 23, while Adele was pregnant with her son Angelo, she co-wrote the theme song for "Skyfall" and won an Oscar.
That whole celebrity weird-name trend is about total entitlement. Yes, we get it, you’re special, your kid is special and you are unique beyond words. Yawn. Now can you tell me why you spelled it "Kyd" and "Pilot Inspektor"? Adele named her son Angelo because she’s humble and wants him to be a regular kid; and, no, she won't tell you why she named him that. It’s none of your business.
While most millennials are thinking about student loan debt, battery life and Game of Thrones, Adele doesn’t care about anything that most of us do. She says she was not able to find meaning in fame or even her music. She tells Vogue that what makes her feel significant is way more basic: "When I became a parent, I felt like I was truly living. I had a purpose, where before I didn’t."
When Adele nailed the Nicki verse from Kanye’s "Monster" during a recent "Carpool Karaoke" on The Late Late Show, and then didn’t miss a lyric on the Spice Girls’ "Wannabe," it showed how much she loves and respects the genre of music to which she belongs. She has co-written with Bruno Mars, Ryan Tedder, Danger Mouse, Sia and Wiz Khalifa. She’s no snob, and immediately shot down rumors that she dissed Queen Bey while also complimenting other singers to whom she’s been compared. She will dole out the compliments and it takes nothing away from who she is as a woman or a star.
Most obnoxious pop stars never miss an opportunity to plug an album or a project they’re working on, or to namedrop their famous friends. Adele never misses an opportunity to show her gratitude to her fans. During any interview, Adele will always say something like, "I'm only touring for the fans, to see the people that changed my life." Or like during her Radio City Music Hall concert (after several years), she told the audience through tears, "I've honestly missed you all so much."
Adele's sold-out North American tour kicks off July 5 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. If you don’t have tickets and you want to go, plan on paying upwards of $2,425 per ticket.
Look, Adele isn’t made of stone. She enjoys social media from time to time like any person of her generation, but don’t bother liking or friending her while she’s creating. She knows how to bounce herself off of it when she has to write and promote her albums. "How am I supposed to write a real record if I’m waiting for half a million likes on a f***ing photo? That ain’t real." Adele adds that, unlike some of her fellow pop icons, she won’t bombard you with endless promotion on social media. She says that type of overexposure only kills the momentum. "When you have a six-month build up, don’t expect me to be there the day your album comes out, because I'm bored. It doesn't matter how amazing it is."
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