I couldn’t get the grin off my face as I watched Adele perform at the 2012 Grammy Award Ceremony. I thought the moment was magical, a great feat of the human spirit.
In 2009, Adele burst onto the scene with her first album entitled 19. Her albums, so far, are named after her age at the time of creating the album. The track, Chasing Pavements, was an instant hit. Her debut album earned her 2 Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist.
Adele released her second album, 21, in early 2011. The album, amazingly, surpassed the success of her debut. Adele won six Grammy Awards in 2012, including Album of the Year. The first three singles from 21: “Rolling in the Deep”, “Someone Like You” and “Set Fire to the Rain” are setting unprecedented records. She currently has the longest running number one album by a female in Billboard history.
I like Adele’s spunky attitude. She reminds me a bit of my youngest daughter. When Karl Lagerfeld, head of Chanel, referred to Adele as being “a little too fat” she responded with graceful wit. “I’ve never wanted to look like models on the cover of magazines,” she said, “I represent the majority of women and I’m very proud of that.” Karl Lagerfeld quickly apologized in wake of the public outcry while Adele’s stock continued to rise. In a recent Rolling Stone article she stated, “I don’t make music for eyes. I make music for ears.” You gotta’ love that.
In October of 2011, life took an abrupt turn for Adele. What happened next is why I couldn’t stop grinning as I watched her 2012 Grammy performance. Adele was forced to cancel two shows due to a “vocal cord hemmorhage.” She later released a statement saying she would need an extended period of rest in order to avoid permanent damage to her voice. What? Can you believe that? One of the most gifted young artists might be done. That’s it, Adele burned bright for a couple years and tragically lost her voice, never to return.
In December of 2011, Adele took a huge risk. She underwent throat surgery in the hopes of restoring her voice. If the surgery was a failure, her career would be downhill from here. When Adele stepped up to the microphone for her 2012 Grammy performance, the question in everyone’s mind was, “Did she get her voice back?” Here is her Grammy performance:
I couldn’t believe how confidently she belted out “Rolling in the Deep.” It was a magical moment of the human spirit. A woman, made in the image of God, triumphantly brought beauty from ashes. She showed the world her voice had returned in all its glory. I loved seeing Paul McCartney going nuts at the end of that video. Adele is on track to break Beatles records, and Paul is cheering her on.
Adele’s story, however, is ultimately sad to me. Yes, she has her voice back. Yes, she is financially comfortable. Yes, she is spunky as ever. She even shocked music fans recently by telling people she’s taking a break for 5 years just to live a little and have a bit less drama in her life. It looks like her next album will be 26 or 27.
In one of her acceptance speeches for 21, Adele explained the reason she wrote her album. She says, “It’s inspired by something everyone has gone through…just a rubbish relationship.” Yes, she’s British, so she uses the word rubbish. Did you catch that? One of the most successful albums in recent history is based on a rubbish relationship.
Adele’s experience at a young age of a relationship gone bad sparked in her a deep-seated powerful response. Why does a bad relationship spark such a passionate expression? What causes a 19 and 21 year old girl to respond in such a way?
Her yearning for a good relationship shows we are made to yearn for good relationships. A bad relationship where someone is left, cheated on, and forsaken awakens in us an instinct for something rather someone greater. We are left to seek a faithful relationship where we are never forsaken.
Adele has answered her personal injustice in a way that will ultimately disappoint her. In her song entitled “Turning Tables” she reveals her response to a rubbish relationship. She says:
So I won’t let you close enough to hurt me
No, I won’t ask you, you to just desert me…
Next time I’ll be braver,
I’ll be my own savior
Standing on my own two feet.
Her response to being let down in a deep relationship is to no longer look to anyone outside to fill that gap. She is going to fill her own yearnings for a good relationship. She is going to be her own savior.
Adele, there is a Savior for you. In your song “Turning Tables” you end up being the savior. I think you will end up disappointing yourself. The real Savior for humanity did overturn tables. He overturned tables because he was zealous for you. He didn’t care who was gawking at Him, He wanted you to never be alone. You need more than a rubbish relationship. He promises,”I will never leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
This has been true in my own life. I’ve been in a relationship with Jesus for 15 years and it’s never been rubbish. Adele, as you’re taking a few years off from music would you consider the One I believe you’re most yearning to have. You’re album 27 could be a beautiful response to a beautiful relationship. Your Savior is named Jesus.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30)