Grammy spotlight shines on Adele

Wed Feb 8, 2012 4:34pm EST
 
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By Sue Zeidler

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Grammys in recent years have targeted young audiences even as older acts won key awards to the surprise of some music fans, but this Sunday's honors will shine its spotlight on Adele, whose popularity crosses all age boundaries.

The soulful British singer, whose album "21" has spawned massive hits like "Rolling in the Deep" and topped charts for 19 weeks, enters music industry's biggest awards with six nominations, second only to rapper Kanye West with seven.

But all ears will be tuned in to Adele, 23, who is scheduled to give a Grammy performance that is her first since undergoing throat surgery late last year. And everybody -- young and old -- wants to know if 2011's top-selling performer has recovered.

"My eight-year-old daughter sings Adele songs, and my friend's 75-year-old grandmother sings Adele songs," said Nic Harcourt, former radio host at KCRW, who is among those credited with helping put the British chanteuse on the U.S. music map.

Adele's voice was a breath of fresh air in 2011 for a struggling industry. "21" album sold more copies in one year than any other act since Usher's "Confessions" in 2004. Its current U.S. sales total is roughly 6.3 million copies.

In years past, the Grammys have often seen relative newcomers in top categories like album of the year face off against veteran acts, only to see the older performers win, shocking the youth-driven industry. Herbie Hancock's 2007 jazz album, "River: The Joni Letters," was among the recent surprises.

That won't happen at Sunday's ceremony in Los Angeles. Competing for album of the year are Adele with "21," Lady Gaga for "Born This Way," Rihanna with "Loud," Bruno Mars for "Doo-Wops & Hooligans" and Foo Fighters for "Wasting Light."

Indeed, many of the major categories are dominated by younger pop stars like Adele, Gaga, Katy Perry and Rihanna. Traditional rockers are largely missing, with the exception of legends Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen who are both set to perform at Sunday's show in Los Angeles.   Continued...

 
<p>Singer Adele poses on arrival at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles August 28, 2011. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>