Popular culture or pop culture means different things to different people. The term is versatile (Delaney 2016). Popularity, the condition of being liked, admired, or supported, is no less fluid because of the ways in which individuals in different places and at different times find particular ideas or people appealing. However, by considering how and why people respond to icons of popular culture, we can deduce various things about how culture functions more broadly and how culture relates to other aspects of society, such as political, social, and even economic forces. Although several people in recent years have attained pop culture status, the singer-songwriter Adele is among the most striking in relation to this idea. The record sales of her music, in particular, defies most trends of the twenty-first century music industry where people are less inclined to buy albums in any format and more prone to pick and choose what songs they want to hear using subscription services like Spotify or systems like YouTube. The popularity of Adele, however, suggests not only a nostalgic trend among consumers but an inclination for romantic lament. Most of her songs are about relationships that have ended, with the principle persona speaking about what they miss or wish they had done differently. The tone of her songs is solemn and sorrowful, though the energy is indomitable. Yet, Adele is considered so successful as a musical artist, analysts have started labeling her exceptionality as “The Adele Factor.”
Some music critics are skeptical about Adele’s success, though, and Tim Ingham (2016) queries “The Adele Factor” in the context of the last fifteen years. He suggests that it has become standard to talk about Adele as exceptiona...
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... work will likely continue to resonate with audiences.
Delaney, T. (2016). Pop Culture: An Overview. Retrieved April 7, 2016, from https://philosophynow.org/issues/64/Pop_Culture_An_Overview
Ingham, T. (2016, Spring). Adele’s 25 is a very special album - but it’s not a miracle. Retrieved April 7, 2016, from http://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/adeles-25-is-a-very-special-album-but-not-a-miracle/
Nelson, Michael. (2016, January 12). Everyone Is Doomed (Except Adele): The Cold, Hard Truth About The Nielsen Music Report. Retrieved April 7, 2016, from http://www.stereogum.com/1851886/everyone-is-doomed-except-adele-the-cold-hard-truth-about-the-nielsen-music-report/franchises/sounding-board/
Nielson. (2015). 2015 U.S. Music Year-End Report. Retrieved April 9, 2016, from http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2016/2015-music-us-year-end-report.html
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