Adele is an English singer, songwriter, musician, and multi-instrumentalist. Adele was offered a recording contract from XL Recordings after a friend posted her demo on Myspace in 2006. The next year she received the Brit Awards "Critics' Choice" award and won the BBC Sound of 2008. Her debut album, 19, was released in 2008 to much commercial and critical success. It certified four times platinum in the UK, and double platinum in the US. Her career in the US was boosted by a Saturday Night Live appearance in late 2008. At the 2009 Grammy Awards, Adele received the awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
However, it was on this day in music Billboard crowned Adele's 21 as the top-selling album of the first six months of the year—the next-highest seller, Lady Gaga's Born This Way, is still trailing it by nearly a million copies. The British diva missed out on having the biggest-selling digital single of the year so far by a much smaller margin, with "Rolling in the Deep" taking second to Katy Perry's "E.T." by only 30,000 units. Both songs are quadruple platinum.
Of course, odds are Adele will end up with the top single and album by year's end, and she's racked up plenty of other impressive achievements during her hugely successful 2011 run. But perhaps the most rare and difficult to quantify measure of Adele's ubiquity is the sheer volume and diversity of all the singles charts "Rolling In The Deep" has appeared on; it may be the only hit in recent history, and perhaps ever, to appear on Billboard's adult contemporary, dance, pop, rock, R&B and Latin charts.
Back when "Rolling in the Deep" was released at the tail end of 2010, its iTunes sales helped it make an instant splash on the Hot 100. Over the next few months, though, it picked up airplay on virtually every radio format possible. Adult Contemporary radio, the only place her previous U.S. hit "Chasing Pavements" got any traction, was the first place "Rolling" triumphed; it hit No. 1 on Adult Album Alternative in March, and on Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks later that month. That same month, it debuted on the Alternative Songs and Hot Dance Club Songs charts, where it has since peaked at No. 21 and No. 15, respectively. By the end of May, Adele had decisively broken out of the adult-contempo ghetto and topped the Hot 100, Digital Sales, and Mainstream Top 40 charts.
With most hits, the story ends there. The term "crossover" generally refers to an artist who does well on one particular radio format releasing the song that reaches beyond that niche, hitting the pop charts and maybe one or two genre charts that were previously out of that artist's reach. But "Rolling in the Deep" is the rare blockbuster that just keeps leaping to new charts after several months in the marketplace. In the last few weeks it's made its unlikely debut on the Latin Pop Songs chart, peaking at No. 28, and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, where it currently sits at No. 73 after peaking at No. 61 last week.