Seeing stars try to minimize their accomplishments, particularly when they didn’t come from much to start with, is always a bit offputting and odd. Yet, that is just what Adele did in a recent interview, saying that the top reason for her success is “being a white woman” in the entertainment industry.
That interview was with The Hollywood Reporter and it was part of that outlet’s annual “Women in Entertainment” event, which took place on December 7th. Her comment on her race and how that impacted her career came when she was asked about empowering young women.
Adele’s comment came when the interviewer asked her about how she is helping empower young women, which was relevant because of the event’s general topic. “Part of our event includes giving scholarships to high school girls heading to college. How do you want to empower young women?,” Adele was asked.
Responding, she said that being herself and “being a white woman” were responsible for her astounding success, saying, “More than anything, it’s just being yourself. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been so lucky with my career — on top of the obvious of me being a white woman in music. I think people are quite scared of me, and they’ve been like that since I was 18. I don’t know what it is; I think there’s no room for negotiations when it comes to what I want to do and how I want to do it. And it’s always been like that. I think that comes across in my interviews.”
The racial explanation for her success makes little sense. Though Taylor Swift is Caucasian, numerous other top pop stars of the moment, including Lizzo, Shakira, Beyonce, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Selena Gomez, Jennifer Lopez, and many others are non-white.
In any case, she went on. Continuing, she added that she thinks she could help young girls in the industry by helping mentor them in a casual way, saying, “I’m not going to say who they are — I see a lot of the girls, up-and-coming singers, I get in touch with them because no one ever did that to me, gave me any advice or any secret nuggets of truth or tricks of how to survive it in any way. So I have them ’round and we have some wine and I talk to them.“
She then said that the pressure that comes with success is astounding, particularly the time pressures put on artists after they hit it big for the first time: “Even if you’re really close with your team, your team can’t relate to you suddenly being thrust out of your life and thrown onto the public stage. And that saying, ‘You have your whole life to write your first album and you have six months to write your second.’ That pressure was quite strange. And also your hobby becomes your job, which sounds really great, but your relationship with your hobby changes.”
Then, concluding that part of the conversation, Adele said that she likes supporting the younger girls but could never be the one to manage them, saying, “So I really like supporting the girls. Sometimes I would love to go into management, but I can’t work with talent. I say that as one — we are a nightmare.”
Featured image credit: By Kristopher Harris from Charlotte, NC – DSC04865, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52404562
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