In the fall of 2006, singer Adele Adkins had just found her manager Jonathan Dickins, who became aware of her through the music platform MySpace. Dickins then introduced her to Richard Russell, the director of the XL music label: Russell signed the young artist, whose repertoire included four songs.
What followed, however, was anything but a creative phase: Adele suffered from writer’s block. But then she met a bad boy who broke her heart and inspired her to write her first album, “19.” That’s how BBC journalist Will Gompertz puts it in the February 2016 article Adele: The full story. Shortly before the release of her first album, Adele gave a revealing interview that can be viewed here:
Saturday Night Live
A little later, in June 2008, the album “19” was released. The sales figures were initially moderate; it didn’t look like a flop, but it didn’t look like a gigantic success either.
Especially in the USA, a crucial music market, Adele was still far from the Top 10: This is where Rob Stringer, then-chairman of Columbia Records, came in. He invited some managers from the American satirical show Saturday Night Live (SNL) to England. They should get the chance to experience Adele live.
It succeeded: the managers of SNL decided to invite Adele as the musical guest for the show on October 18, 2008. But that alone didn’t guarantee excessive success: adding to that, then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was also invited to the show at the last minute. Palin’s appearance briefly before the 2008 presidential election drove the show’s audience ratings into record-breaking figures. Thus, Adele became known across America in one blow. When she arrived back home after the show, she was #1 on the iTunes charts. Thus, her career was launched.
In the following years, Adele thanked Sarah Palin several times for being on the show at the time – but without wanting to make a political statement.
On October 24, 2020, Adele hosted SNL – again thanking Sarah Palin.
That’s the story behind Adele’s career launch and her first album, “19.” But what does the artist actually sing about in her first album?