It was looking tentative for a while there for "Someone Like You," the melancholy my-man-done-me-wrong song from Adele, her U.S. follow-up to "Rolling in the Deep." Simply, radio simply refused to stop playing the previous hit—which spent seven weeks at No. 1—making it next to impossible for "Someone" to gain enough critical mass to triumph on the singles chart (if you're old enough to remember Duncan Sheik's 1996 "Barely Breathing," you might recall that the same phenomenon made him a bitter one-hit wonder).
But thanks to the power of the people, downloads totaling 2 million catapulted "Someone" up the singles chart. It has been No. 1 on the digital download chart for two weeks—finally convincing radio to play catch up. The ballad is at last No. 2 on the Billboard Airplay chart (behind former Hot 100 No. 1 "Moves Like Jagger"/Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera)... giving Adele enough ammunition to reach the summit.
"Someone Like You" also moves to No. 1 on the Adult Top 40 radio chart, while "Rolling" logs an astonishing 17th week atop Adult Contemporary's list.
Adele keeps racking up chart-breaking records in 2011: She is one of only four lead artists to have two or more 2-million sellers in 2011 and the second British female artist in digital history to achieve the same record... not to mention everything she's already achieved with album 21.
And just wait until Grammy time. As a NARAS voter, I just got my first ballot for the year's contenders. You better believe I'll do my part to ensure that Adele walks across the stage again and again.
While I love "Someone Like You," I still prefer "Set Fire To the Rain," her second European single from 21. With its robust, classic Brit-pop production (and a killer remix), I hope that's due next in the States.
Below is Adele's jaw-dropping live performance of "Set Fire"—which combines production of the album version with elements of the remix—from the U.K.'s Graham Norton Show. You'll have no trouble understanding why it has been viewed on Youtube more than 5 million times.