Ten years ago this week, Adele shot to global superstardom following a spine-tinglging performance of her single Someone Like You at the BRIT Awards, which became her first Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart.
The performance, for which Adele was accompanied only by a piano, was instantly iconic, gaining her worldwide fame after it went viral on YouTube (still a relatively new concept at the time), where it now has 179 million views.
Prior to the BRITs, Adele was already establishing herself as one of the UK's premier singer-songwriters, landing a Number 1 debut album with 19 three years earlier, and the lead single to its follow-up Rolling In The Deep reaching Number 2 on the Official Singles Chart.
But as her showing at the BRITs - and a performance on Jools Holland three months earlier - proved, there was something about Someone Like You that hit different. Inspired by a broken relationship, Adele's frank lyrics and raw emotion seemed to immediately connect with the masses. The track climbed 46 places to take the top spot ten years ago this week, selling 112,000 copies.
"It makes me really upset," Adele admitted of the track at the time. "It's my most articulate song. It's just to the point, it's not trying to be clever, I think that's why I like it so much, because it's just so honest, no glitter on it."
True to the song's feeling, Somone Like You was written and recorded in just two days, with Adele teaming up with Semisonic's Dan Wilson after being introduced to each other by producer Rick Rubin. Adele later tried recording the song with a full orchestra, but opted to keep the demo version on the record.
By the end of 2011, and after five weeks at Number 1, Someone Like You was the UK's best-selling single of the year, with 1.24 million copies sold. Its total UK chart sales to date stand at 2.86 million, including 147 million streams. Proving its enduring effect, the song was played 1.08 million times in the UK just last week.
Elsewhere on the Official Singles Chart this week in 2011, Adele had knocked Price Tag by rising star Jessie J off Number 1, while Adele's previous single Rolling In The Deep was holding firm in the Top 5 at Number 4.
Rihanna secured her 16th Top 10 hit with S&M at Number 6, while JLS landed their sixth consecutive one with Eyes Wide Shut at Number 8.
Listen to the UK's Official Singles Chart Top 40 from this week in 2011 on Spotify below. Also available on Apple Music | Deezer.
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