As well as all kinds of other devil music, including Broadway show tunes, but I'm definitely verging on idolatry when it comes to the planet's latest velvet-voiced chanteuse. (And maybe I shouldn't be so enthusiastic, I'm going to jinx her. RIP, GCB.)
Not only is her voice sublime, her lyrics emotionally gripping, and her arrangements a challenge to the pop world, but she is also blessed with one of the all-time best laughs. (If I have one complaint about her recent interview with Matt Lauer, it is that he did not make her laugh enough.) She is one of the savviest celebrities I have ever watched. She is incredibly sexy, without trading in the pain of the flesh like Marilyn, or in the pain of the soul like Diana, but instead bringing healing and comfort to her audience. She uses anything and everything she goes through to help others, to unite her fans in a shared sense of 'we will be stronger for having lived through this.'
Her big, gorgeous hair sculptures remind me strongly of Sophia Loren. I could go gay for her soft curves. She makes big, coy, doe-eyes at the press, cusses like a sailor, and takes off her shoes in the Royal Albert Hall and pads around onstage in her stockings. I want to eat ice cream out of the carton and talk about boys with her. (I am creepy.)
Celebrity is tricky. It is so easy to let the pressure of a billion eyes staring push you in directions you never thought you'd go, but I find myself losing patience with young celebrities lately, just because they never seem to learn. My generation, and younger, celebrities have no excuse, in my mind, if only because we grew up watching VH1's Behind the Music and there should be no mystery in this for us. We have all the bad examples we could ever need to guide us in the ways we should not go, but in our hubris we think we are smarter, stronger and prettier than our predecessors, and will not succumb to the same temptations.
We are wrong. I cannot fathom why everyone got so upset at the announcement that Lindsey Lohan is slated to play Elizabeth Taylor in a new biopic. Lohan is not too trashy, too addicted, or too nipped and tucked to play Taylor. She is just the right amount of trash, addict, and nip/tuck. She is, in fact, the heir apparent to the role, the only one who could possibly pull it off. She can act, and she has a lot of personal experience to draw upon. We lionize Taylor now, we don't remember how we used to mock her in her heyday, just as we mock Lindsey now.
Anyway, back to the object of my mild obsession. Last night, as I mentioned, Matt Lauer interviewed Adele, between clips of her performance at Royal Albert Hall. The interview sections were short, and they mostly talked about the idea of celebrity. Adele says she does not enjoy fame. She has regrets about being so open about her personal life in past interviews. And she does not understand what more people could want from her, as she has already been so vulnerable that she has nothing left to give. (No wonder she wasn't laughing.)
But all celebrities say these things from time to time, and it does not seem to stop them from jumping right back into the fray. Adele seems to have come by these realizations in the usual hard way, but for one difference: for the most successful stretch of her career to date she did absolutely nothing to promote herself. She couldn't speak or sing for the six months her album sat at the top of every chart and killed all comers. The music spoke for itself, and she sat as Queen of the Hill in utter silence.
Does celebrity require constant self-promotion? Is it possible to have talent, work hard, and then just sit back and be yourself? It certainly seems to be that way for Adele, and God bless her for it. I hope she can continue, as she says she wants, to just make music. I hope she can stand up under the pressure of celebrity by remembering the things that got her here in the first place: her voice, her laugh, her voice, her cussing, her comfort, and her voice.