Every week, I shine the spotlight on some of the best storytelling in the business and offer my comments. “3 Great Stories of the Week” will post every Monday at 8 AM.
Adele: Inside her private life and triumphant return (11/3/15, Rolling Stone): I usually resist articles like these.
I usually possess no interest in reading them.
I usually skip profiles of musicians because they seem so phony: carefully stage-managed attempts by pop stars to appear “real” and “authentic”, promoted by writers and magazines who claim to have received earth-shattering revelations. I clicked on this article, a Rolling Stone cover story about Adele, with low expectations (despite a major affection for Adele’s music).
I was wrong.
Brian Hiatt writes a piece that is compelling from start to finish, thanks in large part to its subject. Adele holds back little and swears a lot, but she mostly projects an image free of pretense, showing a naked acknowledgement of the many puppet strings of the music industry. Whereas many pop stars, in articles like these, reflect on more gossipy drama, Adele discusses motherhood, sexism, and journalism. Hiatt composes a piece that sets up these moments and flows beautifully from quote to quote.