Bryan Adams

  • Rock guitarist, singer and songwriter born in Kingston Ontario Canada in 1959.
  • At 15 years old, Adams’ family moved to the Vancouver area, and Adams became the vocalist for a bar band named Sweeney Todd in 1976. While with the band, an album was released, but it was not successful, and Adams soon left the group. In 1978, he met Jim Vallance, a Vancouver producer and songwriter, and they agreed to work together on songwriting. The partnership continues today, and many of the hits by Adams were co-written with Vallance.
  • A demo tape of Adams landed at one of the major record labels, and they offered him a contract, paying him $1. The record company remixed a song written by Adams and Vallance, Let Me Take You Dancing, speeding up his vocals and giving it a disco feel, and the single managed to chart at #90 on the Canadian charts in March 1979.
  • Adams’ debut album, the self-titled Bryan Adams, was released in 1980. A couple of songs charted in Canada, and the album snuck onto the Canada album chart. He supported the album by touring across Canada, performing at colleges and clubs. The following year, a second album was released – You Want It, You Got It. He finally broke into the U.S. Hot 100 chart with Lonely Nights, which peaked at #84.
  • His breakthrough came with his 1993 album Cuts Like a Knife. Two singles made the top 20 of the Hot 100 – the title track reached #15, and Straight From the Heart peaked at #10. The videos for these songs received heavy airplay on MTV, and the album eventually was certified platinum. With these songs, Adams established himself as a force in the 80s power ballad world.
  • 1984’s Reckless album became his best seller, certified 5x platinum. Six songs from the album reached the top 15 of the Hot 100 chart – Adams was only the third artist to achieve that distinction. Another power ballad, Heaven, reached #1, and Run To You and Somebody both topped the Top Rock Tracks Chart. Summer of ’69 from the album became a signature song, making several “All Time Best” lists, and the video of his duet with Tina Turner, It’s Only Love, won an MTV Video Music award.
  • His 1991 album Waking Up the Neighbors was another huge success, certified 4x platinum. It included his best selling single, (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, which reached #1 in 18 countries, and set a record in the UK for staying at #1 for 16 consecutive weeks. The song is in the top 15 of all time sales of a physical single (an actual piece of vinyl, not a download). Another huge hit was Can’t Stop This Thing We Started, which peaked at #2.
  • Adams released 2 more studio albums in the 90s. He also released a Greatest Hits compilation that reached #1 in many countries and was certified 5x platinum in the U.S., with a bonus new song, Please Forgive Me, that peaked at #6 on the Hot 100. He contributed to the soundtracks of several films during the 90s, scoring major hits with All For Love (from the film The Three Musketeers – performed with Sting and Rod Stewart, it peaked at #1), Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman? (from the film Don Juan DeMarco – it peaked at #1) and I Finally Found Someone (from the film The Mirror Has Two Faces – performed with Barbra Streisand, it peaked at #8).
  • Adams continued to release music, with 3 studio albums in the 00s and 3 in the 10s. While no longer charting on the Hot 100, he had another soundtrack hit with Here I Am from the film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron – the song reached #5 on the Adult Contemporary chart. His music continued to be beloved in International markets – his most recent album, 2019’s Shine A Light, topped the Canadian album chart, and was a top 3 album in the UK, New Zealand and Germany.
  • Adams and Vallance wrote the music and lyrics to the Broadway musical Pretty Woman: The Musical. It ran on Broadway for one year, in 2018 and 2019, and it opened in London’s West End in early 2020. Adams also is an accomplished photographer – he received an Honorary Fellowship to the Royal Photographic Society in London, and he photographed ad campaigns for dozens of high end fashion and automotive companies. He photographed Queen Elizabeth II for her Golden Jubilee, and one of his portraits is displayed in the National Portrait Gallery in London.
  • A Canadian success story indeed! Nominated 15 times for Grammy awards, he won once for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, for (Everything I Do) I Do It For You. He was nominated for 3 Oscars for his work on film soundtracks, and he won 19 Juno awards, Canada’s annual recognition of Canadian musical artists. He raised millions of dollars with charity concerts, and is active in “Save the Whales” efforts. Personally, I’m not a fan of power ballads, but I do like great rock songs. Here’s my fave, Summer of ’69.

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