Originally published on madamenoire.com
With the addition of Rihanna and Taylor Swift (based on sales and influence), I would say that the most powerful women in music are Beyoncé and Adele. Their fans cover all age groups. Their fans are also very diverse. And whenever these ladies drop new music, as Beyoncé said, “world stop…”
And both women have expressed their admiration of one another publicly. When speaking of Adele’s voice, Beyoncé reportedly compared it to “listening to God.” And Adele has talked about how thinking of Beyoncé’s famous alter ego helped her get through performance anxiety: “What would Sasha Fierce do?”
So you could probably understand why some were puzzled by rumors that spread earlier this month that the British singer turned down the opportunity to sing alongside Beyoncé on a track.
According to an interview with Beats 1’s Zane Lowe, Adele was also puzzled by that report.
“There’s a rumor going round that I turned Beyoncé down. I’d never disrespect her like that,” she said. “I’m such a fan, oh my god [sic]. Obviously, like, Queen Bey to the day I die.”
And while you won’t hear a collaboration with Mrs. Carter on Adele’s 25, it sounds like a joint effort could be on the way soon enough.
Can’t say I want to hear it, though. And I say that as a fan of both women.
Honestly, I just don’t know if it’s necessary. More than anything, I just think their voices and music are completely different, and those same voices may not complement one another very well on a track. Adele is a powerhouse all about her sweeping ballads and Beyoncé, while also vocally gifted, is about everything else: The swag, the sex, the party anthems and joints that start a movement (i.e., how “Flawless” had everyone saying, “I woke up like this”). What exactly would they put together? “Who Run The World (Girls) Pt. II”?
And while I am a Beyoncé fan, I often wonder if she collaborates with certain people these days not because she really wants to, but because they are the individuals everyone is talking about–and who happen to be soaking up a lot of the spotlight that she’s used to. Like the two times she collaborated with Lady Gaga when Gaga’s career was on fire (that “Video Phone” remix was all over the place). Or her recent collaborations with Nicki Minaj on “Feeling Myself” and the “Flawless” remix. Considering that Adele is the darling of mainstream music (“Hello” set records in no time, and is the fastest song to hit No.1 on the radio since Mariah Carey’s “Dreamlover” in ’93), it would make sense to team up with the singer. There is a lot of power behind her name, and she also happens to be well-liked by damn near everybody. Working with people who are hot, keeps you cooking too.
But more than anything, I don’t think everyone needs to collaborate on everything. Case in point: Eddie Murphy getting Michael Jackson to sing on “Whatzupwithu.” DMX collaborating with Marilyn Manson on “The Omen.” That random time the Jonas Brothers sang alongside Common for “Don’t Charge Me For The Crime.” Or the uncomfortable time Beyoncé sang “Irreplaceable” with Sugarland at the American Music Awards. All of these were efforts that left you asking “Why?”
Some musicians do their best work on their own, especially those known for their voice. Like a Sade. Or an Amy Winehouse. And yes, an Adele. Once they start working with other people (as in performing on a track together, not production), it’s a trap. One collabo turns into one of many. Artists end up attempting to keep up with the other individual’s mannerisms and sounds. And in the end, the song ends up leaning toward one artist more than another. And I’m sorry, but I don’t want to hear Adele trying to keep up and sound like Bey, and I don’t want to hear Beyoncé trying to sound like or keep up with Adele. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
So while I love the support they offer one another and that both of these powerful women have no problem expressing their fandom for the other, that’s enough for me.