Would Adele Sell Records If She Was Black? [Op-Ed]

85th Annual Academy Awards – Show

Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Jazmine Sullivan’s vocal abilities are A-1. Quite honestly, she can tango with any singer on any day, if necessary. She’s an immensely talented threat who can bust the windows from your car with a high note. It’s really that easy for her. What’s mind-boggling is the fact that despite her God-given talent, she isn’t being showered with a bevy of awards like her lighter-skinned counter parts. She isn’t soaring to the charts on Billboard. She isn’t being placed in a class of her own. The question is why?

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During an interview with AP, Sullivan voiced her dismay. “I guess I’m glad that people are recognizing me in some way, and kind of see there’s a little injustice in how black soul artists are received,” she said. “But, at the same time, I try not to focus so much on the negativity.” Sullivan is nominated for three Grammy’s this year, including Best R&B album and Best R&B song. While she is elated for her nomination, there’s obviously a concern as to why and her contemporaries aren’t appreciated as much as Adele. Let’s not undervalue Adele; she’s a monster. Her record-shattering numbers are deserving. Her albums 21 and 25 are equipped with doses of talent and warmth that not every singer possess in their DNA.

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But, let’s pose this question: If “Hello” was sung by a black singer, would the record have garnered this much success?


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