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About Joel Adams
Brisbane-born pop-soul singer/songwriter Joel Adams exploded to instant stardom in 2015, aged just 19, when his self-released debut single, "Please Don't Go," became a viral global hit, racking up 40 million views and 50 million streams, all without a record deal. Adams' trademark is his strong but flexible voice, a tenor that can glide up and down the register as he sings his songs of love and living, married to crisp, dynamic backing tracks that blend acoustic and electronic elements. The romantic plea of 2015's "Please Don't Go" gave way to the dryly witty 2018's "Fake Friends" and the disillusion of 2019's "Coffee," revealing thematic range within his firmly established style.
Born Joel Goncalves on December 16, 1996, into a music-loving family, he grew up on the sounds of James Taylor, Al Green, and Led Zeppelin, and at the age of 11 began making his own music. When he was 15, he decided at the last minute to audition for The X Factor. He didn't make it through to the live shows, but his televised audition, where he performed Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney's "The Girl Is Mine," earned him rave reviews. That year he wrote "Please Don't Go" for a school talent contest, tossing the song off in under an hour.
Two years later, adopting his mother's maiden name as his stage name, Adams launched a YouTube channel where he uploaded weekly covers of pop hits. His rich, mature-beyond-his-years voice and boy-next-door good looks made him popular with young viewers, and the stage was set for his debut single release, "Please Don't Go." The song's catchy melody and distinctive hummed hook captured listeners' imaginations, and it went on to become the most streamed song in the world for several weeks running. Its biggest success was in Scandinavia, where it hit number 12 on the main pop chart in Norway and number six in Sweden; it also charted in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, and a year after its release it had been streamed over 400 million times.
Buoyed by the response, Adams moved to the U.S. and began work with a number of producers on future projects, with a large backlog of songs at the ready. Adams introduced a second song, "Die for You," in January 2017, with a video he made available as a free download. The official second Joel Adams single, the witty and observational "Fake Friends," became available in October 2018, and its streaming count soon went into seven figures. March 2019 was busy for Adams as he delivered a pair of new tracks, "A Big World" and "Coffee." ~ John D. Buchanan & Mark Deming