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. 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. 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. Buoyed by the response, Adams moved to the U.S. and began work with a number of producers on his debut album, for which he had already written more than 30 songs. ~ John D. Buchanan