Bryan Adams | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams released his self-titled debut album for A&M Records in 1980, and he's remained with the label for his entire career.
Adams, Bryan
Bryan Adams is the best-known rock musician of his time (photo by Ken Regan/Camera 5).

Adams, Bryan

Bryan Adams, singer, songwriter, guitarist (b at Kingston, Ont 5 Nov 1959). Bryan Adams was raised in England, Israel, Portugal and Austria, but settled in Vancouver at age 15. A year later he replaced Nick Gilder as the singer for Sweeney Todd for the If Wishes Were Horses album. At age 18 he began a songwriting partnership with Jim Vallance that would result in some of his biggest hits years later. In 1979 he forged his long-standing alliance with manager Bruce Allen.

Bryan Adams released his self-titled debut album for A&M Records in 1980, and he's remained with the label for his entire career. After 1981's You Want It You Got It, Adams's popularity soared with the release of his third album, Cuts Like a Knife, which spawned 3 international hits and earned him 4 JUNO Awards, including Best Male Vocalist and Album of the Year. Reckless (1984) was an even bigger hit, selling more than a million copies in Canada alone and including such smash hits as "Run to You,""Summer of '69" and "It's Only Love" (a duet with Tina Turner). Adams released 2 more albums, Into the Fire (1987) and Live! Live! Live! (1989), before scoring his next domestic million-seller with 1991's Waking Up the Neighbours. The album included "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You," a song from the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, which sold 7 million copies internationally that year and made the Guinness Book of World Records when its 16-week run at the top of the chart made it the longest-standing number-one single in British history.

A greatest hits package called So Far So Good was released in 1993, and Bryan Adams scored another number-one hit when he collaborated with Rod Stewart and Sting on "All for Love," the theme song for the film The Three Musketeers. He returned with new material on 1996's 18 Til I Die. While the album sold about 5 million copies worldwide, it stalled at around 400 000 in Canada and was looked upon by many as a disappointment in comparison to his earlier successes. Bryan Adams Unplugged (1997) showed a change of direction, with the artist performing acoustic versions of old hits, more obscure album tracks and 3 new songs.

Adams released his 10th studio album, On a Day Like Today, in 1998, and followed that up a year later with a second greatest-hits package, The Best of Me. Adams has always had a lot of success with songs for films, and that was again the case when he wrote the songs for the 2002 animated feature film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron. He also contributed new songs in 2005 to the films Color Me Kubrick and Racing Stripes. Adams's self-produced 14th album, Room Service, was largely recorded while on tour in Europe and was a major hit there when it was released in the fall of 2004. A 2-disc set titled Anthology, featuring both hits and lesser-known tracks from his catalogue, was released in 2005 along with the Live in Lisbon DVD.

Adams made a strong comeback with the March 2008 release of 11, which was his first album to top the Canadian sales chart since 18 Til I Die. The album also hit number one in India and Switzerland and had top-10 debuts in 11 countries before being issued exclusively by Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores in the United States in May.

In total, Bryan Adams has recorded some 30 hit singles and sold almost 60 million albums worldwide. In 2000 he was awarded the Juno Award for Best Male Artist. He continues to tour around the globe and has racked up an impressive list of awards both in Canada and internationally. He was given the ORDER OF CANADA in 1990, the same year the Canadian Recording Industry Association named him its artist of the decade. He was elevated to Officer of the Order of Canada in 2003. Adams has won 18 Junos as well as numerous honours in other countries. He was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame during the 2006 Juno Awards. He has also released 2 books of his photographs of famous women as a means to raise funds and awareness for cancer research. Bryan Adams has been involved with numerous international charities and social causes and in 2006 became the first western artist to perform in Karachi, Pakistan, to help raise money to send underprivileged children to school.

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