Adele: Vocal Range [Singing Voice & Strengths]

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Adele singing on stage.

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Vocal Range: C3 to E5 to C6 (D6)

Vocal Type: Mezzo-Soprano (3 octaves)

So you’ve listened to Adele’s songs, and you’ve felt the angst and emotions of her voice. You could only wonder how she could deliver such powerful renditions of her songs that made her one of the present-day most successful singers and highest-paid artists. Could it be because she is a mezzo-soprano? Could it be because she writes her songs? 

Well, I have carefully studied the singing styles and Adele’s vocal range, and in this article, I will let you have a more objective view of Adele’s vocal range as a singer.

No doubt, Adele is gifted with a huge voice, and she is a singing powerhouse. Had she trained for the opera, she would have also excelled in singing in an opera. And she could have projected her powerfully emotive voice over a stage, sans any amplification. Of course, her head voice is full of color and depth. Moreover, she could project her voice up to E5 without flinching.

Famous for songs such as Someone Like You and Easy on Me, Adele has one of the most powerful voices in modern music. In this article, we explore Adele’s vocal range and the characteristics that make the singer so special. Let’s get started!

Vocal Characteristics of Adele

The lower vocal range of Adele is solid and dark. So there are many singers who sounds like Adele. It is also weighty and full. Moreover, you will notice that she is quite comfortable within that register. She could also perfectly replicate the notes within this range when she does live renditions of her songs.

Vocal Characteristics of Adele

On the other hand, her mid-range is medium weight and sweet. It is also very feminine and characterized by effortless and straightforward quality. Once she’s on her middle range, her head voice appears to be very lyrical, emotive, and versatile.

Within this range, she could infuse a kaleidoscope of emotions into her rendition of a song. Just look at the Rolling in the Deep or Rumour Has It; the former piece is imbued with attitude, while the latter is characterized by coolness and clearness in its confidence.

Yet, there is a considerable loss when her head voice ascends to the belting register. This loss of power gives the impression that her lower belts are more potent than her upper notes. 

In her newest album, 30, Adele explores new nuances in her singing, such as the falsettos on the song Easy on Me, a technique that she hasn’t been using much before the record.

Adele’s Singing Styles and Vocal Techniques

When you hear Adele’s name, two things will come to your mind—vocal power and emotion. Though, as mentioned above, her belts are not phenomenal, though compared to many competitors, her belts tower above many of them when it comes to sheer power. 

The emotions she pumps into her songs are remarkably moving and exceptional. Well, given the voice types of songs she sings, it is but fitting that she pumps in enough angst and emotions into those songs.

Her Vocal Tone and Colors

One outstanding aspect of Adele’s voice is her vocal tone and colors. Compared to other artists like Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston, adele’s voice voice doesn’t have that more comprehensive vocal ranges. But what exemplifies her voice is her remarkable ability to manipulate her vocal color and timbre. This ability allows her to render exquisite expression to her head voice and the lyrics she sings.

This ability also enables her to deliver the roles that the songs portray. Examples include a scornful ex in the Rolling in The Deep, a repentant ex in Hello, and a brokenhearted lover in Someone Like You.

You can check this article to know more about female vocal range.

Her Belting Technique

As mentioned above, Adele’s belting range is bright and clear at its lower belting vocal ranges. Moreover, it bears a remarkable resonance and weight. Characterized by a certain edginess and earthiness, her head voice at this range carries a cumbersome quality, imbued with a certain coarseness in some instances. 

As she moves up to the higher belting range, she tentatively loses some forcefulness and clearness somewhere in the fifth octave, but she could push her head voice further with a significant loss in weight and soulfulness.  

Adele might have opted for this style in her live renditions of songs as an artistic decision. She tries to achieve fuller-sounding belts and those soulful grunts using questionable vocal techniques, which may prove disastrous to her singing voice

If you’re a singer, make sure to check our article on healthy habits to improve and preserve your voice: 17 Things That Will Destroy Your Singing Voice Forever!

What Makes Adele’s Singing Voice Unique?

Some songs fit well the voice of Adele, and I think she is the only one who could sing those songs with so much angst and emotions. She is exceptional in that sense. Moreover, an extraordinary athleticism characterizes her voice, given the fact that she was influenced early on by singers like Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Gabrielle, and Lauryn Hill.

Adele’s vocal range, as mentioned above, is not remarkable compared to other singers. Her mezzo-soprano vocal type and vocal range of 2 octaves and 3 notes from C3 to F5 is nothing exceptional. Nevertheless, it is the strength and power of her delivery and faithfulness to the melody that makes her stand out. 

She could hold notes, sing nicely, and move from one octave to another with ease. Yet, she opts to use bluesy and more uncomplicated vocal styling that makes her lyrics understandable.

It is a fact that there is a big difference between recorded songs and live performances. Adele has sometimes started a performance with a few mishaps, like in her vocal performance in the Grammy Awards, given that she had just recently recovered from microsurgery. But some singers sometimes begin in the wrong footing likewise. But from a musical perspective, Adele has a great voice and excellent control of it.

But what distinguishes Adele from others is that she brings in the angst and emotions needed in the rendition of the songs. Whenever you hear a song that is sung by Adele, you will likewise immediately recognize that she is the one who is singing it because she has distinctive voice sounds and a unique singing style that only she could do. In that sense, she has her brand, which is truly hers.  

Among the new girls in the block, Adele seems to separate herself from the others because of her voice’s enigmatic quality, which makes her audience involuntarily emotional and tearful. Her voice seethes, rasps, sobs, swoops, and even belts to make you feel its angst and beauty. 

It also seems that Adele is not interested in going with the flow or popular trends in music. Instead, she wants to carve a niche for herself that is truly hers. 

Adele also has a bold and old-fashioned voice that seems to be anachronistic to the present-day music trend. Plus, she writes her songs, and for these reasons, she could empathize with the lyrics of the songs and deliver the right emotions and angst that the songs want to relay.

Vocal Problems that Tested Adele’s Resiliency as a Singer

With popularity comes abusive schedules and tours. Thus, Adele embarked on Live Tours in 2011, which sold out for its North American leg. Nevertheless, she did cancel two of her tours due to a vocal cords hemorrhage that required an extended rest to prevent permanent damage to her vocal cords. 

Microsurgery was performed on her throat to remove a somewhat benign polyp. Afterward, she was sidelined from touring until her comeback on February 2012 Grammy Awards, wherein she got awards in six categories.

The Grammy performance wasn’t her best, and she said it was a relief that her voice came out during the performance, considering that she had just had microsurgery. Fair enough, her voice came out cleaner after recovering from the surgery.

Nowadays, Adele is set on maintaining healthy habits when singing and performing live, especially after the release of her latest album, 30, which features quite challenging melodies, lines and techniques that could very well damage her voice if proper care isn’t taken.

Conclusion: Is Adele A Good Singer?

Many critics and even those who are merely curious about whether Adele is a great singer ask themselves this question: “Is her voice exceptional?” Well, it depends upon how you would look at it. If you consider the range of Adele’s voice, it is not unusual for many singers to have almost the same tessitura and vocal range.

If you classify her voice based on the universally accepted Fach System, Adele’s voice belongs to the mezzo-soprano. Yet, at the onset, you may mistake her voice to lie somewhere in the contralto range. 

As you listen to the rest of the songs she sings, you will discover that her voice is most clear between the middle C and C5. Besides, as you consider her rich tone, you might as well conclude that she is a mezzo-soprano. 

Adele’s latest releases are proof that the singer is in her best shape and, without a doubt, she is already one of the defining brave album voices of our generation. With that gift, all she needs to do is enhance that gift further to make it flourish.

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