It’s a tale as old as time – which totally unique artist tops the other in a totally arbitrary contest based off disparate categories? Dido dominated the charts in the early 21st century, and Adele picked up where Dido left off. Both have their peaks and their pits, but who will stand the test of time?
Adele has powerful pipes – no one is doubting that – but quality trumps power every time. Dido’s haunting tones send chills down the spine while Adele sounds the same on every song. Dido has a versatility that transcends genre. She has a voice for trip-hop, for R&B, for soul, for folktronica (a real genre, according to Wikipedia), for anything under the sun. Adele might be the voice of a generation, but Dido transcends generations.
This might be unfair on Adele, seeing as Dido has had a full decade extra in which to cement herself in the cultural psyche. There are a few metrics to go off here, one of which is longevity – Dido is still going, while Adele has all but announced she’s going to throw in the towel sooner rather than later due to vocal chord problems and the fact that she hates touring. Adele has the distinction of singing the first James Bond theme to win an Academy Award and has 195 other trophies to her name, while Dido has a paltry 25. Adele also edges Dido out in sales, selling almost twice the number of records and in about half the time.
WINNER: Again, it’s hard to tell, but time will probably favour Adele.
No artist exists in a vacuum, but a sloppy collab can cause even the best artist to become a laughing stock (think David Bowie and Mick Jagger, and Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder). Adele is fairly cautious with her collaborations, barely joining forces with anyone over her career but also reportedly coming close to partnering up with artists as diverse as Wiz Khalifa, Phil Collins and Damon Albarn. She did, however, feature on a song by Jack White’s Raconteurs side project in 2008, right at the start of her career, so props for being cool.
Dido, on the hand, is arguably most famous for ‘Stan’, the tortured anthem for obsessive fanboys the world over. The track showcased how easily Dido could take on hip-hop, and win. Lesser known is her song with Kendrick Lamar, which may seem cheap and hackneyed now but bear in mind that Dido sought out K.dot before good kid, m.A.A.d city or To Pimp A Butterfly, so she’s clearly a true fan from way back in the Section.80 days.
First off, both artists use their own names, so that’s a good start. But what if we delve deeper? Adele Lauri Blue Adkins comes out strong in the unusual names department, with her parents deciding that a colour is a suitable middle name for a child. It’s not enough though, as Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O’Malley Armstrong comes storming out of the gate to win this round hands down.
So there we have it. Dido pulls ahead at the final corner to take out the title, but was it ever going to be any other way?