Adele's path to success. She's not big on...
Queen of pop Adele shows that she does not have to conform to the norm of the entertainment world to rule it
All hail Adele, the queen of pop.
The 27-year-old British singing superstar dropped her first studio album in four years, 25, on Nov 20 and has smashed all sorts of records since.
In just three days, it became the best-selling release of 2015, moving at least 2.3 million copies worldwide to oust the previous title-holder, Taylor Swift's 1989.
25 went on to sell 3.38 million copies in its first week on the US market, Nielsen Music reported, setting a record for the largest single sales week for an album since Nielsen began methodically tracking weekly music sales in 1991. It is also the first album in Nielsen history to sell more than three million copies in a week.
Adele's music video for Hello, the first single taken off 25, also toppled Swift's Bad Blood record for single-day Vevo views, to the tune of 27.7 million.
Just what is Adele's secret to her success?
One can only imagine her replying nonchalantly in her charming Cockney accent: "Nothing, really."
The mum to three-year-old son Angelo is a class act in the art of minimalism. She is the antithesis of what the public has come to expect from pop princesses like Swift, Rihanna and Katy Perry, be it back-breaking concert tours, provocative attire and images, active social media presence or marketing tie-ups.
Well, Adele does none of that - simply because she doesn't need to. She doesn't even go with the flow of music consumption trends.
According to the New York Times, 25 won't be available on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music because Adele wants us to buy her CD the old-fashioned way.
And even though 25 has been hit by middling reviews, she's showing how her contrarian ways are helping her become even more of a heavyweight than ever before.
Swift wore a bikini for a GQ magazine cover, Perry bared her cleavage and side boob for a Moschino ad, Rihanna flaunts tons of naughty, risqué half-naked photos on Instagram.
But Adele has done none of these. Almost all her publicity photos are close-up shots focusing on her signature cat-eyes, big hair and full lips.
As the world's most famous plus-size female pop culture icon, she told Rolling Stone that her full figure has worked in her favour.
"I think I remind everyone of themselves. Not saying everyone is my size but it's relatable because I'm not perfect. I think a lot of people are portrayed as perfect, unreachable and untouchable," she said.
She did admit to having "body image problems" but she doesn't allow them to rule her life.
"There's only one of you, so why would you want to look like anyone else? Why would you want the same hairstyle as everyone else? Have the same opinions as everyone else?"
Her recent live performances of new tracks When We Were Young and Million Years Ago on Saturday Night Live and the Today show are no-frills, stripped-down affairs where she simply lets her vocals do the talking. It is a stark contrast to the colourful costumes, crazy visuals and larger-than-life props at Perry's, Swift's and Rihanna's gigs.
Unlike her globetrotting peers who have staged shows in almost every city you can think of, Adele has never embarked on a world tour.
So when she announced last week that she would embark on a European tour next year, many US fans were left griping about feeling left out.The thing is, she is not a fan of massive crowds, nor does she like the loneliness of touring.
"There is something quite lonely about going on stage in front of loads of people and then everyone going home," Adele told BBC Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw.
"I'm sure they would hang out with me if I invited them back to my hotel but I feel quite on my own a lot when on tour."
Adele also opened up about her crippling stage fright amid rumours that Glastonbury Festival organisers are keen to book her for next year's edition.
UK's The Mirror reported that she is "on the fence" about headlining it after catching US rapper Kanye West's set at the music festival earlier this year.
"It was the biggest crowd I'd ever seen. I froze with fear, I just thought, 'I don't know if I can do that,'" she said.
Almost every act is constantly engaging supporters on social media channels.
Adele has had Twitter for a while but her posts are sporadic and hardly personal.
According to digital news site Mashable, all her tweets have to be vetoed by her managers before they can be published.
"I'm not a drinker anymore but when Twitter first came out (in 2006) , I was drunk tweeting and nearly put my foot in it quite a few times," she told Mashable.
"So my management decided that I have to go through two people and then it has to be signed off by someone."
When it comes to Instagram, Adele is severely late to the game.
She opened an account in October, prior to the release of 25. She told i-D magazine that she did not think she would use the photo-sharing platform often.
"I think most people tend to give in to (Instagram) because it is easier but I just can't. I'm uncomfortable with giving in to that kind of thing."
Don't bet on seeing her endorsing anything either. To Adele, that spells "an unreal lifestyle".
In an interview with The Guardian, she said that she has had her fair share of offers to promote a whole slew of products - books, clothes, cars, toys, apps and even candles - but she has turned them all down.
She told The Observer Music: "I don't want to water myself down. I want to do one thing. I want to make something. I don't want to be the face of anything."
Adele is very appealing to the masses because, to a certain extent, she is kind of like us.
She has had a long, stable (read: boring) relationship with a non-celebrity who is bearded, heavyset and not exactly attractive.
In almost all the interviews she has done, Adele has waxed lyrical about Angelo and motherhood - not the most scintillating topic nor fodder for tabloid headlines.
And as she tells i-D, fame scares her.
"I'm just frightened of it, you know? Frightened of it destroying me and ruining me.
"It's a bit toxic, fame. I've got enough toxins in me body, I don't need any of that."