Bryan Guy Adams is a Canadian guitarist, singer, composer, record producer, photographer, and philanthropist. With several chart-topping singles and albums in various countries, Adams has sold between seventy-five and one hundred million records worldwide.
Adams joined his first band at age fifteen, and in 1980 at age twenty, his eponymous debut album was released. He rose to fame in Canada and the United States with his 1983 top ten album Cuts Like a Knife, with its well-known title track and the ballad “Straight From the Heart”, his first US top ten hit. His 1984 album, Reckless, made him a global star with tracks like “Run to You” and “Summer of ’69”, both top ten hits in the US and Canada, and the power ballad “Heaven”, a US number one hit. Reckless reached the top of the charts in Canada and the US, number two in Australia, and the top ten in several other countries, becoming the first album by a Canadian to reach diamond in sales in Canada, going platinum in the US, and selling twelve million copies worldwide. Adams’ 1987 album Into the Fire went to number two in Canada and the top ten in several other countries.
In 1991, Adams’ Waking Up the Neighbours was a worldwide hit album which sold sixteen million copies, including being certified diamond in Canada. The single “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” went to the top of the charts in at least eighteen countries, including for a record sixteen and eighteen straight weeks, in the UK, and Europe overall, respectively. It is one of the best-selling singles of all time, having sold more than fifteen million copies worldwide. Other international top ten hits off the album were the Canadian chart-topping songs “Can’t Stop This Thing We Started” and “Thought I’d Died and Gone to Heaven”. Beginning in 1993, Adams’ hits were mostly ballads, including the worldwide hits “All for Love” and “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?”, which both topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, plus “Please Forgive Me” which reached number one or two in Canada, the UK, Australia, and Europe.
In 1996, Adams’ 18 til I Die was a top five album in many countries, but only reached thirty-one in the US. He did duets with two female stars, “I Finally Found Someone” with Barbra Streisand in 1996, his last US top ten hit, and “When You’re Gone” with Melanie C in 1998, an international top five hit. Between 1998 and 2019, Adams released seven albums, three going to number one in Canada, and most reaching the top ten in the UK, Germany, and elsewhere.
In 2008, Adams was ranked thirty-eighth on the list of all-time top artists on the Billboard Hot 100. Adams has won twenty Juno Awards and a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture or Television amongst fifteen Grammy nominations, and has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards and three Academy Awards for his songwriting for films. Adams has been inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Canada’s Walk of Fame, the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. On 1 May 2010, Adams received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for his thirty years of contributions to the arts.