Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Cupcakes from Adele, for the Grenfell fightfighters

By Monica Showalter

In the wake of all the vulgar, overhyped, calculated and manipulated celebrity news out there, it's a kind of a pleasure to read something about a celebrity that doesn't appear to be any of that.
BBC reports that following the awful Grenfell Towers fire in London, British pop superstar Adele apparently showed up unannounced and alone with a plate of cupcakes at some London fire station to thank the firefighters who fought last week's inferno. Unaware of who she was, she had to take off her sunglasses and introduce herself as she brought her maybe homemade goodies in to them. After that, she posed for selfies with the firemen on their cell phones, obviously delighting them.
Yes, the whole thing could have been stage-managed and spun by a professional public relations team. Celebrities live in bubbles and no one expects much connection outside their areas of performance. But there were a lot of details in the little story that suggested it wasn't all that spun.
Adele showed up without her makeup, which isn't exactly conducive to good pictures, and she wore an innocently unflattering dress, courtesy of no Hollywood stylist - apparently, it was the sort of dress she liked to wear when she wasn't onstage. There was no publicity and no papparazzi - the only reason the news got out at all is that the firefighters couldn't stop sending these selfies to their friends.
It was sweet, spontaneous, and short, an amazing indicator of a real person under all those false eyelashes from behind that globally ubiquitous radio voice. It reminds me of one of her last trips to Los Angeles, where she was spotted at the West Hollywood Target, filling her basket with clearance and other goodies.
Forbes says Adele earned $69 million last year, and she remains the U.K.'s top female performer. Ticket prices to her concerts average about four hundred bucks, the highest of any performer. Would she need to perform a publicity stunt to sell records? Could her common touch be part of her global appeal? The answer in both cases is no, given her talent. Yet, yet, underneath all that, we still see a normal person. Nice to see news like that.

She didn't tell them who she was until she took her sunglasses off and introduced herself by her first name. She had no makeup, no fancy hairdo


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