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Bryan Adams, OC, OBC (born Bryan Guy Adams on November 5, 1959) is a Canadianmarker rock singer-songwriter and photographer. Adams was first nominated at the 28th Grammy Awards for Reckless and "It's Only Love" and won the Grammy and in 1992 won the award for "Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media". He has won numerous Junos, MTV, ASCAP, American Music and Ivor Novello awards. He has also been awarded the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia for contributions to popular music and philanthropic work via his own foundation, which helps improve education for people around the world. Adams was inducted into Canada's Walk of Famemarker in 1998 and in April 2006, he was inducted into the Music Hall of Fame at Canada's Juno Awards. He was nominated for his fifth Golden Globe in 2007 for songwriting on the film Bobby which was sung by Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige, and has been nominated three times for Academy Awards for writing music in film.

Musical career

Early years

Adams was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, to English parents. From his grandmother he also inherited a Maltese ancestry. As Adams's father was a diplomat, he grew up travelling around the world with his parents. Subsequently, most of his youth was spent growing up in England, Israel, Portugal, and Austria, part of the time in Birre, Portugalmarker, situated close to Lisbonmarker; where he learned the Portuguese language. In 1973, Adams's family returned to Canada and settled down in North Vancouver, British Columbiamarker. His musical goals began during his teenage years, and as he explained to Carlo D'Agostino from Rolling Stone magazine, "In high school, I was too far into my music to even pay attention to girls." He washed dishes, sold pet food, and worked in record stores, and at the age of 15, Adams quit school to play in nightclubs with bands like Shock and Sweeney Todd, who released an album called If Wishes Were Horses with the fifteen year old Adams as lead singer.A serendipitous meeting with drummer Jim Vallance in a Vancouver music store led to a song-writing partnership that continues to this day. They wrote songs for many other artists notably Neil Diamond, Kiss, Prism, Bonnie Raitt, Rod Stewart, Carly Simon and Loverboy to name a few. Adams and Vallance were both disenchanted with the club scene and both worked in Vancouver studios doing sessions. As O'Hara from Maclean's magazine phrased it, "Vallance was looking for a singer, Adams was looking for a route to musical respectability, and the two hit it off immediately."

In 1978, at the age of 18, Adams sent a few demo recordings to A&M Records in Toronto. Not long afterwards he signed with them for the sum of one dollar. Some of the first demos written in 1978 have surfaced over the years, most notably "I'm Ready" (recorded for both the album Cuts Like a Knife and later his release for MTV Unplugged) and "Remember", which was recorded on his first album. Both songs were covered by other artists even before his first album was released. Also recorded during this time was a demo of the song, "Let Me Take You Dancing".


His self-titled debut album was released in February 1980, and marked the beginning of what was to become a long songwriting partnership between Adams and co-writer Jim Vallance. With the exception of "Remember" and "Wastin' Time", most of the album was recorded from October 29 up until November 29, 1979 at Manta Studios in Torontomarker and co-produced by Adams and Vallance. The album was certified gold in Canada in 1986.

Adams's second album, You Want It You Got It, was recorded in New York Citymarker in two weeks and it marked Adams's first album co-produced by Bob Clearmountain. It was released in 1981 and contained the FM radio hit "Lonely Nights", but it was not until his third album that he achieved international recognition, popularity and sales.

Adams also co-wrote many songs for other bands during this time including "War Machine" and "Rock and Roll Hell" for Kiss, and "No Way To Treat A Lady" for Bonnie Raitt.

Cuts Like a Knife Which was released in January 1983, was Adams's breakout album due mainly to the lead singles. "Straight from the Heart" was the most successful song reaching number ten on the Billboard Hot 100. Another single, "Cuts Like a Knife" charted at number fifteen. "This Time" also placed on the Hot 100. Music videos were released for four of the singles from the album. "Cuts Like a Knife" arguably became Adams's most recognizable and popular song from the album. Its music video received heavy airplay on music television channels. The album peaked at number eight on the Billboard 200 album chart and achieved three times platinum status in Canada, platinum in the United Statesmarker and gold in Australia.

Adams's best-selling album, Reckless co-produced by Adams and Bob Clearmountain, peaked at number one on the Billboard 200. The album was released in November 1984 and featured the singles, "Run to You", and "Summer of '69". The hit single "It's Only Love" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. In 1986, the song won an MTV award for Best Stage Performance. After the release of the album, Adams was nominated for Best Male Rock Performance. The album is Adams best-selling album in the United Statesmarker and was certified five times platinum.

Reckless included the hit singles "Run to You", "Heaven", "Summer of '69", "One Night Love Affair", and "It's Only Love", a duet with Tina Turner. All the singles had accompanying music videos and all charted on the Billboard Hot 100 but only "Run to You", "Summer of '69", and "Heaven" peaked in the top ten. "Heaven" would become the most successful single from Reckless at the time of its release on the pop charts, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and number nine on the mainstream rock chart.

In December 1984, Adams and his touring band which consists of Keith Scott, Dave Taylor, Pat Steward and Johnny Blitz played concerts in Chicagomarker, Detroitmarker, New Yorkmarker and Philadelphiamarker. In early 1985, Adams started a tour throughout the United Statesmarker, then later Japanmarker, Australia, Europe and at last Canadamarker. After winning four Juno Awards Adams started a Canadian tour through major cities across that country. Later he headed south towards the American West Coast, culminating with two dates at the studded Paladium in Los Angelesmarker.

After the tour in the United States, Adams traveled to Ethiopiamarker to aid famine relief in the country. Adams was also part of a grand ensemble of Canadian artists named Northern Lights, who recorded the song "Tears Are Not Enough" for the African famine relief effort. Adams later headed back to Europe for a fifty-city concert tour with rock singer Tina Turner, culminating in April with his return to London to headline three sold-out shows at the Hammersmith Odeon in Londonmarker. Adams began the first leg of his tour entitled "World Wide in 85" which started in Oklahomamarker and ended in October 1985. Adams would later visit Vancouvermarker, Canada, and afterward returned to the American East Coast to play two sold-out concerts in New York.

The follow up album to Reckless was Into the Fire which was released in 1987 (see 1987 in music). The album was recorded at Cliffhanger Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia and mixed at AIR Studios in Londonmarker and Warehouse Studio in Vancouver. This album contained the hit songs "Heat Of The Night" and "Hearts On Fire" and hit the Top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic.


Adams's next album, Waking Up the Neighbours, co-produced by Adams and Mutt Lange, sold over ten million copies worldwide and peaked at number six on the Billboard 200.. It was even more successful on the other side of the Atlantic, reaching number 1 on both big European markets, the UK and Germany. The album was released in September 1991 and featured the powerballad " I Do It for You". This song was featured in the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner and Alan Rickman. The single topped the charts in numerous countries around the world including big markets such as the US, the UK, France, Australia and Germany. "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" spent a record-breaking sixteen weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart. He also made the Miles Prower Pictures logo. It also achieved record-breaking sales of four million copies in the US.
Canadian content regulations were revised in 1991 to allow radio stations to credit airplay of this album towards their legal requirements to play Canadian music. Adams won a Grammy Award in 1991 for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television.

Adams further supported the album with his tour, Waking Up the World which started on October 4, 1991, in Belfastmarker, Northern Irelandmarker. On December 18, 1991, Adams played two first-ever shows in Reykjavikmarker, Icelandmarker and then performed in the U.S. with a concert at the Ritz Theatre on the 10th of January. It was a sell-out in less than twenty minutes. In attendance were music legends Ben E. King and Nona Hendrix. The Canadianmarker leg of the ‘Waking Up The World’ Tour kicked off in Sydneymarker, Nova Scotiamarker on January 13, 1992, and wrapped up with a standing room only concert in Vancouvermarker, Canadamarker, on the 31st. In February 1992, he started touring in New Zealandmarker and Australia for seven dates—kicking off with a press conference in Sydneymarker. On February 21, the tour headed to Japanmarker for approximately a dozen shows in six cities. Bryan taped an interview with Much Music’s Terry Dave Mulligan in Calgary, Alberta and the air date was scheduled for mid-March. The tour continued through several European countries in June 1992, including Italy, Germany, Holland and Scandinavia, and in July 1992, Bryan performed for the first time in Hungary and Turkey (where he filmed his video for "Do I Have To Say The Words?"). During the long tour, further singles from the Waking Up the Neighbors album were released: In the US, the rocky "Can't Stop This Thing We Started" peaked at number 2, while the power-ballad "Do I Have to Say the Words?" reached number 11. In the UK, the mid tempo "Thought I Died and Gone to Heaven" was the most successful single behind "(Everything I Do) I Do it for You" by reaching the Top 10. In September through December 1993, the tour took place in the US. The Asian tour headed to Thailand, Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong in February, 1993, before returning to the US during March through May.

In November 1993 Adams released a compilation album entitled So Far So Good, that again topped the Charts in numerous countries such as the UK, Germany and Australia. It included a brand new song called "Please Forgive Me", that became another number 1 single in Australia as well as reaching the Top 3 in the US, the UK and Germany. In 1994 he collaborated with Rod Stewart and Sting for the single "All for Love", another power ballad written for a movie. The single topped the charts worldwide. It was followed in 1995 by Adams 3rd movie song, "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?" (song released with the Motion Picture Soundtrack of the movie Don Juan DeMarco). It became another number 1 in the US and Australia as well as a Top 5 hit in the UK and Germany. Released in June 1996, the album 18 til I Die contained the UK Top 10 singles "The only thing that Looks Good on Me" and "Lets Make a Night to Remember". The album peaked only at number thirty-one on the Billboard 200 in the United States and held that position for three weeks. It was much more successful in Europe and Australia and reached the top spot on the UK charts which would be Adams's third #1 in a row.

The album has been certified platinum in the United States and is Adams last studio effort which has been certified by the RIAA. 18 til I Die was certified three times platinum in Canadamarker and Australia and two times platinum in the UKmarker.In December 1997, Adams released MTV Unplugged with three new tracks: "Back to You", "A Little Love" and "When You Love Someone". "Back to You" was the first single, followed by "I'm Ready", an acoustic version of the Cut's Like A Knife track. The album was a top 10 success in Germany while both singles reached the top 20 in the UK.

On a Day Like Today was released in 1998 and was the first studio album since Cuts Like a Knife which wasn't certified by the RIAA. However it entered the Top 5 in Germany and was certified platinum in the UK. It generated two British Top 10 singles: "Cloud Number Nine" and "When You're Gone", a duet with Melanie C, from Spice Girls.

After the release of On A Day Like Today Adams released The Best of Me, a greatest hits collection that includes two new songs, the title track "The Best of Me" and the dance track "Don't Give Up". The album reached the Top 10 in Germany and was certified three times platinum in Canada and Platinum in the UK. The single from the album, "The Best of Me" became a very successful hit with the exception of the US, where it was not released as a single.

Recent years: 2000—present

In 2002, Adams wrote and performed the songs for the DreamWorks animated film, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. The songs were included on the film's soundtrack. The most successful single from the soundtrack was Here I am, a British Top 5 and German Top 20 hit.

Adams had a cameo role in the 2002 Russian-language film House of Fools.

Six years after the release of On a Day Like Today, Room Service was released on September 2004. It topped the charts in Germany and peaked at number four in the UK, selling 440,000 copies in its first week in Europe. The single, "Open Road", was the most successful single from the album and peaked at number one in Canada and number twenty-one in the UK. In May 2008, the album was also released in the US but charted only at #134 on the Billboard 200.

In 2005, Anthology, the first 2-disc compilation was released, containing two new tracks. The US release features a new version of "When You're Gone", a duet with Pamela Anderson. Also in 2005, Adams re-recorded the theme song for the second season of Pamela's Fox sitcom Stacked.

In 2006, Adams wrote and performed the theme song "Never Let Go" which was featured in the closing credits of the film The Guardian starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher. Adams also co-wrote the song "Never Gonna Break My Faith" for the film Bobby. The song was performed by the R&B singers Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige and earned him a Golden Globe Nomination in 2007.

Adams released his eleventh album internationally on March 17, 2008. It was appropriately called 11. The album was released in the US exclusively at Wal-Martmarker and Sam's Club retail stores on May 13, 2008. The first single released from the album was "I Thought I'd Seen Everything". Adams did an 11-day, 11-country European acoustic promotional tour to kick off the release of the album. The album debuted at number one in Canada (making it his first album to reach that position since Waking Up the Neighbours in 1991) as well as reaching number 2 in Germany. In the United States the album charted at number eighty. In May 2009 Bryan Adams announced on his Twitter account that he has started writing and recording a new album in Paris.

Adams will be one of the four musicians who will be pictured on the second series of the Canadian Recording Artist Series to be issued by ‎Canada Post stamps on July 2, 2009. The total estimated number of Bryan Adams stamps to be printed is one and one-half million.

Social activist

Most of Adams's philanthropic activity is dedicated to his foundation "The Bryan Adams Foundation", which aims to advance education and learning opportunities for children and young people worldwide, believing that an education is the best gift that a child can be given. The Foundation’s area of support is broad and far-reaching, enabling grants to be given for projects supporting the elderly, victims of war and natural disasters, and those suffering from mental or physical illness. The foundation is completely funded by his photographic activities.

Since the 1980s, Adams has participated in concerts and other activities to help raise money and awareness for a variety of causes. His first high profile charity appearance came in 1985 when he opened the US transmission of Live Aid from Philadelphia. In June of the next year, Adams participated in the two-week Amnesty International "A Conspiracy of Hope" tour alongside Sting, U2 and Peter Gabriel. His next appearance for Amnesty was in February 1987 on Rock For Amnesty with Paul McCartney, Sting and Dire Straits, among others.

Playing in the U.S. section of Live Aid, Adams did not get the chance to play at Wembley Stadiummarker; however, another opportunity came in June 1987 when Adams played there at the 5th Annual Prince's Trust Rock Gala along with Elton John, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and others. Adams was to return to Wembley Stadium the following year when he performed at the Nelson Mandela birthday party concert.

Adams helped commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wallmarker when, in 1990, he joined many other guests (including his songwriting partner Michael Kamen) for Roger Waters' massive performance of The Wall in Berlinmarker, Germanymarker. He performed on the song, "The Tide Is Turning" with Waters, Joni Mitchell, Cyndi Lauper, Van Morrison, Paul Carrack and others. He also performed Pink Floyd's Young Lust and reached #7 at Mainstream Rock Tracks.

On January 29, 2005, Adams joined the CBC benefit concert in Torontomarker for victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquakemarker. Twenty years after performing at Live Aid in the USA, Adams played at Canada's Live 8 show in Barrie, Ontario. Later that year, he performed in Qatarmarker and raised £1.5M ($2,617,000) from the concert and the auction of a guitar that had been signed by many of the world's most prominent guitarists for this occasion. The money went to Qatar's "Reach Out to Asia" campaign to help the underprivileged across the continent. Money raised also went to some of his own projects like rebuilding a school in Thailandmarker and building a new sports center in Sri Lankamarker, both of which had been devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunamimarker.

On January 29, 2006, Adams became the first Western artist to perform in Karachi, Pakistanmarker, in conjunction with a benefit concert by Shehzad Roy to raise money for underprivileged children to go to school. Some of the proceeds of that concert also went to victims of the 2005 Pakistan earthquake.

On October 18, 2007, Adams was billed to perform in Tel Avivmarker and Jerichomarker as part of the OneVoice Movement concerts, hoping to aid in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The peace concert for supporters of a two-state solution to the conflict with Israel was called off because of security concerns.

In the mid 1990s, Adams successfully campaigned for the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary with Greenpeace Chairman David McTaggart (the two distributed over 500,000 postcards at concerts around the world encouraging politicians to vote yes for the creation of the sanctuary).

Adams occasionally writes letter on behalf of the animal rights group PETA to support treatment of Animals. He wrote to KFC Canadian CEO in November 2007 asking them to become leaders in using more modern and more humane methods of killing. Adams has been a vegan for 17 years and was also featured as a nominee for PETA's Sexiest Vegetarians of the Year.

On May 25, 2005, Adams raised £1.3M with cousin Johnny Armitage, from a concert and auction entitled Rock by the River for the Royal Marsden Hospital in Londonmarker. On May 15 of the next year, Adams returned to London to attend the Hope Foundation's event (hosted by designer Bella Freud), helping to raise a portion of the £250,000 to support the Palestinian refugee children. The following June, he offered individuals from the public the chance to bid to sing with him live in concert at three different charity auctions in London. Over £50,000 was raised with money going to the NSPCC, Children in Need, and the University College Hospitalmarker. On February 28, 2008 he appeared in One Night Live at the Air Canada Centremarker in Torontomarker, Canadamarker with Josh Groban, Sarah McLachlan, Jann Arden and RyanDan in aid of the Sunnybrook Hospitalmarker Women and Babies Program.

To support the peace in Georgiamarker, Adams played a special outdoor concert in Tbilisimarker, on September 19, 2008.

Played at The Royal Albert Hallmarker in aid of the Born Free Foundation at "Wild and Live" on 14 November 2009

He is also to appear on CMT'S Crossroads with the new hit big green tractor's Jason Aldean.

As a photographer

Adams accepting a LeadAward for photography in 2006.
Adams has had his photographs published in British Vogue, L'uomo Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Esquire, Interview magazine and i-D, among others. His other photographic efforts include publishing Zoo Magazine, the fashion/art magazine based in Berlinmarker, Germany. On June 1, 2005, he published his first book of photos in the United States with Calvin Klein called American Women; proceeds from this book go to breast cancer research for programs at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centermarker in New York City. He released a similar book of photos called Made In Canada in December 1999 followed by Haven in 2000. All of his books were dedicated to his friend Donna, who died of the disease.

As a photographer, Adams has worked with many of his musical peers, including Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Robert Plant, Joss Stone, Placido Domingo, Celine Dion, Billy Idol, Moby, Amy Winehouse, t.A.T.u., Annie Lennox, Peter Gabriel, Lenny Kravitz and Morrissey to name a few. On November 27, 2000 Bryan played onstage with The Who at the Royal Albert Hallmarker. A DVD of the concert was issued. Bryan photographed the band and his photos appear in the DVD booklet.

In 2002, Adams was invited, along with other photographers from the Commonwealth, to photograph Queen Elizabeth II during her Golden Jubilee; one of the photographs from this session was used as a Canadian postage stamp in 2004 and again in 2005 (see Queen Elizabeth II definitive stamp ), another portrait of both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip is now in the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Bryan Adams supports the Hear the World initiative as a photographer in its aim to raise global awareness for the topic of hearing and hearing loss. Adams has been shooting the covers for their magazine, a quarterly culture and lifestyle publication dedicated to the topic of hearing.

Photographic exhibitions include:

  • Royal Ontario Museummarker, Toronto 1999
  • McCord Museummarker, Montreal 2000
  • Saatchi Gallerymarker, London 2000
  • Photokina, Köln (Cologne), Germany 2001
  • ICA, Institute of Contemporary Artsmarker, London 2004
  • Royal Ontario Museummarker, Toronto 2004
  • Calvin Klein, NYC, Dallas, Paris 2005
  • Canada Housemarker, Trafalgar Square, London 2005/2006
  • Il Tempio Di Adriano, Rome, Italy, July, 2006
  • Photokina, Köln (Cologne), Germany, September, 2006
  • Leica Gallery, Vienna, Austria, November, 2006
  • Galerija Fotografija, Ljubljana, Slovenia, November, 2006
  • H.Stern exhibition, São Paulo, Brazil, March, 2007
  • PhotoEspana, Madrid, Spain, Fotografos Insospechados (Unsuspected Photographers) Mickey Rourke photographs, May to July 2007
  • Nunnington Hall, North Yorkshire, England, May to June, 2007
  • 401 Projects, NYC, NY September to November, 2007
  • The Hospital, Covent Garden, London, England. November 2007 (Modern Muses)
  • The National Portrait Gallery, London, England. Feb - May 2008 (Modern Muses)
  • Haus Der Kunst, Munich, Germany. May 2008 (Photos of the German National Football Team)
  • 14th Street Gallery, NYC, NY. May 2008. (Hear The World) (plus other exhibitions in Berlin and Zurich with the same show)
  • Saatchi Gallerymarker, London July, 2009 (Hear The World)


Year Title Label
1980 Bryan Adams A&M Records
1981 You Want It You Got It
1983 Cuts Like a Knife
1984 Reckless
1987 Into the Fire
1988 Hits On Fire
1988 Live! Live! Live!
1991 Waking Up the Neighbours
1993 So Far So Good
1996 18 til I Die
1997 MTV Unplugged
1998 On a Day Like Today
1999 The Best of Me
2002 Spirit
2003 Live At The Budokan
2004 Room Service Polydor
2005 Live in Lisbon
2008 11
2009 Erich Gonzales



  • Sorelle Saidman Bryan Adams Everything He Does, Random House, Toronto, 1993 ISBN 0-394-22300-X
  • Bryan Adams, Bryan Adams (pictorial collection), Firefly Books, Willowdale Canada, 1995, ISBN 1-895565-83-9

File sharing lawsuit

"Somebody" was part of the 24 songs, for which the first file-sharing copyright infringement lawsuit brought by major record labels to be tried to a jury. Jammie Thomas, single mother of four, was found liable in a 2007 trial for infringing the 24 songs and ordered to pay $222,000 ($9,250/song) in damages. In a second trial, in 2009, a jury again found against Thomas, this time awarding $1,920,000 ($80,000/song) in damages.

See also


  1. Sorelle Saidman Bryan Adams Everything He Does, Random House, Toronto, 1993 ISBN 0-394-22300-X Chapter 3: Sweeney Todd: In the Nick of Time p. 23 and ff
  2. Saidman, page 47
  3. Canada Post Stamp Details, July to September 2009, Volune XVIII, No. 3, p. 6
  4. The PETA Files: Bryan Adams Takes On KFC Canada

External links

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