Gary Flockhart: 2011 was the year of Adele

THAT’S it, then. All over. Well, almost. So what was the story of the year in music?

Take That reuniting with prodigal son Robbie Williams, perhaps? REM and The White Stripes splitting up, maybe? Pulp reuniting to prove that they were the true heroes of Britpop all along?

All are worthy of inclusion in any year-end round-up, but perhaps what 2011 will be remembered for most is that it was a year when the female of the species grabbed the most attention.

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The year’s big success was Adele Adkins, who owned the charts in 2011. Love it or loathe it, 21 was the unavoidable soundtrack to the year, breaking records to become officially the biggest-selling album of the 21st century.

Then there was PJ Harvey, who became the first artist ever to win the Mercury Prize twice, thanks to her outstanding album, Let England Shake.

Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Jessie J were also among the biggest-selling artists of the year – and fair to play to those gals, too.

On a more sombre note was the tragic death of Amy Winehouse. Back in January, when looking ahead to the next 12 months, I predicted that the troubled singer would finally return with a new album “fatal death notwithstanding”. Typical of a girl who never did things by halves, she did both.

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Less newsworthy, but equally sad, was the passing of Bert Jansch, the Edinburgh-raised folk legend whose influence on a host of better-known musicians eclipsed his own fame.

Come the bells, I’ll be raising a glass to the pair of them.

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