Bryan Adams performs at Phillips Center


Published: Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 11:56 a.m.

You can't get away from Bryan Adams. His songs are nearly ubiquitous - in movies, on the radio, everywhere. Even if you don't know who he is, you know who he is. Maybe sitting in a dentist's office or walking through a mall, the strains of "(Everything I Do) I Do it for You" will come wafting through the air, and you know the tune even if you don't know it is him singing it.

Adams recently released his 11th studio album, titled "11" appropriately enough, and will perform a solo show at the Phillips Center on Friday to support it.

"When I was writing '11,' I was in the usual Adams state of mind," he told Classic Rock Magazine recently. "If you've got my earlier records, you'll know I always touch on the same theme: the connection between two people. It's still there in my music today."

Relationships have been Adams' bread and butter throughout his career. Songs like the aforementioned "(Everything I do) I Do it for You," which was featured in the 1991 film "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," helped transform Adams into a world-famous, mega-platinum-selling artist.

With other hits like "Please Forgive Me" and "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" Adams' raspy, throaty voice became a fixture of radio formats from Top 40 to soft-rock and easy-listening.

"I've always sounded like this," he said. "I've played a lot of gigs, and the more you work your voice, the more it tends to get a thicker sound. I don't think you could teach someone to sing like this."

While critics occasionally dismissed him as a poor man's Bruce Springsteen because of the sound of his voice and the subjects of his songs, Adams' music has consistently connected with audiences for nearly two decades.

Apart from selling more than 65 million albums in his career, Adams has won two Grammy Awards, 18 Juno Awards (Canada's version of the Grammy) and the singer was awarded the Order of Canada and Order of British Columbia for his contributions to music and philanthropy.

Adams is also a respected photographer, often taking photographs of nude supermodels such as Kate Moss.

"I just asked her," he said of photographing Moss nude. "The lesson here is that it's not about having some sort of gift; it's just about asking. You already know you could get a 'no.' All you can look forward to is a 'yes.'"

The release of "11" has once again seen Adams charting - the album hit No. 1 in his native Canada and broke the top 100 on American charts - and it means that Adams is again in worldwide demand for concerts. But, he said he still gives himself a break once in a while.

"I do give myself a break these days," he said. "I can't tour all the time, so I'll just schedule 10 shows a month, maybe about 100 shows a year. A lot of bands just go out and tour without a break, but I can't do that. I work hard, but I don't like to be out there for long periods.

"I like to be fresh."

Bryan Adams

What: Canadian rocker performs solo/acoustic show.

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 315 Hull Road

Tickets: $35-$47.50 (392-2787)

Bryan Adams

What: Canadian rocker performs solo/acoustic show.

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 315 Hull Road

Tickets: $35-$47.50 (392-2787)

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