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Adele once shared how she had become fascinated with a singer she called the “female Elvis” Presley. And during a separate interview, this singer said Adele admitted one of her songs influenced “Rolling in the Deep.” Here’s how the singer reacted to learning “Rolling in the Deep” might not exist without her.

Adele holding several Grammys
Adele | Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

1 song by the ‘female Elvis’ Presley inspired Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’

During a 2010 interview with Rolling Stone, Adele discussed the influences behind her album 21. “I got addicted to this Wanda Jackson hits album,” said the singer. “She’s so cheeky and so raunchy. She’s kind of like the female Elvis: really sexual, not afraid to embarrass herself.”

For context, Jackson was a singer who became famous around the same time as Elvis. The two even dated. Like Elvis, Jackson straddled the lines between rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly, and country music.

According to a 2012 Rolling Stone article, Adele told Jackson that “Rolling in the Deep” might not exist without Jackson’s song “Funnel of Love.” “When she told me that, it just sent chills over me,” Jackson recalled. “I thought, ‘Boy, if I helped give the world that song, that’s all right!'”

What Wanda Jackson said about serving as Adele’s opening act

During a 2012 interview with The Boot, Jackson said she served as Adele’s opening act. “It was definitely her crowd, so I think a lot of them were looking at me like, ‘Who is this?'” Jackson remembered. “But I was able to win them over in my 30- to 35-minute show. I could see I got their attention. Also, I was happy that a lot of my fans that would like Adele were there, too.”

Jackson said it was challenging to be Adele’s opening act. “It was a little bit hard, people were still coming in because they knew there would be an opening act and they probably haven’t heard of me, so they weren’t in any hurry to come in,” Jackson said. “I’m not used to that!”


Adele’s Hardest Song to Record From Her ’21’ Album Was Unconventional For Her

The way the world reacted to ‘Rolling in the Deep’

“Rolling in the Deep” became a massive hit. The song peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks. It lasted on the chart for 65 weeks altogether. Adele released “Rolling in the Deep” on her album 21. And 21 was No. 1 for 24 weeks of its 526-week run on the Billboard 200.

“Rolling in the Deep” was similarly successful in the United Kingdom. The Official Charts Company reports the song hit No. 2 in the U.K. and remained on the chart for 66 weeks. Meanwhile, 21 was No. 1 for 23 weeks. The album spent 313 weeks on the chart in total.

And according to Adele herself, all of that success might not have been possible without the “female Elvis.”