They are both acclaimed singer-songwriters celebrating their returns after lengthy breaks, but that's not all Adele and Jazmine Sullivan share in common. Fans and critics have been comparing them for years, and recently the "Mascara" singer opened up on the ongoing discussion about them and their contrasting levels of recognition of ahead of this year's Grammys.
Despite identical narratives, Adele and Sullivan have experienced vastly different degrees of success. Adele's 25 was a multiplatinum success in its first week while Sullivan's Reality Show only sold 30,000 copies in early 2015. Many point to race as a reason for this, with mainstream audiences typically favoring white R&B acts like Sam Smith and Amy Winehouse over their black counterparts. Sullivan is no stranger to the discussion.
"I guess I'm glad that people are recognizing me in some way, and kind of see there's a little injustice in how black soul artists are received," Sullivan said in a recent interview with the Associated Press. "But, at the same time, I try not to focus so much on the negativity."
I think it's just a matter of making myself known to more people. I think it's about spreading Jazmine Sullivan's brand, I guess, to more people," Sullivan said. She also added she is trying to keep an "attitude of appreciation," and acknowledges that while her fan base "may not be as many people (who) listen to Adele. there are people who are listening. There are people who appreciate me. There are people who love my music."
Sullivan and Adele, who both debuted in 2008, are both three albums into their respective careers. Both ladies have been nominated for numerous awards including Grammys, but Adele supersedes Sullivan's 11 nominations with 13, 10 of which she won.
"I work really hard on my music," Sullivan said in regards to her snubs. "They acknowledge the effort. And hopefully I'll take it home one day."
Sullivan is up for three awards at this year's ceremony, Best R&B Song and Best Traditional R&B Performance for single "Let it Burn" and Best R&B Album for Reality Show.