Bryan Adams PhotoBORN: November 5, 1959, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Bryan Adams was one of the most popular mainstream rock & rollers to emerge in the '80s, producing a series of platinum albums and Top Ten hits. Adams wasn't an innovator on the level of Bruce Springsteen, or even John Cougar Mellencamp. He followed in their footsteps, smoothing out their rougher edges while retaining a down-to-earth earnestness in both his straightforward rock & roll and his husky voice. At the beginning of his career, he relied more on rock than pop, but as his career progressed, he became known for his ballads. But both his rockers and his slow numbers were the result of his craftsmanship, both as a writer and a performer -- Adams never let anything obscure a good hook.

Born in Canada, Adams began his career as a songwriting partner of Jim Vallence, a former member of Prism. Vallence and Adams wrote songs for several Canadian rockers, including Loverboy and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, as well as Bonnie Tyler and Kiss. Adams landed a solo record contract with A&M Records in 1981, releasing an eponymous album by the end of year; it failed to make the charts. The following year, he released You Want It, You Got It, which managed to reach the U.S. charts.

Bryan Adams' commercial breakthrough came in 1983 with Cuts Like a Knife. "Straight from the Heart," a ballad taken from the record, reached the Top Ten before the album was released. The album also made it into the Top Ten, while the title track peaked at number 15; a third single, "This Time," reached number 24.

Late in 1984, Adams returned with the surging, mid-tempo "Run to You," which became his second Top Ten single; it also became his first British hit, peaking at number 11. Reckless, also released in late 1984, became a blockbuster success, spending two weeks at the top of the U.S. album charts and selling over five million copies. Besides "Run to You," Reckless featured five other Top 15 singles, including the number one "Heaven," "Summer of '69," "Somebody," "One Night Love Affair," and "It's Only Love," a duet with Tina Turner.

Released in 1987, Into the Fire proved to be a considerable commercial disappointment, spending 33 weeks on the charts, selling one million copies, and spawning only one Top Ten hit, "Heat of the Night." Four years later, Adams returned with "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You," the theme song for the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. The song became a huge hit, spending seven weeks at number one in the U.S.; in Britain, it was at the top of the charts for an astonishing 15 weeks, which was the longest stay at number one since Frankie Laine's "I Believe" in 1953. The success of "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" re-established Adams as a mainstream-rock commercial powerhouse, setting the stage for the triple-platinum Waking Up the Neighbours, released in the fall of 1991. Waking Up the Neighbours launched the number two hit "Can't Stop This Thing We Started," the minor hit "There Will Never Be Another Tonight," and two Top 15 singles, "Thought I'd Died and Gone to Heaven" and "Do I Have to Say the Words?"

The following year, Bryan Adams released a greatest-hits collection, So Far, So Good, which featured a new track, "Please Forgive Me." The ballad became another Top Ten success, as did the similar-sounding "All for Love" -- a collaboration with Rod Stewart and Sting taken from The Three Musketeers -- which reached number one. In the summer of 1995, Adams had his fourth number one single, "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?," taken from the Don Juan DeMarco soundtrack; the single spent five weeks at number one.

Bryan Adams released 18 'til I Die, his first new studio album since 1991's Waking Up the Neighbours, in the summer of 1996. On a Day like Today followed in 1998. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide