Women Who Rock: Greatest Breakthrough Moments

The achievements that changed everything, from Bessie Smith to Adele

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2012 Adele sweeps the Grammys
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2012 Adele sweeps the Grammys

She's the kind of mass success story that isn't supposed to happen anymore: girl gets her heart broken, girl writes a bunch of pissed-off songs about it, girl makes a brilliant record that speaks to every corner of the pop audience, girl sells a gazillion copies. When she sang "Rolling in the Deep" on the 2012 Grammy Awards, it was like a coronation of a new pop queen--not to mention a confirmation that where music is concerned, heart and soul never go out of style.