AS musical ambassadors go, Bryan Adams has done much to raise the profile of Canada during his 30 years of making records.
And it was arguably the album Waking Up The Neighbours that consolidated his position on the world map as a rock star of endurance.
It chalked up sales of 16 million fuelled not least by a stash of hits, including Can’t Stop This Thing We Started, There Will Never Be Another Tonight and that single – (Everything I do) I Do It For You – which broke UK chart records by remaining at number one for 16 consecutive weeks.
Released the same year Sheffield hosted the World Student Games – and opened the Arena Adams returns to tonight – the singer/guitarist had already firmly established his credentials as a global star.
Reckless, seven years earlier, had brought him his first significant UK chart incursions through Run To You, Summer Of ’69 and Heaven, although his previous album, Cuts Like A Knife, did filter through to Brit ears, not least because of its lead single.
Down the years Adams has made numerous visits to Sheffield and once, via these pages, cited his brush with a pre-show curry in the city as teaching him a salutary lesson about what not to eat before a gig.
He has also visited as a friend of city producer and songwriter Eliot Kennedy, a fellow ice hockey fanatic, and forged another link when in his other celebrated guise as an accomplished lensman – Jagger and even the Queen rank among his subjects – he photographed city songstress Helen Boulding for the cover of her 2008 album New Red Dress.
Adams is back on the road for a 12-city tour with a full band following his 2010 Bare Bones solo-acoustic tour.
With more than 65 million record sales to his name and number one success in over 40 countries, he remains one of the world’s biggest and enduring stars. And most humble.
“I’m not the greatest guitar player, the best singer, there’s lots of guys better looking,” he says.
“All I had were my songs and my belief. If you’re lucky, that’s enough. There’s no formula. You just do the work and do the work. After that, it’s all in the stars.”