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Single by Sarah McLachlan
from the album Surfacing
ReleasedMay 4, 1998 (1998-05-04)
FormatCD, digital download
GenrePop, adult contemporary, soft rock
LabelNettwerk (Canada)
Arista (US)
Songwriter(s)Pierre Marchand, Sarah McLachlan
Producer(s)Pierre Marchand
Sarah McLachlan singles chronology
"Sweet Surrender"
Audio sample

"Adia" is a song by Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan that originally appeared on her 1997 album Surfacing. It was co-written by McLachlan and her longtime producer, Pierre Marchand. On VH1 Storytellers, McLachlan also said about the song, "I'm not quite sure how to explain this one but, uh, I guess more than anything it's about my problems in dealing with feeling responsible for everyone else".[1]

The song starts with no musical introduction. The lyrics begin "Adia, I do believe I've failed you. Adia, I know I've let you down." The chorus says that "We are all born innocent. Believe me Adia, we are still innocent." At times the music is simple and soft, with little more than a piano accompanying McLachlan. The song does not explain the exact relationship between the singer and Adia, whether they are friends, relatives or lovers. The video shows McLachlan singing directly to the camera in various public places, including a busy intersection, an office lobby, a supermarket aisle and in front of a store selling wedding dresses, where McLachlan kneels to grasp the hand of a child facing away from the camera.

"Adia" was McLachlan's first top 5 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number three. Though it only remained at the position for one week, the song did spend six consecutive weeks at number four and seven consecutive weeks at number five, totaling thirteen weeks in the top ten. "Adia" was the twentieth most successful song of 1998 in the U.S. The song also performed well in McLachlan's native Canada, peaking at number three for three non-consecutive weeks on RPM. It stayed in the top ten for sixteen weeks.


"Adia" was the third of four songs from Surfacing to be released as a single. It was her most successful US single, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100. The single, released July 7, 1998, contains four tracks: the radio mix of "Adia", the Surfacing mix of "Angel", the original studio version of "I Will Remember You" (as opposed to the live version included on the Mirrorball album, also released as a single), and a live version of "Building a Mystery".[2] McLachlan was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the Grammy Awards of 1999 for "Adia", losing to Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On".[3]

A live version of "Adia" appears on the Mirrorball album.

Cover versions[edit]

"Adia" has been covered by Avril Lavigne on the Control Room – Live EP. She said she used to cover it when she was 15.

In 1999, saxophonist Richard Elliot covered the song from the release Chill Factor.[4][5]

On November 9, 2015, Korin Bukowski covered the song on season 9 of The Voice for the Live Playoffs.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Adia" – 4:03
  2. "Adia" (remix) – 4:01
  3. "Angel" – 4:30
  4. "I Will Remember You" – 4:22

Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ "Adia on VH1 Storytellers".
  2. ^ Discography
  3. ^ The Envelope Awards Database from Los Angeles Times
  4. ^ "Chill Factor Overview".
  5. ^ "Chill Factor - Richard Elliot".
  6. ^ "Issue 972" ARIA Top 100 Singles. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 3567." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 3562." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  9. ^ "Canadian Singles Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  10. ^ " – Sarah McLachlan – Adia". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  11. ^ " – Sarah McLachlan – Adia" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  12. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  13. ^ "Sarah McLachlan: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  14. ^ "Sarah McLachlan Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  15. ^ "Sarah McLachlan Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Sarah McLachlan Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  17. ^ "Sarah McLachlan Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  18. ^ "RMP's Top 100 Adult Contemporary Tracks of '98". RPM. 14 December 1998. Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  19. ^ a b c "1998: The Year in Music" (PDF). Billboard. December 26, 1998. pp. 42–96. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 28, 2015. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  20. ^ "American single certifications – Sarah Mc Lachlan – Adia". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  21. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1998". Billboard. 111 (5): 75. 30 January 1999. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 31 May 2015.

External links[edit]