Rumor has it … that a new Adele album is coming out, though even the artist herself doesn’t seem to know when she’ll release it.
The Oscar winner hasn’t debuted any new music since November 2015, when she dropped her third album, 25. Even though it came out late in the year, it quickly became the best-selling album of 2015, and eventually, the fourth best-selling album of the 21st century. (Adele’s second album, 21, holds the top spot on the latter list.)
Fans thought a reprieve might be coming when the London native signed on to host an October 2020 episode of Saturday Night Live, but the “Rolling in the Deep” singer only handled emcee duties while H.E.R. performed as the musical guest.
“There’s a couple of reasons,” Adele said during her monologue, explaining why she wouldn’t be singing that night. “My album’s not finished and I’m too scared to do both. I’d rather just put on some wigs — and this is all mine, by the way — have a glass of wine, or six, and just see what happens.”
Following her SNL appearance, the Golden Globe winner retreated from public life until April 2021, when she was spotted at an Oscars afterparty for Daniel Kaluuya. Though she looked fabulous in a lime green feathered coat, that outing did not offer any indication that an album was imminent.
Fans can’t even assume that Adele will stick with her usual style of soaring pop ballads. In May 2019, she quipped via Instagram that her followers were a “bunch of f—king savages” for bombarding her with questions about the album. “30 will be a drum n bass record to spite you,” she joked, referring to a subgenre of electronic music.
In December 2020, session musician Matt Chamberlain claimed that the “Chasing Pavements” singer has been writing new songs with producer Rick Nowels, who cowrote the 25 bonus track “Why Do You Love Me.” In addition to working with Madonna, Dua Lipa and Lykke Li, Nowels is known as a longtime collaborator of Lana Del Rey, having worked on all of her albums since 2012.
No matter what it sounds like, though, there’s no question that #Adele4 will be a massive hit. In 2012, Adele became the second artist ever — and first woman — to have won Grammys in each of the awards show’s “Big Four” categories: Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year. Only one other artist, Billie Eilish, has done it since.
Keep scrolling to find out everything there is to know about Adele’s new album: