Six years between Adele albums seems like an eternity. But in the end, the release of 30 was worth the wait. And both fans and critics agreed.
Rolling Stone said: “Adele has never sounded more ferocious than she does on 30—more alive to her own feelings, more virtuosic at shaping them into songs in the key of her own damn life. It’s her toughest, most powerful album yet.”
Variety called it her “rawest, riskiest and best,” while The New York Times said, “Adele’s voice is more supple and purposeful than ever.”
The launch of 30, her fourth studio album, was spectacular, kicking off with a primetime CBS special, Adele One Night Only, in November 2021. Unsurprisingly, 10 million excited viewers tuned in.
Dressed in a gorgeous custom-made white suit by Christopher John Rogers paired with matching Christian Louboutin slingback pumps, and sitting in Oprah Winfrey’s rose garden at the mogul’s home in Montecito, California, Adele spoke in-depth about the making of 30.
In her first television concert in six years, Adele flawlessly performed a stunning sunset show at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. The 10-song performance featured four songs from 30, including the first live version of “Easy On Me.” Another first was having her son Angelo, 10, in the audience.
“This is the first time my son has ever seen me perform. I’ve never been so nervous in my life,” Adele confessed, saying it was an “absolute honor” to sing for him.
VIVA LAS VEGAS
Following the release of 30, Adele announced that instead of touring she would kick off a residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. The build-up was intense. Within minutes, fans gobbled up tickets. There was an excitement for “Weekends With Adele” like Las Vegas had never seen before.
The residency’s original launch date was pushed back so that Adele and her production team could perfect the show. In the October issue of Elle, Adele revealed, “It was the worst moment in my career, by far” but she felt it was for the best of the production as she sought to make the show, in the 4,300-plus-seat Colosseum, even more intimate.
“Right now, all I got in my brain is Vegas,” Adele told the magazine. “I want to tell the story of the beginning of my career to now. It’s all about the music, and it’s really, really nostalgic. It’s gonna be really beautiful.”
In announcing the new schedule, Adele enthusiastically wrote, “Words can’t explain how ecstatic I am. I’m more excited than ever! To be with you in such an intimate space every week has been what I’ve most been looking forward to and I’m going to give you the absolute best of me.”
Her best has her one Tony win away from EGOT status. She collected her Emmy for Adele One Night Only and an Oscar for her James Bond anthem, “Skyfall,” to go with her 15 GRAMMY Awards and the more than 120 million albums she’s sold worldwide.
Adele released her debut album 19 at age nineteen (all of her album titles are numbers reflecting the age at which she wrote them). Songs like “Chasing Pavements” and “Make You Feel My Love” hit the charts and gave hints of what was to come. Her follow-up, 21, was a juggernaut, topping the record charts and becoming the best-selling album of the year in 2011 and 2012.
The album showcased her golden voice and made her an international star. The dark, bluesy “Rolling in the Deep” was Adele’s first No. 1 song in the U.S. “Someone Like You” and “Set Fire to the Rain” also rose to the top of the charts, while the playful “Rumour Has It” found its own storied success.
Fans couldn’t wait for Adele’s next album. When 25 was released in 2015 it was the fastest-selling album ever, with “Hello” reaching No. 1 on the Billboard charts. It was followed by 30, an album Adele has yet to tour on, but which she says came straight from her soul during “the most turbulent period of my life.”
All 12 tracks on 30 made it onto The Billboard Hot 100 chart with six of the songs climbing into the top 40. “Easy on Me” became her fifth No. 1 song with the official video tallying more than 313 million views on YouTube and counting.
“[It] channels from somewhere else,” Adele told Oprah. “I was writing my album while I was going through everything. I’m pulling from somewhere else. I don’t think I’m that deep in real life,” she said, chuckling as she talked about writing songs based on her personal life. “The reason I’m so brave is music helped me in many situations and I would like to do the same for people who feel so alone, to be reminded that they’re not alone. I have to dig deep and tell my stories.”