It’s the moment Adele fans have been waiting for. After a six-year hiatus, the British singer-songwriter released her highly anticipated fourth studio album, 30, on Friday.
Best known for songs like Hello and Rolling in The Deep, Adele has collected 15 Grammy Awards and her 2015 album, 25, is estimated to have sold more than 22 million copies worldwide. Critics say their commercial success will continue 30th, with Rolling Stone calls it “Their heaviest and strongest album so far.”
CBC News looks back on Adele’s career up to the release of her new album.
2008-9: Adele releases her debut album
In 2008 Adele released her debut album 19 with songs like Chasing sidewalks and Cold shoulder. The album earned her the very first BRIT Awards Critics’ Choice that same year.
In a 2008 interview with British soul writer Pete Lewis, the singer-songwriter said the album represented her life when she wrote it at the age of 19. “I just remember becoming a bit of a woman during that time,” Adele said. “And I think that’s definitely documented in the songs.”
Thematic albums like these allow artists like Adele to build personal connections with their audiences, says Brian Fauteux, associate professor of popular music and media studies at the University of Alberta at Edmonton.
“There’s something about the way their songwriting and singing come together to unlock these universal feelings, emotions and experiences,” said Fauteux.
“It allows fans to follow their careers. It ages at the same time [her] Fan base. ”
19th In 2009, she also won the Adele Grammys for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Later that year she completed her first world tour, An Evening with Adele.
2011-12: Adele releases second album and now meets her ex-husband
Adele’s second album, 21, was released in 2011 and estimated at nearly 31 million copies worldwide, 21st century UK’s best-selling album.
That same year, Adele went on her second tour and met her current ex-husband, British charity Simon Konecki.
The singer collected more Grammy hardware in 2012 and won all six categories she was nominated in, making her the second female artist to win so many awards in one evening. (After Beyoncé.) After her Grammy win, she revealed her plans to take a break from music. Their son Angelo was born later that year.
According to Canadian radio station and music writer Alan Cross, Adele’s appeal is that she appears “very, very human”.
“She wasn’t that perfect physical specimen that seemed to have it all,” Cross said. “And the things she sings about have really resonated with individual people. She was almost every woman. ”
2015-17: 3rd album brings lasting success
Adele reappeared on the music scene with her hit single Hello in October 2015. She released her third album, 25, in November of that year, which became the world’s best-selling album in 2015.
Her third concert tour, Adele Live 2016, ended the following year after she canceled her last two appearances due to voice injuries. The singer suffered from vocal cord hemorrhage for the first time in 2011.
Despite medical setbacks, Adele won all five of her 2017 Grammy Awards nominations. During her album of the year acceptance speech, she thanked her “husband” for his support and teased her upcoming marriage to Konecki.
2018-20: Take another break
Adele announced in 2016 that she would be taking another break from music to take care of her then three-year-old son. Two years later she married Konecki. But the singer filed for divorce later in 2019.
Their breakup should become the focus of Adele’s upcoming album.
On the occasion of her 31st birthday in 2019, the singer posted several black and white photos of herself on Instagram and reflected on the past year. She unsubscribed from Instagram post by teasing new music and writing “30 will be a drum ‘n bass record toober you”.
The artist hosted Saturday Night Live in October 2020 and told fans on Instagram that she was going back to her “cave” but would be back next year.
2021: New album and new beginning
On October 15, 2021, Adele released her first single in almost six years. Easy for me dealing with her decision to end her marriage to Konecki. The song is included in their latest album, 30, which released on Friday.
The album has already received praise from music critics. Rolling Stone magazine said 30th is Adele’s “heaviest and strongest album”, while Geier called the record Adele’s best work: “This is the music she should have been making all along.”
“It’s the record where she explains her divorce and how it affects her relationship with her son,” said Mikael Wood, a popular music critic for the Los Angeles Times.
“It’s key why the fans feel so warm for her because I think she’s a songwriter and singer who makes listeners feel like she’s articulating her own complicated emotional experiences.”
Wood says 30th contains heavier themes than some of Adele’s previous albums, but her powerful vocals and emotionally charged lyrics will give fans the same listening experience they love from Adele.
“There is no doubt that this record is going to be a huge success,” said Wood. “If you love Adele, you will love this record.”
Cross says Adele has always had an innate ability to write and produce good music, but the success of her album depends on whether she has grown with her audience.
“Her fan base has grown a lot more diverse depending on where her life has led her,” said Cross.
“Can she continue to relate to an aging audience?”