In Rolling Stone‘s December 2021 cover story, Adele opens up about the emotional journey she’s been on since 2019. That year, not only did she begin writing her highly-anticipated fourth album, 30, but she also saw a series of major upheavals in her life, like the end of her relationship with longtime partner Simon Konecki. The candid, expansive interview dug deep into what her interior world has looked like since then — but the cheeky singer-songwriter dropped plenty of other, lighter tidbits on her world, too. Here are some bonus facts we learned about the star while reporting the story.
Along with scrolling through cat and interior design content, Adele uses her Instagram to watch Verzuz battles on Instagram Live.
“Drunk at 2 p.m. in the hot, hot 100-degree heat in L.A., watching Erykah Badu and Jill Scott sing, is my idea of heaven,” she reminisces. She watched that battle with two of her friends, who were over the moon to see — after years of rumors that Badu and Scott didn’t get along well — that the two were on friendly, supportive terms and had been writing songs for each other. The show was so moving that one of Adele’s friends, Amber, went to a market downtown and bought bootleg Badu vs. Scott merch, as if they had attended the show live.
Adele is still getting used to post-vaccination life, and she still gets quite overwhelmed in public spaces.
She’s long been a germophobe, and she started quarantining a couple weeks before the rest of L.A. did in early 2020, after travel and a phlegm-y winter cold left her feeling anxious about Covid. She finally attended her first concert in nearly two years this past September, going out to see Lil Baby at the Staples Center. “He seems like such a nice boy,” she says of the Atlanta rap star. She was a bit freaked out to be at such a big event again, but she watched the show from a box with a group of close friends.
There’s a reason why she’s not facing the camera on the 30 album cover.
“It’s side profile because they’re all an evolution of each other, the album covers,” she says, “but I like it because I can’t look [listeners] in the eye. That’s how I feel. I was like, ‘They’re about to listen to my soul. They don’t have to look into it too.’”
What music is Adele listening to? “Right now? My fucking own.”
Though she hasn’t paid much attention to newer releases while she focused on her own album release, she does cites Tems as one rising star she’s loved since 2018. After our game of rounders with her band, she was heading to dinner with the Nigerian singer-songwriter in L.A. Adele adds that she’s also been loving Halsey’s and Drake’s most recent releases, and she’s into the Billie Eilish single “Happier Than Ever.”
Adele’s dream is to sing the hook on a hip-hop track.
She’s been asked to do many vocal features over the years, but unfortunately, none have grabbed her attention or felt like the right fit. “It has to be the best thing we could ever do together, and it never is,” she explains. “More often than not it’s because we haven’t been in the room and written together, I think. But with schedules and stuff, it’s hard to get everyone together.”
She caught the comedy bug from hosting Saturday Night Live last year.
She would love to host again, thought not on this album cycle. She would also love to explore more creative endeavors beyond singing, like starring in a movie. “But I don’t want to be an actress,” she notes. “I want to do one killer movie.”
Like every other kid his age, her son Angelo loves TikTok.
Adele will watch along with him, though when he recently started singing Masked Wolf’s viral single “Astronaut in the Ocean” — which opens with the line “What you know about rollin’ down in the deep?” — she had to point out to her son that she sang something similar first. “He’s singing it and I’m like, ‘Excuse me? That’s my lyric.’ And he’s like, ‘That’s not your song.’” Now, Adele reveals that she has her own personal TikTok account for scrolling through funny animal videos — and no, it’s not the official Adele account.
Angelo has also become more aware of his mother’s fame than he was before.
He knows it’s hard to do things like go to the park with his mom, so he often does more public activities with other family members or his nanny. “He knows that sometimes when someone gets annoying, we have to leave,” she says. “But that’s only happened in the last couple of years. I used to do all the parks with him before.”
Adele says that her trainer is probably the person she’s seen the most over the last couple of years.
They began working together in 2016, while she was touring her album 25. “Sometimes I turn up [at the gym] and I’ll just cry and he’ll just stretch me. Not so much anymore, obviously, but then,” she says. A big part of her emotional journey over the last few years has just been showing up, even when she’s having a bad day. “He turned up every day for me as well. He never left. He was very much, and very much is, a real part of my overall recovery from my grief that I went through.”
For all the Telfar stans: Adele now owns a “Bushwick Birkin” of her own.
Her medium blue bag arrived the day we spoke at her house, to her excitement.