Do These Mysterious ’30’ Billboards Mean Adele Is Back?

It’s been six long years since the singer’s last album, 25

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UPDATE: On Friday night, projections of the “30” appeared in a variety of noteworthy places worldwide, including outside the Louvre in Paris, on the Colosseum in Rome and near the top of the Empire State Building in New York.

Like the Bat-Signal shining bright in the night, an array of billboards popped up October 1st bearing a single number, “30,” which could maybe possibly mean Adele is finally back. At least we hope.

Though no official word has come from the singer yet, Adele fan accounts have spotted at least two “30” billboards so far and seem confident about the message they contain. There had also been rumors that new Adele music would drop Friday, but nothing has materialized so far.

Calling her record 30 would conform to Adele’s previous pattern of naming albums after her age, and 30 was a pivotal year for the singer: She separated from her ex-husband Simon Konecki when she was that age.

A new record would mark Adele’s fourth album and first in six years, following 2015’s 25. That record, which followed her 2011 breakout 21, was an instant smash that shattered — and still holds — the single-week U.S. album sales record, which ‘NSync’s No Strings Attached had previously held since 2000 (Adele did notably decide at the time to not make 25 immediately available on streaming platforms, potentially boosting actual sale numbers). 25 also earned two Grammys: Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album.

After touring in support of 25, Adele kept a characteristically low profile as she worked on her new record. Last October, she made a surprise return on Saturday Night Live, not as the musical guest, but as the host, where she joked during her monologue, “I know there’s been a lot of chatter about me just being the host. Like ‘Why isn’t she the musical guest?’ and stuff like that. And there’s a couple of reasons. My album’s not finished, and I’m also too scared to do both… I’d rather just put on some wigs… have a glass of wine or six and just see what happens.”

The possibility that new music is coming couldn’t arrive at a better time either: As Rolling Stone reported earlier this week, fans are clearly craving Adele’s tunes as the singer’s 25 deep cut, “Love in the Dark,” saw a recent surge in popularity primarily due to people on TikTok making videos about how underrated the song is.

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