Yet even as Adele’s new music is widely expected to be among the most commercially successful of the year, based on her track record of world-beating sales, the singer is also managing expectations as she reenters a changed business.
“There isn’t a bombastic Hello,” she told Vogue. “But I don’t want another song like that. That song catapulted me in fame to another level that I don’t want to happen again.”
The track debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for 10 weeks. But streaming — which now accounts for 84 per cent of recorded music revenue in the United States, according to the Recording Industry Association of America — was still catching on. When 25 was released, on November 20, 2015, it was not made available on services like Spotify and Apple Music until seven months later, instead relying on traditional sales.
That resulted in a record-breaking 3.38 million albums sold in the United States during its first week — nearly 1 million more than the next-highest-selling release in the Nielsen/SoundScan era. (The company, now MRC Data, began tracking point-of-sale data in 1991.)
The album 25 has since been certified 11-times platinum and won six Grammys in 2017, making Adele the first artist ever to sweep the top three categories — record of the year, song of the year and album of the year — on two separate occasions. (She did the same in 2012, with 21.)
Unlike Adele’s previous releases, 30 is expected to be available on streaming services upon release, although Vogue reported that the singer was “adamant that it come out in tangible form,” on CDs and vinyl, as well.
According to reports, the new album will feature collaborations with the producers and songwriters Max Martin and Shellback, who worked on the previous Adele single Send My Love (to Your New Lover); the singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. (When We Were Young, from 2015); the producer Inflo; and the composer and producer Ludwig Goransson, known for his work with Childish Gambino and on films like Black Panther.
“I was so fragile when I was writing it that I wanted to work only with a few people,” Adele said in her Vogue interview, citing Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On as a “very big reference.”
And while the singer’s divorce helped to inspire the album, it is not the only subject, she said.
“It was more me divorcing myself,” Adele explained, invoking “self-destruction,” “self-reflection” and “self-redemption.”
In recent years, the singer has also taken to working out two or three times a day, leading to significant weight loss (“I realised that when I was working out, I didn’t have any anxiety”); hosted Saturday Night Live as a nonmusical guest; and entered into a relationship with LeBron James’ agent Rich Paul (“I know what I want”).
“I’ve shed many layers but also wrapped myself in new ones,” Adele wrote in her statement, “discovered genuinely useful and wholesome mentalities to lead with, and I feel like I’ve finally found my feeling again. I’d go as far as to say I’ve never felt more peaceful in my life.”
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.