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Adele’s long-awaited fourth studio album, 30, was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the singer says the reception to her new music will be inadvertently shaped by it.
As part of Rolling Stone’s December cover story, the Grammy-winning artist opened up about life after her divorce, including her depression and the impact it had on her latest album. But the singer also spoke about the ways the pandemic has shaped the album’s release, for both her and listeners. The last year forced many musicians to not only push back music releases but tours and other marketing events. For Adele, whose albums have always captured specific times in her life, it was imperative that the release of 30 happen now. Otherwise, she says, it might never have happened.
“If it wasn’t coming out now, I think I probably would never put it out,” she admitted. “I know I would’ve changed my mind and been like, ‘It’s moved on. Let’s start the next album.’ And I couldn’t do that to this album. I feel like it deserves to come out.”
But with the decision to release 30 in the midst of an ongoing pandemic came the awareness that this troubled era would hang over her new music. The singer suggests that the album and its singles may end up, for some listeners, being defined by the global experience. “No one wants to remember this period of time,” she said. “Obviously, it’s way better than last year, but the day my album comes out, someone’s loved one will have died from COVID. For them, it’s going to be a reminder every time they hear ‘Easy on Me’ on the radio.”
But COVID’s impact doesn’t stop with the album’s release and reception. It already has impacted her approach to touring, the singer says. After filming two live specials for 30 in October, including one for CBS, Adele has plans to do a few big shows next year, including two appearances in Hyde Park in London. But the singer presently has no plans for a major tour, at least not like one that resembles her tour for 25.
“It’s too unpredictable, with all the rules and stuff,” she said. “I don’t want anyone coming to my show scared. And I don’t want to get COVID, either.”
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