Adele 'Artist of the Year' Q&A: 'My Career Isn't My Life'

Adele 'Artist of the Year' Q&A: 'My Career Isn't My Life'

Talks Love, Fame & Her Plan to 'Disappear' Until She's Good & Ready

Adele owned 2011. The kicky, 23-year-old British singer released her second album, the break-up requiem "21," in February, and in barely 11 months, she has already sold more than any artist in the world, currently inching towards 13 million globally. But it wasn't just heartbreak that made her popular. In contemporary music, Adele is one of a kind, a woman who thrives off no bells and whistles, just pure personality and talent (and the ability to make the toughest curmudgeon cry).

See the 2011 Artists of the Year Chart | All 2011 Year-End Charts

Despite it all, Adele has been living in exile, of sorts. After having surgery to remove a benign polyp from her throat, she was not allowed so speak for weeks, never mind sing -- and, as readers of her blog know, she wasn't quite feeling it. We emailed her a few days before she was nominated for six Grammys (by which she expects to be vocally recovered) to discuss her latest live DVD, her astronomical success and, naturally, true love.

What do you envision for your future, your next couple of years?

I'm really looking forward to some time to do nothing. I imagine I'll be 25 or 26 by the time my next record comes out, as I haven't even thought about my third record yet. I'm just gonna lay some concrete, set up home and just "be" for a bit. I'll disappear and come back with a record when it's good enough. There will be no new music until it's good enough and until I'm ready.

Have you begun writing songs for the next album?


It's been a long year. Have you found love again?

It's been the most erratic year. It's been fucking brilliant and exciting and emotional. Professionally, it's been a year that will define my life forever. But because of the success, obviously things have been unearthed and people have crawled out of the woodwork publicly and privately. But that's to be expected. And those things personally have forced me to address things I wouldn't have. I probably wouldn't have until my thirties.

Not having someone to share all this with made me miserable at times, to be honest. I wanted nothing more than to be in love and be loved back. That was until I remembered I was sharing it with millions and millions and millions of people!! I haven't been ready to be in love again since summer 2009... until now. And I hadn't met anyone along the way who has changed that.

I love that Robyn lyric from "Call Your Girlfriend": "The only way her heart will mend is when she learns to love again." I was bitter as fuck and so sad about my relationship that "21" is about. Obviously it was intensified because the record exploded, and it was a constant reminder of him that I couldn't avoid. But I hadn't met anyone else. I missed him because I didn't like feeling lonely and so I just kept going over and over the fuck-ups and resenting him and regretting our time together. But really recently, I realized that that had to happen for me to know what I want and need from myself. And of course in someone else.

How was your vocal surgery? How much longer until you can sing again?

The surgery couldn't have gone better. But because I was singing with damaged vocal chords for three or four months and because of the surgery and because of the silence after the surgery I now have to build myself back up vocally. It's gonna be a lot easier for me to sing now. And mentally I won't be worried about my voice on stage anymore. So I have to get used to that. That'll take most of January, so February I'll be singing properly!

Read Adele's Full Billboard Cover Story on