Adele‘s 25 is set to be the biggest album of the year — and potentially, earn the biggest first week sales of any album for the Nielsen/SoundScan era — but you wouldn’t know it by listening to the British superstar at her iHeartRadio album release party in New York City on Nov. 20, livestreamed on iHeart’s website.
Hosted by Z100’s Elvis Duran — fresh off his entry into the National Radio Hall of Fame — Adele’s release party found her performing three songs live and chatting with the radio host. But there was no pop star posturing – the 27-year-old primed to shatter sales records was casual, self-depreciating, warm and affectionate.
The show opened with a chill-inducing “Hello” and wrapped with Adele leading the crowd in a sing-along of “Someone Like You.” Between that, Duran deftly steered the conversation to a variety of illuminating topics, from the music that inspired 25 to the reason she wanted to link up with pop producer juggernaut Max Martin.
Here are 10 revelations gleaned from her livestreamed 25 album release party.
The Albums That Inspired 25
You wouldn’t realize by listening to 25, but Moby‘s seminal Play and Madonna‘s Ray of Light were the albums she listened to the most while making her third album. Although she said she “wasn’t exposed to Madonna’s catalog earlier” in life, she absolutely fell in love with Madge’s electronic foray after hearing it. “I believe everything she says on it. Some of the songs on it are an ode to her first kid, and I needed that to challenge me.”
Her Son Wants the Paparazzi to Snap His Pics
While he’s not too into her singing, Adele says her son is fascinated by cameras, filming her and loving it when people take his picture. When they’re hiding out in hotel rooms, she says he puts on Captain America or Optimus Prime masks and tries to let the paps snap his pic, but she doesn’t let him. “He’s mine, he ain’t yours,” she explained.
Taylor Swift Made Her Want to Work With Max Martin
On 25, Adele teamed with tried-and-true hitmakers Max Martin and Shellback for the song “Send My Love (To Your New Lover).” Adele said she’d been kicking around the acoustic guitar riff in that song “forever,” and after hearing Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.”, she knew she needed to work with whoever was behind it.
Her Manager Is Sick, But She’s Hilarious
Noting that you can feel the NYC subway running beneath Joe’s Pub, Adele said the rumbling sensation had her worried for a moment. “My manager has a stomach bug, I was wondering if that was me,” she explained, making a whooshing motion downward to signify an unexpected bowel movement, before breaking into an infectious peal of laughter.
Her Favorite Song on 25 Is…
“When We Were Young,” inspired by old friends, is the most meaningful song to her on 25.
The Best Voice She’s Ever Heard Is…
Bruno Mars, who worked with her on “All I Ask.” “He is actually the best singer I’ve ever heard in front of my face.”
The “Hello” Director Tricked Her Into Acting
She didn’t intend to act on the video shoot, but Xavier Dolan managed to work around her intentions and get a great performance from her. Part of that was listening to Labyrinth’s song “Jealous,” which is what finally brought her to tears during the shoot.
25 in One Word
When Duran asked her to describe the album in one word, she said (after laughing), “Nostalgic.” “I know I’m not old, but I feel old. So much has happened to me.”
“Hello” Is Hard for Even Her to Sing
Pointing out the sky-high notes in the No. 1 hit, she said, “I don’t know what I was thinking writing a song that high.”
25‘s Leftovers Are Plentiful
Adele says she left “three or four albums’ worth” of songs on the floor while recording this one. “They were not good enough” she explained. When Duran pushed her on releasing some of those eventually, she emphatically stated, “No, they’re bad.”