The list of artists who dream of collaborating with Adele could probably fill the rest of the Internet into eternity at this point. A much shorter — and more intriguing — list is of those whose collaborations with the 25 singer were actually announced, and then scrapped. Forget about the heartbreak of her past lovers — how about the bruised egos of scorned co-writers? We decided to dig through Adele’s closet to piece together all the almost-were collaborations that we’re still holding our breath over. Here’s looking at you, Phil Collins.
In early 2014 the rapper announced that Adele would be appearing on his new album Blacc Hollywood after she mobbed Khalifa’s wife at the Grammy Awards and they all became friends. He told Fuse News that the track they were working on together was “a cross between [the sounds of] right now and the ’60s and ’70s. It’s really hippie.” The world waited with bated breath. But sadly, in May, Khalifa went back on the record with Rap-Up to announce that ultimately the track was not going to make it onto the album at all. “It was like an idea,” he said with an inherent shrug. “Maybe we’ll get to do a remix or something.” Or something?! We’ll take a “Hello”/”See You Again” mash-up, if anyone’s asking.
Earlier this week Adele talked to Rolling Stone about her near-miss working with Phil Collins, whom she described as “so nice” and “such a genius,” admitting she “chickened out” when it came to actually recording with him. Collins later called Adele a “slippery fish” for the walk-back after she had been the one to approach him with an idea for a song. Adele insists there’s “no bad blood.” It’s unclear if Collins would be interested in catching the slippery fish again.
What would be more natural than the “Hello” and “Chandelier” artists combining? Nothing! And they did — and it was beautiful — but it still didn’t make the final cut on 25. This parting of ways sounded rather amicable, though, as Sia was able to use of the songs, “Alive,” on her own album and Adele had nothing but nice things to say about the whole experience. “I actually love the dynamic of us both being in there and just fucking being bossy,” Adele told Rolling Stone. “And it’s all these male producers, and they’re all fucking shitting themselves ’cause we’re in there.” Yass queens.
The Grammy-winning songwriter, known for such power love songs as “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” and “Because You Loved Me,” announced in early January of last year that she was one of the writers enlisted to work on 25. She told Hitfix that she and Adele “really clicked and really connected and I really like her as a person.” Aww, that’s sweet. So why didn’t any Warren hits end up on the new album? When Dishnation asked Warren in November of 2014 which songs exactly made the cut, she responded that of the three they recorded, “I don’t think anybody knows. I have no idea. We did three great songs together. I assume something will be on there. They’re really quality, great stuff.” We have no doubt that they were – but our faith may never be rewarded.
Perhaps the worst of the collab break-ups, Albarn publicly burned Adele when his work on 25 met the chopping block. The Blur frontman told The Sun in September that “Adele asked me to work with her and I took the time out for her… And I’m not a producer, so… I don’t know what is happening really… Will she use any of the stuff? I don’t think so. Let’s wait and see… The thing is, she’s very insecure. And she doesn’t need to be, she’s still so young.” He then described what he had heard from the new album that would become the chart-busting 25 as “very middle of the road.” Adele responded to Albarn’s put-downs during her cover interview with Rolling Stone, describing it as being “one of those ‘don’t meet your idol’ moments.
“And the saddest thing was that I was such a big Blur fan growing up,” she said. “But it was sad, and I regret hanging out with him. None of it was right. None of it suited my record. He said I was insecure, when I’m the least-insecure person I know. I was asking his opinion about my fears, about coming back with a child involved — because he has a child — and then he calls me insecure?”
Now that’s some Taylor Swift-level bad blood that’s probably better left behind.