Written by By Callum Barber, CNN
After her stunning performance at this year’s Super Bowl half-time show, Adele’s triumphant return to the stage was one of the highlights of the 2017 musical season.
Having been away from the spotlight for a year, fans were excited to see her return to form with a full-on pop-rock album. The follow-up to 2013’s “21,” Adele’s ’25’ featured the middling singles “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” and “When We Were Young,” both of which proved popular, but failed to live up to the album’s instantly iconic feel.
Featuring 17 songs, ’25’ was a monumental undertaking for Adele, whose vocal abilities mean she normally has the luxury of taking her time on each new album. But ’25’ was not exactly a step back. The nine previous tracks were stripped down, streamlined versions of the deep ballads that defined ’21’ — and ’25’ benefitted from the process.
Here’s how fans reacted to the star’s comeback, five years on from her debut.
Justin Bieber and his former flame, Miley Cyrus
Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus in 2011. Credit: Rex Features/REX/Shutterstock
The pop stars enjoyed a brief relationship in 2011 when Bieber was just 17, the same age as Adele when ’25’ was released.
The two graced the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, wearing matching black suits, in a snap that was swiftly deleted by Cyrus’s mother. Cyrus also duetted with Bieber on the track “PYD” on his third studio album, “Believe,” which came out the same year.
While their relationship may be over, the two both tweeted how excited they were for ’25.’
Future and R. Kelly
Future and R. Kelly in 2015. Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
Back in 2015, Future and R. Kelly collaborated on the track “Forever,” released in 2015.
The duo, who call themselves the Drip Squad, perform as a six-piece live band and say that they have only ever met once face-to-face.
The track, whose visuals featured prominently on ’25’ was released alongside three new songs — two of which were also released on the album: “Saturday” and “Into Me.”
Adele left behind by Kanye West
Rapper Kanye West and singer Adele in 2009. Credit: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
In 2009, West and Adele collaborated for his song “Gold Digger.” The two had a brief flirtation and West and Beyonce were rumored to be dating at the time.
However, West’s sister-in-law Kim Kardashian quickly poured cold water on the romance, telling Vogue in 2011 that West was only dating Beyonce. Adele has since said that she found West’s behavior “annoying.”
Adele’s ’25’ is the ‘best thing’ we’ve ever heard
Fans and critics on Twitter today
Adele will next be appearing at London’s Wembley Stadium in July 2018 to close the 2017 British Summer Time Festival, but she told ’17 magazine she didn’t know if she’d perform much again.