Adele released last her album on November 20, 2015. Barack Obama was still president. Life was no normal. There was no pandemic.
More importantly, in the time since “25” was a sales blockbuster, all of Adele’s peers kept working and releasing music. While Adele slept, everyone else buzzed away.
If Adele is coming with new music before the end of the year, it’s instructive to see what her “graduating class” has been up to. The answer is a lot. She certainly could have put out music over the last five years. Will her absence hurt her sales or her popularity? I doubt anything will equal the frenzy over “25.” Five years is a generation in high school demographic terms. Fans move on from teen years to early 20s.
But meantime, think of this. In the last five years:
Taylor Swift released three whole albums, “Reputation,” “Lover,” and “Folklore.”
Katy Perry released two: “Witness” and “Smile.” And she had a baby and hosted “American Idol.”
Ariana Grande had a similarly large output: four albums including “Dangerous Woman,” “Sweetener,” “Thank You, Next,” New October 2020 release
Lady Gaga? Well, she made three albums including “Chromatica,” “Joanne,” and “A Star is Born.” Plus she starred in “A Star is Born” and was nominated for an Oscar.
Selena Gomez, despite illness that would have slowed anyone down, just kept working: 1 album, 13 singles on which she was featured, plus several acting jobs including Woody Allen’s “Rainy Day in New York.”
Beyonce, who had twins at some point, produced four albums including: “Lemonade,” “Homecoming Live Album,” plus “The Lion King: The Gift” and the current video project “Black is King,” 13 or 14 singles that she participated in.
Rihanna was the stingiest, but only because she become a cosmetics tycoon: One album, 13 singles.