In an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night, as part of her One Night Only special on CBS, singer Adele responded to questions about “pain being a muse” and “not [being] shy or embarrassed to be falling apart.”
She noted, “Nothing is as scary as what I’ve been through over the last two, three years behind closed doors,” appearing to refer to her relatively recent divorce from Simon Konecki.
The singer, whose new album 30 comes out this Friday, shared the revelation as part of the TV special, which interspersed songs from performance from the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles with excerpts from a sit-down interview with Winfrey — who has been masterful at getting celebrities to open up of late.
Later in the special, she addressed it more specifically, in a conversation that started when Winfrey asked her about whether 30 was her divorce album. She observed,
I’ve been obsessed with a nuclear family my whole life, because I never came from one … in all these movies and all these books, you grow up reading them, like that’s what it should be … I promised myself that when I had kids, that we’d stay together, we would be that united family, and and I tried for a really really long time. And then I was just so disappointed for myself.
She did acknowledge that Konecki came into her life at a crucial period, observing, “I think Simon probably saved my life. To be honest, he came at such a moment, where the stability that him and Angelo” — referring to their son, born in 2012 — “have given me, no one else would ever been able to give me, especially at that time in my life.”
The CBS social media account recognized that there might be waterworks in the audience; tweeting, “Go easy on us, #ADELE is singing “Easy On Me” for the first time to a LIVE audience and we are not ok. Anyone else sobbing?”
Indeed, some astute audience members were looking for famous people losing it. As one observed, “My favorite part is every time the pan the camera over to @melissamccarthy she is in tears.”
Saeed Jones delighted in Seth Rogen being in the front row.
Adele herself weighed in via Twitter before the show, noting that it was “the most beautiful venue I’ve ever played.”
She also thanked “everyone who made it possible,” including Winfrey, who she credited as “allowing me to tell my truth lovingly in a safe space. The whole thing was pretty overwhelming.”
She then added, “I’ve seen it twice and cried my eyes out both times.”