The 25 Timeline: How Adele's third album conquered the planet

The 25 Timeline: How Adele's third album conquered the planet

It's time for a bit of hometown glory. After some 21 months, Adele's 25 campaign is about to gilde to what will surely be a triumphant halt at Wembley Stadium.

Starting tonight (June 28), the singer will play four shows a few miles from her Tottenham stomping groud, imprinting the last full stop on a tremendous chapter of her career. Whether you'll be there belting out the words or not, there's no denying this has been a pretty epic campaign. Here, we look back at the entire thing, starting from the very beginning...

October 2015: Hello - Adele’s first single since 2012’s James Bond theme Skyfall - is released. It reaches No.1 in almost every country it charted in and breaks the record for the shortest time to attain 1 billion YouTube views and 100 million Vevo views. Release date for singer’s third album 25 announced as November 20.

November 2015: Held back from streaming services, 25 becomes the fastest-selling album in UK history, racking up 800,307 first week sales and becoming the most pre-ordered album of all time on Amazon.co.uk. In the US, it sells a record 3.38m copies in the same time period. European arena tour announced. Michael Mulligan, Tesco's buying manager at the time, tells Music Week: “We expect sales to stay strong well into 2016, with additional peaks around Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day”. 

December 2015: 25 becomes 2015’s biggest selling album, with global sales of 17.4m. A raft of extra dates added to arena tour after initial batch sells out on first morning of sale. Agent Lucy Dickins, ITB, says, "You will never be able to supply the demand that’s there for her right now – it’s insane, I’ve never ever known anything like it.”

January 2016: Adele's 25 accounts for 3.7% of total album sales in 2015, as there were 121.6 million albums in total sold. She sold 2.5m copies in 2015.

February 2016: Adele performs at the Grammy Awards and the BRIT Awards, winning four gongs at the latter - Best Female Solo Artist, Global Success, British Single Of The Year and MasterCard British Album Of The Year. Adele Live 25 tour begins at Belfast’s SSE Arena. Donald Trump uses Adele's music as his walk out song during rallies. The artist does not approve, and seeks legal advice. 

March 2016: During a show at The O2 in London, Adele confirms long-standing rumours that she will headline Glastonbury 2016.

May 2016: Adele is rumoured to have signed a multi-album deal with Sony, reportedly worth up to £90m.

June 2016: 25 passes 3m UK sales after making its streaming debut to coincide with the singer’s Glastonbury headline slot.

July-November 2016: Arena tour heads to North America, moving on to Mexico City before culminating in Phoenix, Arizona on November 21.

November-December 2016: Adele announces four Wembley Stadium concerts from June 29-30 and July 1-2. Dubbed The Finale, the shows will complete her world tour.

January 2017: Adele’s second album, 21, passes five million UK sales.

February 2017: Star wins five awards at the Grammys and claims Global Success award at the BRITs. Adele Live tour begins third leg, starting in Australia at Perth’s Domain Stadium.

March 2017: Oceania tour comes to an end with three nights at Auckland’s Mount Smart Stadium.

June-July 2017: Adele returns to the UK for four hometown shows at Wembley Stadium.

For the full story on Adele's 25 campaign, pick up this week's issue of Music Week or click here.

By Will Nicolaides

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