The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Adele tells fans her next move: She wants to get a college degree

British singer Adele performs during the Brit Awards 2022 ceremony in London. (Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images)

LONDON — Superstar singer Adele is planning to swap the stage for studies, she told fans at an intimate event in Los Angeles this week.

The “Hello” singer was marking the release of a new music video for her song “I Drink Wine,” which sees her floating in a dreamlike river in a homage to Hamlet’s Ophelia, enjoying and then refusing the beverage, as she belts out a typically self-reflective ballad.

“I really want to get a degree in English Literature,” Adele, 34, said at the fan event earlier this week. “I wish I had gone to university, I wish I’d had that experience.”

Adele said she plans to take up a degree course in 2025 after completing a Las Vegas residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, which begins in November.

In January, she shocked fans by postponing her residency just 24 hours before the opening night, saying in a teary video that her show wasn’t ready, citing delivery and covid-related delays. She later said she faced a “brutal” backlash from the public as a result and was “devastated” by guilt, stating she “was a shell of a person” in the months that followed.

Adele says ‘brutal’ backlash followed cancellation of Las Vegas residency

Adele has spoken about her love of English literature before.

Last year, during a television special, she told British actress Emma Thompson that her teacher, “Ms McDonald,” had inspired her to love the subject and was “so bloody cool, so engaging, she really made us care.”

Moments later, McDonald appeared in the crowd and joined her onstage. The cockney-twanged singer burst into tears on being reunited, in a widely shared emotional clip.

“I’m so proud of you,” the teacher said, embracing her.

“You really did change my life. Mum, can you believe it?” Adele replies.

She told fans in Los Angeles this week that McDonald had made her “fall in love with books,” adding, “if I hadn’t made it in my singing, I think I would definitely be a teacher.”

Last year, Adele released her album “30,” hailed as emotionally honest with moving melodies, which went on to shatter sales records. In the album, she reflects on her divorce from British charity executive Simon Konecki, with whom she has a son, Angelo. She is now in a relationship with U.S. sports agent Rich Paul.

In September, the singer won an Emmy award, edging closer to achieving the rare American entertainment “EGOT” status — having already won a Grammy and Oscar, she now just needs a Tony.

Adele will not be the first star to go back to school after finding fame, with fellow Brit Emma Watson earning a degree in English Literature from Brown University in 2014 after her Harry Potter movie success. Others actors such as Natalie Portman and America Ferrera also went back to school as celebrities, as did basketball stars Shaquille O’Neal and Stephen Curry.

On ‘Midnights,’ Taylor Swift sounds wide awake

Growing up, Adele attended London’s BRIT School, a free performing and creative arts school that boasts alumni including singers Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis and Jessie J.

The singer added during her Q&A session with fans that while she would not be using her degree to find a job, she already uses her “passion” for English literature to write lyrics and tell stories in her music.

Adele, however, won’t be sitting down in a classroom anytime soon. “I won’t go to a university, I’ll do it online and with a tutor, but that’s my plan for 2025,” she said. “It’s just to get the qualifications.”

Jennifer Hassan and Helier Cheung contributed to this report.

Loading...