Adele talks anxiety, weight loss and ending her marriage during Oprah sit-down

In a primetime special on CBS, Adele performed four songs from her new album and sat down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey, revealing details about her weight loss, divorce and new relationship. The singer's upcoming album, 30, is set to be released on Nov. 19.

The singer's One Night Only special aired Sunday night

Adele, shown in a promotional still, performed during a primetime special that aired Sunday on CBS. (Cliff Lipson/CBS)

Looking every bit the classic Hollywood superstar, British singer Adele's two-hour CBS special called Adele: One Night Only premiered on Sunday night.

The prerecorded event featured an interview with Oprah Winfrey and an intimate concert performance of old hits and new songs from the singer's upcoming album, 30, set to be released on Nov. 19.

Here is everything you need to know about Adele's glamorous performance, her first album in six years, her weight loss and her recent divorce.

Performs 4 new songs to star-studded audience

Performing at the iconic Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, Adele sang 10 songs, including four new tracks from 30, her upcoming album: Hold On; Love Is A Game; and the lead singles Easy On Me and I Drink Wine. It was an intimate but star-studded affair, with attendees such as Drake, Leonardo DiCaprio, Seth Rogen, Melissa McCarthy, Ellen DeGeneres and Lizzo spotted in the audience.

About midway through the special, the singer hushed her audience so that a fan could surprise his girlfriend onstage with a marriage proposal. To the delight of her audience, she serenaded the engaged couple with her cover of the Bob Dylan-written Make You Feel My Love.

She quit drinking after her divorce

During the singer's exclusive sit-down interview with Oprah, she admitted that she "kept the alcohol industry alive" in the wake of her split from ex-husband Simon Konecki — but eventually stopped drinking completely. 

The former couple were married in 2018 and separated a year later, which Adele said was "embarrassing," as it felt like she couldn't make her marriage work. 

"I've been obsessed with a nuclear family my whole life because I never came from one," the singer said, in reference to her father's absence. She added that she'd always been "fascinated" by alcohol as her dad struggled with substance abuse.

New album is for her son but 'it's about me'

Explaining why she divorced her husband, the singer said that she wanted to be the "happy version" of herself in front of their nine-year-old son. She noted that while many tend to stay in difficult marriages for a child's sake, leaving one can be an equal act of love. 

"I was really ignoring myself for a long time, which was wild to me when I realized it."

She added that she sometimes feels "selfish" for "dismantling" her son's life for her own happiness, but believes he would be "furious" with her if she stayed in an unhappy relationship. Her album 30 is partially a way of explaining her divorce to her child; the record is dedicated to him, but the songs are about her life.

Weight loss came after battle with anxiety

The singer's dramatic weight loss was the subject of intense public scrutiny. She shared that she lost roughly 100 pounds in two years — but the change wasn't planned.

"It wasn't even really about the weight," she told Winfrey. "It was about my anxiety."

After a stretch of issues with deep, "terrifying" anxiety, the singer realized that her feelings subsided during workouts and she began exercising on a daily basis. She said that she is an athlete who loves boxing and lifting weights.

Of fans who were let down by the physical transformation, she said, "It's not my job to validate how people feel about their bodies," adding that she has been objectified for her entire career. "I'm trying to sort my own life out!"

Singer found peace after father's death

Adele said she spent years trying to heal from her father's absence and "lack of effort" during her childhood. She said the song To Be Loved from her new album is about her difficult relationship with him.

Adele's father, Mark Evans, died last May of bowel cancer. Having reconciled with him shortly after he fell ill, she says that she "felt that huge, gaping hole fill" after his death. She added that until she shared her new album with him, including playing him To Be Loved over Zoom, her father had only listened to her debut 2007 single Hometown Glory and nothing else. 

"Him really understanding my childhood wound through my song was amazing for me," the singer said.

Relationship with Rich Paul 1st time 'I've loved myself'

In an October interview with Vogue Magazine, Adele confirmed that she is dating sports agent Rich Paul. The couple met a few years ago on the dance floor during a friend's birthday party. 

The singer told Winfrey that the relationship marks the first time she has "loved myself and been open to loving and being loved by someone else."

"He's hilarious; he's so funny. He's very smart. It's quite incredible watching him do what he does," she said, adding that there is an ease to their relationship.


Jenna Benchetrit is a web journalist for CBC News. Based in Toronto and born in Montreal, she holds a master's degree in journalism from Ryerson University. Reach her at jenna.benchetrit@cbc.ca or on Twitter @jennabenchetrit.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?