Hello? Adele? Artists With Albums Nowhere in Sight

It's been five years since Adele released "Hello." And yet, the wait for new music continues. See which other stars are really pushing the limits of our patience.

By Billy Nilles Oct 24, 2020 1:00 PMTags
Watch: Adele Teases Her "Saturday Night Live" Comeback

It's officially been five years since Adele called from the other side.

On Oct. 24, 2015, the British superstar released "Hello," the smash hit lead single that would precede 25, her third studio album. Released a month later, the LP would go on to become the second-best selling album of the decade, behind only her previous release, 21. With both of those albums earning Diamond certification by the Recording Industry Association of America—their highest certification, awarded at 10 million units sold—Adele became the only artist of the 2010s to reach the pinnacle with more than one album.

And since then, it's been radio silence. (Though, here's hoping the singer's gig hosting Saturday Night Live on the same day "Hello" turns 5 means we're due for something new any day now.)

Adele's hardly alone, though.

While folks like Justin Bieber, Selena GomezLady Gaga and Dua Lipa have all made their grand returns to pop music in this dumpster fire of a year, there's still an unseemly list of stars who seem more than content to keep us waiting through 2020 and beyond. (We're looking at you, Rihanna.)

Musicians Performing Live on Stage

These are the singers who, like Rihanna and Adele, don't seem ready to end the new music drought any time soon. So, if their IG comments are full of impatient fans, they really only have themselves to blame.


No one likes to keep us waiting like Rihanna. After a four-year period in which she released an album a year, the Barbadian beauty made us wait almost four full years before she dropped Anti in 2016. And while it seemed as though the wait for her ninth studio album wouldn't be as long, with the singer revealing she'd begun work on it just months after releasing Anti, here we are, more than four years later. In December of 2018, she confirmed the album, rumored to be a dancehall-inspired project, would be released in 2019. She lied.

Janet Jackson

When Jackson released her 11th studio album Unbreakable in 2015, it had been seven years since her last LP, so long breaks from the legendary pop star are nothing new. But, she hasn't exactly been resting on her laurels since that release. She welcomed her son, Eissa Al Mana, in January 2017, resumed a world tour, released a collaboration with Daddy Yankee ("Made for Now"), was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and kicked off a four-month Las Vegas residency. In early 2020, we received an update on new music, with the legend herself announcing on Instagram that Black Diamond was on the way. "I love u guys so much and I'm #SoExcited to share this new era with you," she wrote in February. "See u soon!" Then came coronavirus, which forced her to cancel a corresponding world tour and likely delayed the album even further.


It's been nearly five years since the British singer said "Hello" with her third LP, 25. And despite reports dating back to 2018 that she's been working on a follow-up, we haven't heard a peep. Could a hosting gig on Saturday Night Live on Oct. 24—aka the fifth anniversary of the album's smash hit lead single—mean new material is imminent? Stay tuned.

Frank Ocean

Boy, does Ocean like to make us wait. It was an interminable four years between the release of his debut album Channel Orange and his second and third, Endless and Blonde, both released within days of each other. It's been just as long now since those drops, and despite a few songs here and there, as well as a mysterious (and since-deleted) tweet in 2017 that insinuated his next album was already finished, he's stayed predictably mum on future plans. It's best not to hold one's breath for new Frank music. When he's ready, he'll be ready. Until then, we wait.

Cardi B

It's been just over two years since Cardi B dropped her Grammy-winning debut studio album, Invasion of Privacy, so it may seem a little demanding of us to want a new collection from her already. After all, she's been busy becoming a mom, making her movie debut in Hustlers and judging the Netflix reality series Rhythm + Flow, but she was the one who promised us a second album would be out in 2019, "hopefully...around the same time that Invasion of Privacy came out," as she said during an Instagram live stream on New Year's Day. That deadline has come and gone, with only "Press" and "WAP" to show for it. Here's hoping we get her sophomore effort soon.

Sky Ferreira

It's been a dreadful seven years since Ferreira dropped her excellent debut studio album Night Time, My Time, itself a victim of two years of delays. And despite it being named one of 2013's best albums by several critics while achieving modest commercial success, she's faced a staggering amount of delays on her second album, which she confirmed via Twitter she'd begun working on in July 2014. After passing the time with a handful of acting gigs—including a guest appearance on 2017's Twin Peaks revival and a role in Baby Driver—she released the first single off Masochism, "Downhill Lullaby," in March of last year. Sky told Pitchfork that the lengthy delay wasn't exactly her choice, swearing "almost positively," the outlet noted, that the album would be released in 2019. That came and went.


She wowed everyone with her breakthrough single "Motivation" last fall. She made magic with Megan Thee Stallion on "Diamonds," the lead single off the Birds of Prey soundtrack, in January. Now where's the debut album? Or even the next solo single??

(Originally published on Feb. 16, 2020, at 4 a.m. PST.)