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Adele Said “Fuck” 21 Times In Her Vanity Fair Cover Story, and That’s Fucking Great

Adele is the subject of a new Vanity Fair profile, in which she talks about her struggles with postpartum depression, her attitude toward fame, her relationship with her boyfriend, and much more. It’s a worthy, interesting read, with a character quote from none other than Beyoncé buried in the middle. (The ultimate journalistic flex, when you can casually call on a mega star to talk about another mega star, like the New Yorker Aretha Franklin profile with a bunch of quotes from … President Barack Obama.)

The profile was fun for another reason, too: It reaffirmed that Adele, who rarely gives interviews outside of very high-profile ones, truly gives no fucks about censoring herself around journalists.  “I laugh out loud because I think it’s fuckin’ ridiculous,” she said of her career. “I wish I could do whatever the fuck I wanted, whenever I want,” she said about her daily routine. “I’d sue the fuckin’ ass off anyone that comes anywhere near my child,” she said about her need to maintain a private life. “Also, this Wi-Fi, you watch, it’s going to fuckin’ kill our insides,” she said about Wi-Fi.

And so forth. All in all, the Vanity Fair profile quoted Adele dropping 21 “fuck”s in their cover story. Last year’s Rolling Stone cover story on the singer, quoted her using some iteration of the word 29 times. Either she really loves saying “fuck” or journalists love to see her use the word “fuck”! Either way, it’s fucking delightful.

Does Adele say “fuck” more than any other pop singer of her stature? Hard to say without going into some deep, Nate Silver-esque statistical deep dive, but … maybe? That doesn’t matter as much as why it’s so fun to see her do it—her music is all stately elegance, ocean-deep pathos, diamonds and class, but her she’s ultimately one of us regular folks. Her songs will rip your heart out, but outside of that, she talks without affectation or restraint. The profile is fascinating in showing that she does have her boundaries—her son is off-guards—but she’s cultivated a breezy, transparent way of talking about the rest of it. Here’s a particular good, open quote:

“I’m too scared to ever take drugs. I used to love to be drunk, but as I got more famous I would wake up the next morning and think, What the fuck did I say and who the fuck did I say it to? I never had blackouts, but when you’re drunk and you go to a party, you’ll talk to anyone. I can see from an outsider’s perspective that I will never write songs as good as the ones that are on 21, but I’m not as indulgent as I was then, and I don’t have time to fall apart like I did then. I was completely off my face writing that album, and a drunk tongue is an honest one. I would drink two bottles of wine, and I would chain-smoke. Then I’d write the lyrics down and the next morning think, Fuck, that’s quite good. Then I’d find the melody. But since I’ve had my baby, I’m not as carefree as I used to be. I’m scared of a lot of things now because I don’t want to die; I want to be around for my kid. I’m very cautious, whereas I was never cautious before. I would never have done anything before that would make me die, but now I go out of my way to avoid anything that is remotely dangerous—like walking along a sidewalk. I’d rather walk on the grass or a lawn, rather than the pavement, in case a car crashes into me. Also, I don’t go out as much as I used to. I go to very civilized dinners, and I’ll go to work things when I have to, but you have to literally drag me onto a fuckin’ red carpet.”

There is a lot she says in that little burst, and her honesty is probably what makes her such a great songwriter. She thinks she’ll never write songs as good as 21, but she knows she’s in a healthier place; she’s pushed toward maturity because of her child; she hates celebrity red carpet bullshit; she has a ridiculous tolerance for alcohol. She doesn’t give a fuck about telling it like it is. It’s a bravura display of “being an interesting celebrity.” If only everyone else could make it look so easy.

Tags: adele