From Adele to Kanye - Five long-awaited albums that finally dropped in 2021

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Adele
Adele
Photo: Simon Emmett
  • 2021 saw the release of some of the most highly anticipated albums from some of our favourite artists.
  • With this list, we take a look at those stars who kept us waiting for years, but finally delivered music that was well worth it.
  • From Adele's latest masterpiece to the confusion that revolved around the arrival of Kanye's Donda, see our list below.

2021 has been a big year for music, with some of the most highly anticipated albums from the world's biggest acts released this year.

From Adele's latest masterpiece to the confusion that revolved around the arrival of Kanye's Donda, we take a look at five of the most talked-about albums to drop in 2021.

Kanye West - Donda

After several painstaking delays, which left fans very confused (and somewhat annoyed), Kanye West's Donda album made its long-awaited arrival on 29 August. But in another twist, the rapper claimed he did not give his record label permission to drop the project.

The two-hour, 27-track album features a laundry list of special appearances, including Jay-Z, The Weeknd and Lil Baby.

Donda, named after Kanye's mother, touches on religious themes of redemption along with turmoil in the rapper's personal life. The album changed dramatically over the months before its release. And even after the album was made available to the public, Kanye continued to make changes. 

As expected, Donda went on to break streaming records within hours of its release. 

Drake - Certified Lover Boy

They may have made up now, but 2021 saw the beef between Drake and Kanye heat up once again as both rappers geared up for the release of their albums. Drake dropped Certified Love Boy (after many delays as well) in early September. 

It wasn't long before Certified Lover Boy, which features collabs by Jay-Z, Kid Cudi and more, broke several streaming records, including one set by Kanye's Donda

Adele - 30

Adele's fourth studio album, 30, arrived on 19 November. 

Fans had been waiting a while for the singer to release new music. Then, in early October, we got a sign that something new was on the way - literally!

Billboards with the title of Adele's album, 30, were projected on famous landmarks across the globe, and even though the singer remained quiet, fans knew she was up to something. 

With 30, Adele zoned in on the range of emotions brought on by her divorce from husband Simon Konecki, creating one of her most personal works yet.

"It's sensitive for me, this record, just in how much I love it," she told Vogue.

Ed Sheeran - =

After a four-year wait, Ed finally gave us his fourth studio album, = (Equals). 

The name of the album came as no surprise to fans as Ed's three previous records had been titled + (Plus), x (Multiply) and ÷ (Divide). 

Well worth the wait, the album includes hits like Bad Habits, Shivers and Visiting Hours

As an added bonus, if you thought just being a talented musician wasn't enough, Ed even helped design the cover art for the project. 

"I painted part of the cover over lockdown, just splattering paint on a canvas, and then my friend Zach has designed the cover, which is great," he said when announcing the album's release.

Lorde - Solar Power

New Zealand songstress, Lorde, made her long-awaited comeback this year too, releasing her first album in four years. 

Fans of the singer were excited to learn about the project, titled Solar Power, which she described as "a celebration of the natural world, an attempt at immortalising the deep, transcendent feelings I have when I'm outdoors".

She continued: "In times of heartache, grief, deep love, or confusion, I look to the natural world for answers. I've learned to breathe out, and tune in. This is what came through."

The album includes tracks Mood Ring and Solar Power, showing off a laid back vibe that's sure to put you in a musical trance. 

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