The album was named after the age of the singer during its production.
In the United Kingdom, it is the best-selling album of the 21st century and fourth best-selling album of all time, while its 23-week tenure atop the UK Albums Chart is the longest by a female solo artist.
In the United States, the album held the top position for 24 weeks, longer than any other album since 1985 and the longest by a female solo artist in Billboard 200 history.
Adele and Tedder arranged a second meeting and reconvened at Serenity West Studios in Los Angeles weeks later to write and record "Rumour Has It." In an interview, Tedder recalled his astonishment at the singer's musicality and vocal prowess after she completed the main vocals to the song in 10 minutes: "She sang it once top to bottom, pitch perfect, she didn't miss a note.
I looked at the engineer then at her and said, 'Adele I don't know what to tell you but I have never had anyone do that in ten years'." After working with Smith, Tedder, and Epworth, Adele travelled to the United States for the remainder of the album's production.
Critics hailed the album as a shift from the overtly sexual and musically bombastic status quo, and attributed its success to its deeply autobiographical yet universal songs.
However, studio sessions were generally unproductive and, after two weeks, yielded only one song recorded to the singer's satisfaction—the Jim Abbiss-produced "Take It All," a lovelorn piano ballad not unlike the songs on 19.
Dissatisfied with once again portraying herself as the musical tragedian of her debut, she had intended to compose a more upbeat and contemporary follow-up.
However, studio sessions ended prematurely due to a lack of inspiration.
Adele had written "Take It All" during a difficult moment in her relationship.