Adele has lived quite a lot of life in the five years since she’s spoken to a journalist—a press-free era that’s mercifully ended with her first new music since 2015 right around the corner. On Thursday, Vogue dropped a cover story that finds the 33-year-old singer-songwriter equally candid and quippy about both the highs and the lows. You’d expect the latter category to be the source of the only tears she sheds over the course of her hours-long conversation with the magazine—but only if you’ve forgotten that Adele is an ardent member of the Beyhive. Yes, the tear-jerking subject in question was Beyoncé.
A quick refresher: Adele was floored when her album 25 won Best Record over Beyoncé’s Lemonade at the 2017 Grammy Awards. “I can’t possibly accept this award,” she told the audience through tears. “My artist of my life is Beyoncé.” More tears and praise followed and apparently continued to long after Adele left the stage. From the moment she found out she won, the singer told Vogue, she knew she had to find Beyoncé. She held it together in the singer’s dressing room, but burst into so many tears upon leaving it that her then-husband dragged her back.
With a little help from Bey’s agent, who cleared out the room, Adele was able to say her piece. “I just said to her, like, the way that the Grammys works, and the people who control it at the very, very top—they don’t know what a visual album is,” Adele recalled. “They don’t want to support the way that she’s moving things forward with her releases and the things that she’s talking about.”
Adele’s passion hasn’t wavered in the years since. “For my friends who are women of color, it was such a huge acknowledgment for them, of the sort of undermined grief that they go through,” she continued in the Vogue interview. “For her to nail that on the head, and also bring in the entire globe? I was like, This album is my album, she just knows what I’m going through. That album was not written for me. But yet I could still feel like, This is the biggest gift.”
Adele did end up accepting the award, contrary to what she said in her 2017 speech. She could have easily stored it away, and definitely could have returned it; the gramophone arrived broken, just like the mock version of the award she toted onstage. Instead, Adele has had it on display—with a slight alteration: “There’s a lemon in it.”