25 is the third studio album by English singer-songwriter Adele, released on 20 November 2015 by XL Recordings and Columbia Records. Issued nearly five years after her previous album, the internationally successful 21 (2011), the album is titled as a reflection of her life and frame of mind at 25 years old and is termed a "make-up record". Its lyrical content features themes of Adele "yearning for her old self, her nostalgia", and "melancholia about the passage of time" according to an interview with the singer by Rolling Stone, as well as themes of motherhood and regret. In contrast to Adele's previous works, the production of 25 incorporated the use of electronic elements and creative rhythmic patterns, with elements of 1980s R&B and organs. Like 21, Adele worked with producer and songwriter Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder, along with new collaborations with Max Martin and Shellback, Greg Kurstin, Danger Mouse, the Smeezingtons, Samuel Dixon, and Tobias Jesso Jr.
Upon its release, 25 received generally positive reviews from critics, who commended Adele's vocal performance and the album's production. It was a massive commercial success, debuting at number one in 32 countries and breaking first-week sales records in multiple countries, including the United Kingdom and United States. In the US, the album sold over 3.38 million copies in its first week of sales, marking the largest single-week sales for an album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking point-of-sale music purchases in 1991. 25 eventually became the world's best-selling album of the year for 2015, with 17.4 million copies sold within the year, and has gone on to sell over 22 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time, and the sixth-best selling album of the 21st century. Following 21, it was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting equivalent sales of 10 million copies in the US, making Adele the only artist of the 2010s to achieve this certification with two albums.
Globally, 25 was the biggest-selling music release in 2015 and 2016, with many journalists crediting it with impacting the music industry by encouraging a renewed interest in buying physical releases rather than downloading or streaming; much like 21, it was also credited for saving the dwindling sales of the UK and US music industry. 25 received the BRIT Award for British Album of the Year, while its lead single "Hello" won British Single of the Year at the 2016 Brit Awards. It also won the 2017 Grammy Awards for Album of the Year, and Best Pop Vocal Album; "Hello" also won Grammys for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance. To promote the album, Adele embarked on her third worldwide concert tour, Adele Live 2016. It started on 29 February 2016 and ended on 30 June 2017.