Adele confirms new album is called 25
Adele has confirmed her new album will be called 25, and says it will tackle her transition into adulthood.
It follows the singer's pattern of naming her albums after her age: Her debut was titled 19 and the follow-up was called 21.
"My last record was a break-up record," she wrote in a statement, "and if I had to label this one, I would call it a make-up record.
"Making up for lost time. Making up for everything I ever did and never did."
The singer continued: "25 is about getting to know who I've become without realising. And I'm sorry it took so long but, you know, life happened."
Fans have had to wait four years for a new record after the star gave birth to her first son, Angelo, in October 2012.
Recording sessions for the new album have continued sporadically since then, with producers reported to include Gnarls Barkley's Dangermouse aka Brian Burton, Swedish hitmaker Max Martin, Diane Warren, and One Republic's Ryan Tedder.
A preview of the album appeared without warning on Sunday night, during an advertising break on The X Factor.
The 30-second clip featured the star's voice signing over a simple piano figure, accompanied by the lyrics on an otherwise black screen.
The lyrics were: "Hello/It's me/I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet/To go over everything.
"They say that time's supposed to heal ya/But I ain't done much healing..."
At the time, her representatives refused to confirm whether or not the material was actually by the singer.
Adele's 21, which contained the mega-hit Someone Like You, is the biggest-selling album of the 21st Century, selling more than 30 million copies worldwide.
It shifted 4.75 million copies in the UK alone, making it the fourth best-selling album of all time, in an era when album sales have been in critical decline.
Analysis: Mark Savage, music reporter
In an era where everything leaks, it's incredible that Adele's third record has remained so firmly under wraps. Although we know she's been in the studio for years - the record was initially slated for release in 2014 - today marks the first official confirmation of its existence.
As such, we know very little about what 25 will sound like.
In 2011, Adele told Q Magazine the album would be a more stripped-back affair than the career-defining 21. "It won't be a big production," she said. "I want it to be quite acoustic and piano-led." And the track that previewed during Sunday's X Factor bears that out.
Featuring her distinctive voice over a few simple piano chords, it seemed to be cast in the mould of Someone Like You - and many assumed the lyrics ("I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet") were similarly addressed to an ex-boyfriend.
Today's statement suggests otherwise. Perhaps Adele is talking to her younger self; reflecting on how she has changed since 2011, as she became a household name, a multi-millionaire, an Oscar-winner and (most importantly) a mother?
Her music has always been about real people and real lives - but this time Adele is turning the spotlight on herself.
As yet, there is no release date for the star's new album, but several media reports have pointed towards 20 November as the likely day.
In it, she said: "I feel I've spent my whole life so far wishing it away. Always wishing I was older, wishing I was somewhere else, wishing I could remember and wishing I could forget too.
"Wishing I'd gotten to know my great-grandmother more… Wishing I hadn't cut my hair off… Wishing I'd waited and wishing I'd hurried up as well.
"Turning 25 was a turning point for me, slap bang in the middle of my 20s. Teetering on the edge of being an old adolescent and a fully-fledged adult, I made the decision to go into who I'm going to be forever without a removal van full of my old junk.
"I miss everything about my past, the good and the bad, but only because it won't come back."