The singer reveals how Madonna and motherhood inspired the year's most anticipated album

By Gillian Telling
Updated November 20, 2015 at 12:00 PM EST

Back in 2008, a little-known singer named Adele Adkins made her live New York City debut at downtown venue Joe’s Pub. What a difference seven years makes.

On Friday, the Grammy-winning girl with the golden voice released the year’s most anticipated record, 25, and she celebrated by having a homecoming of sorts at that very same venue. Hosted by iHeartRadio and legendary radio host Elvis Duran, the event also found the 27-year-old, dressed in a chic red sweater coat and black pants, answering questions for a few hundred fans and industry insiders.

Here are the 10 best things we learned from the most exclusive event in the New York this week.

She admitted she doesn’t always hit the high notes.

“Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don’t,” she said. “I’m not Mariah! As long as I sing it with emotion…” After performing “Hello,” she added, “I don’t know what I was thinking writing a song that high.”

Her song “A Million Years Ago” was inspired by a park.

“It was a park I used to go to with friends when I was growing up,” she told the crowd. “I was driving by and I realized we hadn’t been there in years and pulled over and had a little cry. I wrote this a few weeks after that.”

“Send My Love to Your Lover” is a happy song.

“I wrote this with Max Martin,” she said. “I heard ‘Trouble’ by Taylor Swift and was like, ‘WHO wrote that?!'” She admitted that the song was also about being so over an ex. “I’m in the best place ever,” she said. “I have no idea where he is now.”

She’s only recently discovered Madonna.

“The two albums I listened to most when I was recording 25 [were] Madonna’s Ray of Light and Moby’s Play,” she said. “There’s something so amazing about her. I believe everything she says on that record…all the songs feel like an ode to her kid.”

She also wrote tons of songs based on her son, Angelo.

“I’ve got three to four albums worth of songs that never made it on the record,” she said. “All about my son!”

She said the time to release 25 was now or never.

“I took a long time to be with my son, and our bond was there and wasn’t going to break,” she said. “When you become a mum a lot of you disappears, and I was ready to say hello to myself again. Hence ‘Hello.'”

She’s got the chops of a stand-up comedian.

During the interview portion, a stagehand brought out a stool for her to perch on. “This is going to be a laugh,” she said. “It’s about the size of one butt cheek.” When Elvis Duran told her she could be comedian, she said, “I’m not a comedian! Everyone just finds me funny because of my voice.”

25’s main theme is nostalgia.

“I know I’m not old, but I feel lit because so much has happened in my life.”

The show turned into a massive singalong.

While performing “Someone Like You,” she took turns sharing the mic with members of the audience.

She’d madly, madly in love with her kid.

“My life is all about him now, when before it was all about me. They’re so grounding. They’re so innocent and beautiful when they’re little.”

Watch a clip of Adele’s first 2008 performance at Joe’s Pub