She burst back onto our car radios late last year in true Adele style: with the heart-breakingly brilliant ballad, Hello, from her long-awaited new album, 25. Since her last album, 21, in 2011, lots has changed – mostly due to the arrival of her son, Angelo. She’s been a favourite of ours for many years thanks to her breathtaking voice, poignant songwriting, distinctive style and irreverent honesty.

She spoke with Hamish Bowles for US Vogue’s March edition, with photography by Annie Leibovitz, about her career resurgence, turning 25 and becoming a mother. Read the full story, Adele Had Us Long Before “Hello”, with a few highlights here…

Having a baby has been liberating…

“[Three-year-old son Angelo] makes me very proud of myself. When I became a parent, I felt like I was truly living. I had a purpose, where before I didn’t.

She’s got her priorities in check…

My main thing is Mum, then it’s me, then it’s work,” she says, adding, “I think I had to take the right amount of time off to let people miss me.”

She’s time-poor, just like everyone else…

“[When We Were Young, her favourite song on the album, is] a bit of a letter to myself. It’s really about regrouping,” she explains, “because naturally me and my friends have dispersed. We all love each other still, but we don’t have time to be unconditional and 24/7. . . . My eyes were so cloudy for a year after I had my child, and I thought I would never regroup with myself, ever.”

She’s reaping the rewards of getting older…

“I was just shocked that all of a sudden I was 25!” she says. “But actually I like myself more than ever. I feel so comfortable in my own skin. I really like how I look, I like who I am, I like everyone that I surround myself with. Obviously I have insecurities,” she continues, “but they don’t hold me back.”

She’s useless at putting on false lashes…

“[Getting hair and make-up done] is a real pleasure for like an hour,” she admits, “then your bum goes numb and your back starts to ache!” False lashes are still an integral part of her look (Adele can’t apply her own; “They’re so wonky,” she says, “that they look like the end of the night at the beginning of the night!).”