Early last year, Phil Collins was rumored to be working on Adele's new album 25 — and then again a year later, when we heard the pair's collaboration had resumed after temporarily falling through. Things ultimately ended up not working out, but Adele insists it had nothing to do with Collins.

The problem, as she told Rolling Stone, stemmed entirely from timing. "I met up with him and he was so nice. He's such a genius," recalled Adele. "But I met up with him in London super-early, like well before I was starting the record. And I had this song in mind and I can't remember if I gave him a copy of the song or if I gave him a chorus or something, and then I just chickened out of everything. I went, 'Oh, I'm not ready.'"

Laughing off Collins' later description of her as a "slippery fish," Adele continued, "I think he interpreted it that I decided I didn't want to work with him, but actually I decided I didn't want to write a record, period, at that point. But yeah, there's no bad blood there, or certainly not on my half."

Not that 25 needed any superstar collaborations to get a lift. As has been widely reported in recent days, the album has shattered sales records since its release, firmly ensconcing the singer among the upper echelon of artists who can provoke fanboy gushing from, say, U2 frontman Bono, who Adele said came across as "genuinely intrigued" by her songwriting method when they met — and she in his.

"I said to him, like, 'How can you write so many amazing songs about one person?' Meaning his wife," she explained. "And he said they were all about God, which I thought was so f---ing amazing. It never even occurred to me that you could write 'With or Without You' about God."

Whenever she gets around to putting together a follow-up to 25, Adele will doubtless have her pick of potential collaborators again, so perhaps we'll finally get to hear what a Collins co-write with her might sound like — or maybe she'll even take Ozzy Osbourne up on his longstanding offer to work together.

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