Adele Wiki

“Rolling in the Deep”
Adele-Rolling In The Deep
Single by Adele
from the album 21
B-side If It Hadn’t Been for Love
Released November 29, 2010
Recorded 2009
Genre Soul, blues, pop
Length 3:48
Label XL Recordings
Writer(s) Adele Adkins, Paul Epworth
Producer(s) Paul Epworth
Adele singles chronology
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21 track listing
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Rumour Has It

“Rolling in the Deep” (registered onto Adele’s BMI as “Rollin’ in the Deep”[1]) is a song written, recorded and performed by English singer-songwriter Adele for her second studio album, 21. The song was written by Paul Epworth and Adele, who described it as a “dark blues-y gospel disco tune.” It was first released on October 15, 2010 as the album’s lead single, with Adele’s cover of The SteelDrivers’ “If It Hadn’t Been for Love” serving as the single’s B-side.[2]

The song was critically acclaimed upon its release and peaked at number one in some countries in Europe, as well in Canada and the United States. As of November 2013, “Rolling in the Deep” had sold over 28 million copies in the United States, making it her best-selling single outside her home country, topping her previous best-selling “Chasing Pavements.”[2] It is also the best selling digital single for a female artist in the US as well as being the second most digitally bought song.

“Rolling in the Deep” reached number one in eleven countries and the top five in several others. The song also become Adele’s first number-one song in the United States, reaching the top spot of four Billboard charts. It was the longest-running number-one single of 2011, spending seven weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100. In July 2011, the video was nominated for seven MTV Video Music Awards, making it the most nominated music video of the year. The video won three awards: Best Editing, Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction.[2]

Background and Composition[]

Adele wrote the first verse of the song in a Chinese restaurant that she had performed at in 2008 and then didn’t finish the song until two years later during a studio session with Paul Epworth, seeking inspiration for the remainder of the song in her relationship with her ex-boyfriend. Although Adele had arrived at the studio ready to write a tragic and lovelorn ballad[3], she ultimately decided to “challenge” herself, expanding beyond her soul and R&B roots.[4] She and Epworth wrote “Rolling in the Deep” in three hours the day after she had broken up with her boyfriend, with the vocal demo Adele recorded ultimately being used for the final album version.[5]

In an interview, she expressed her initial reservations prior to meeting with Epworth due to their divergent musical styles, but characterized their collaboration as “a match made in heaven.” She also credited Epworth for her increased vocal confidence, stating, “He brought a lot out of me. He brought my voice out as well — there’s notes that I hit in that song [‘Rolling in the Deep’] that I never even knew I could hit.” Adele described the song to Spin Magazine as:

It’s me saying, ‘Get the fuck out of my house’ instead of me begging him to come back. It’s my reaction to being told my life was going be boring and lonely and rubbish, and that I was a weak person if I didn’t stay in a relationship. I wrote it as a sort of ‘fuck you.’[3]

According to Bill Lamb in his review of the song for, “Rolling in the Deep” features “martial beats, pounding piano keys and chanting backing singers.” Adele’s vocals have been described as having a “hint of Wanda Jackson’s dirty-blues growl.” According to Nadine Cheung from AOL Radio Blog, the song is “sung from the perspective of a scorned lover, who is finally able to see the light, but despite regretful sentiments, reconciliation is not an option here.”

According to the sheet music published by EMI Music Publishing, “Rolling in the Deep” is written in the key of C minor, in common time with an approximate tempo of 104 beats per minute. The accompaniment uses open fifths instead of chords, in a progression of C5–G5–B5–G5–B5. Adele’s voice spans from B3 to D5, the highest note being sung using the head voice.[2]

The song was originally going to be placed as the sixth track on the album rather than the first.[6]


Critical reception[]

The song has received very positive reception for Adele’s vocals, its lyrics and instrumentation. The Sun called the song “an epic, foot-stomper of a pop anthem with thumping piano and a vocal you would expect from a veteran of 20 years on the road.” Bill Lamb from gave it a perfect score of 5, saying: “‘Rolling In the Deep’ [...] wastes no time in presenting the stunning bluesy authority of her voice. Less than five seconds in, she begins proclaiming the rise of emotion that results in fantasies of revenge against a lover who has done her wrong. Hers is a voice that can raise chills up the spine, and, when she is in a mood like this, the sense of foreboding will rivet your attention.”

Jason Lipshutz of Billboard magazine complimented the song's “sweeping chorus” and felt that the song “places a similar emphasis on its refrain but its multilayered instrumentation gives the English singer’s wail a previously unheard depth.” Lipshutz also praised Adele’s vocal performance by writing, “Adele’s noticeable leap in vocal confidence highlights the track. She gracefully lingers on the last line of the verses and attacks the sorrowful chorus’ first words, ‘We could have had it all,’ head on.” Rolling Stone magazine’s Barry Walters gave the song a positive review stating, “‘Rolling in the Deep’ finds the 22-year-old in bluesy gospel mode, sounding powerful but not particularly pop. Starting with a stroked acoustic guitar, this breakup-mourning track builds to a stomping, hand-clapping climax that affirms the British knack for rejiggering the sound of American roots music.”[2]

Commercial performance[]

Upon its American release, “Rolling in the Deep” became Adele’s second single to chart in the country. The song first debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number sixty-eight on December 25, 2010. Later on, it became her first ever single to top a Billboard chart when it reached number one on the Hot Adult Top 40 chart in March 2011, and became her first number one hit in the country when it topped the Billboard Hot 100 in May 2011. As a result, Adele became the first British singer to have topped both the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200 charts in the same week since Leona Lewis did the same back in 2008. In its 24th charting week, “Rolling In The Deep” stayed at number-one, making it the latest single at the top since Creed’s “With Arms Wide Open” spent its only week on top in its thirty-first charting week in November 2000. It has been certified 7x platinum, making it the #1 most sold song by a female artist in the US with 27.8 million sales as of April 2013. It is #2 for most singles sold, only behind The Black Eyed Peas. As of April 2013, the song sold 62 million copies worldwide.

Music video[]

The music video for “Rolling in the Deep” was directed by Sam Brown , filmed July 2010. and was premiered on Channel 4 on December 3, 2010. The video begins with an abandoned house, where Adele is sitting in a chair singing. During the video, the scenes shows hundreds of glasses filled with water that vibrate to the beat of a drum, a mysterious person (played by Jennifer White, who also choreographed the sequence) dancing in a room with white flour and dust, the drummer playing the drums behind the stairs, plates being thrown and breaking on the wall in front of the staircase, and a white model of a city which is set on fire by five bursting light bulbs at the end of the song. On July 20, the video was nominated for 7 MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year, Best Female Video, Best Pop Video and Best Direction, and won three for Best Editing, Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction.[2] It also won the Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video in 2012.

Promotion and live performances[]

Adele performed the song several times ahead of the release of 21. On November 24, 2010, the singer appeared on Dutch presenter Paul de Leeuw's Madiwodovrij Show to perform the song for the first time. She performed it on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in the United States on December 3, 2010. Six days later, Adele performed “Rolling in the Deep” in front of the Royal Family at the Royal Variety Performance; the performance was broadcast on December 16, 2010. She also sang it on Alan Carr: Chatty Man in the United Kingdom on January 17, 2011.

On January 21, 2011, Adele performed “Rolling in the Deep” in the finale of The Voice of Holland, where she also performed “Make You Feel My Love” with finalist Kim de Boer. Five days later, Adele sang it during an appearance on the French television show Le Grand Journal. As part of a promotional tour in North America for the album, Adele performed the song on Late Show with David Letterman on February 21, 2011, on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on February 24, on MTV Live on March 1, and on Dancing with the Stars on May 10.

The song was also featured in a television spot for the 2011 film I Am Number Four, in which it is also featured.

After Adele’s vocal surgery recovery, it was confirmed Adele would be making her official comeback at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. She performed “Rolling in the Deep,” opening with an acapella version of the chorus before beginning the first verse with the rest of the band. This was her first major performance since the surgery. After the performance, she received a standing ovation from the audience.[7] Nine days later, she sang “Rolling in the Deep” at the BRIT Awards.

During the promotional rollout for her third studio album, 25, Adele sang “Rolling in the Deep” during several television appearances, including Le Grand Show and her TV specials Adele at the BBC and Adele Live in New York City. It was also performed during her session at the Church Studios, where she recorded the music video for “When We Were Young.”

Additionally, the song was included in the encore of both the Adele Live and Adele Live 2016 tours.

Cultural impact[]

Media usage[]

“Rolling in the Deep” first gained attention when it was used in a trailer for the film I Am Number Four and in the film itself. It has since been featured in several television series such as in 90210’s third season, in Doctor Who’s sixth series premiere, in One Tree Hill’s eighth season, in Gossip Girl’s fourth-season finale, The Secret Life of the American Teenager’s fourth season, and in the promo for the pilot episode of Scandal. “Rolling in the Deep” was used as the theme song for E4’s reality series Made in Chelsea and appeared in So You Think You Can Dance’s eighth season during contestant Mitchell Kelly’s solo performance. In Renny Harlin’s 2016 film Skiptrace, a drunk Jackie Chan sang “Rolling in the Deep” at the tune of local instruments in a Mongolian village only to be taken by surprise by how the song was already popular among the non-English speaking locals, when they started to sing with him.

The instrumental of the song was used in Apple Inc’s marketing video for the iPhone 4S. It was also featured in CBC’s intro to Game 1 of the hockey 2011 Stanley Cup Finals between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins, while the song's instrumentals were played heavily in promos during the 2011 NBA Draft. The song was played in the background during the parade of athletes at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

In early 2016, US businessman and media personality Donald Trump began using “Rolling in the Deep” as warm-up music at rallies during his campaign to become that year’s Republican Party candidate for President of the United States, prompting Adele to issue a statement distancing herself from Trump. A spokesperson for the singer confirmed that “Adele has not given permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning.” The song is one of two by Adele that Trump used as part of his campaign, the other being “Skyfall.” Trump continued to use the songs despite Adele’s objections. Commentators have noted that United States Copyright law does not prevent politicians from using pieces of music at their rallies, providing the venue has a public performance license.


The song became popular and has been covered by various artists included David Cook, Ariana Grande, Haley Reinhart, Nicole Scherzinger, The Overtones, Mike Posner and Celine Dion. Dion stated while she was covering it on a concert that Adele “is amazing.”[8] John Legend uploaded an acapella version of the song in April 2011 on SoundCloud. His version of the song was then covered by Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff of Glee for the second season episode “Prom Queen.” The single charted at number twenty-nine on the Billboard Hot 100 and at forty-nine on the UK Singles Chart and was later released on the album Glee: The Music, Volume 6.

At the 2011 iTunes Festival, Linkin Park performed an acoustic version of “Rolling in the Deep” as part of their set, with Chester Bennington on vocals and Mike Shinoda on piano. This recording was released to the iTunes Store as a single, debuting at number forty-two on the UK Singles Chart. On July 14, 2011, Patti Smith included a cover of “Rolling in the Deep” at her performance at the Castle Clinton. American rock band O.A.R. covered the “Rolling in the Deep” during a session at Sirius Satellite Radio[9] and later included a reference to it in their own track, “Favorite Song.”[10]

Mexican sibling trio Vazquez Sounds released a cover version which quickly became popular on YouTube. It was later released as a single in Mexico and was certified platinum by AMPROFON. Popular child singer and Britain’s Got Talent 2007 finalist Connie Talbot has also covered the song on her YouTube channel, receiving over 20 million hits.

Rapper Childish Gambino added his own rap verse to the Jamie xx remix of the song. Lil Wayne sampled “Rolling in the Deep” on his own “Sorry 4 the Wait.”[11] Black Stone Cherry, Gille, Kassidy, Amyst, Auryn, Quentin Elias, Straight No Chaser and The Piano Guys were among other artists who recorded covers of the song.

In 2014, Aretha Franklin covered the song on her Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics album. It was released September 29, 2014 as the collection’s lead single. This version peaked at number one on the US dance chart, giving Aretha Franklin her sixth number one on the chart. It also debuted at number 47 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Franklin thus becomes the first female, and fourth artist overall (following Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and James Brown), to place 100 songs on the charts (with her first entry on the chart being “Today I Sing the Blues” in 1960).

“Rolling in the Deep” has been covered over 350,000 times worldwide. In 2012, a mashup video was made and posted on YouTube that featured 71 different cover versions of the song.[12]

Single artwork[]

CD single[]

Track listing[]

Digital download
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. “Rolling in the Deep” Adele Adkins, Paul Epworth Paul Epworth 3:46
Digital EP
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. “Rolling in the Deep” Adele Adkins, Paul Epworth Paul Epworth 3:46

“Rolling in the Deep (Jamie xx Shuffle)”

Adele Adkins, Paul Epworth Jamie xx 4:17

“Rolling in the Deep (Acapella)”

Adele Adkins, Paul Epworth N/A 3:56
CD single
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. “Rolling in the Deep” Adele Adkins, Paul Epworth Paul Epworth 3:46
2. If It Hadn’t Been for Love Michael Henderson, Christopher Stapleton Rodaidh McDonald 3:08
Record Store Day exclusive 10" vinyl
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. “Rolling in the Deep (Jamie xx Shuffle)” Adele Adkins, Paul Epworth Jamie xx 4:17
2. “Rolling in the Deep (Live at World Café)” Adele Adkins, Paul Epworth N/A 4:15


“Rolling in the Deep (Jamie xx Shuffle)”
Rolling in the Deep (Jamie xx Shuffle)
Song by Adele
A-side "Rolling in the Deep"
Released January 16, 2011
Genre Dance
Length 4:17
Label XL Recordings
Producer(s) Jamie xx

“Rolling in the Deep (Jamie xx Shuffle), sometimes listed as “Rolling in the Deep Remix, is the song’s official remix. It was remixed by Jamie xx. An official audio video was released by XL Recordings to YouTube; it featured the remix’s official cover and the audio of the song. The remix was made available for purchase on iTunes on January 16, 2011.

In 2011, in honor of Record Store Day, Adele released a rare 10” vinyl record featuring the Jamie xx Shuffle Remix of the song, as well as a rare recording of “Rolling in the Deep” performed live at NPR’s World Café session that was previously unreleased.[13]

Charts and certifications[]

Weekly charts[]

Chart (2010–14) Peak


Australia (ARIA) 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40) 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia) 1
Brazil (Billboard Hot 100 Airplay) 1
Brazil (Billboard Hot Pop) 1
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) 1
Czech Republic (IFPI) 1
Denmark (Tracklisten) 1
Europe (Euro Digital Songs) 1
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista) 1
France (SNEP) 2
Germany (Media Control AG) 1
Greece Digital Songs (Billboard) 1
Hungary (Rádiós Top 40) 1
Iceland (Tónlist) 1
Ireland (IRMA) 1
Israel (Media Forest) 1
Italy (FIMI) 1
Japan (Japan Hot 100) 1
Luxemburg Digital Songs (Billboard) 1
Mexico Airplay (Billboard) 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 1
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 1
Norway (VG-lista) 1
Poland (Polish Airplay Top 20) 1
Portugal Digital Songs (Billboard) 1
Scotland (Official Charts Company 1
Slovakia (IFPI) 1
South Korea International Chart (GAON) 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 2
US Billboard Hot 100 1
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard) 1
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard) 1
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard) 1
US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard) 1
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard) 1
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard) 1
US Latin Pop Songs (Billboard) 1
US Rhythmic Airplay 1

Year-end charts[]

Chart (2010) Position
Dutch Top 40 16
Chart (2011) Position
Australian Singles Chart 1
Austrian Singles Chart 1
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders) 1
Belgian Singles Chart (Wallonia) 1
Canadian Hot 100 1
Danish Singles Chart 1
French Singles Chart 1
German Singles Chart 1
Greek Airplay Chart 1
Hungarian Airplay Chart 1
Irish Singles Chart 1
Israeli Airplay Chart 1
Italian Singles Chart 1
Dutch Top 40 1
New Zealand Singles Chart 1
Spanish Singles Chart 1
Swiss Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 1
US Billboard Hot 100 1
US Pop Songs (Billboard) 1
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard) 1
US Adult Pop Songs (Billboard) 1
Chart (2012) Position
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders) 41
Belgian Singles Chart (Wallonia) 22
Hungarian Airplay Chart 31
Israeli Airplay Chart (ACUM) 6
Spanish Singles Chart 15
Swiss Singles Chart 24
US Billboard 11

All-time charts[]

Chart Position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40) 1
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista) 1
France ( SNEP) 1
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100) 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 1
US Billboard Hot 100 1


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA) 2x Diamond 1,490,000^
Belgium (BEA) Diamond 600,000*
Brazil (ABPD) 3x Diamond 1,000,000*
Canada (Music Canada) 2x Diamond 1,720,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark) 4x Diamond 300,000^
Germany (BVMI) 3x Diamond 3,000,000^
Italy (FIMI) 3x Diamond 1,900,000*
Mexico (AMPROFON) 4x Diamond 1,500,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ) Diamond 450,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE Diamond 400,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland) Diamond 490,000
United Kingdom (BPI) 8x Platinum 5,100,000
United States (RIAA) 24x Platinum 24,000,000

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

† Since May 2013 RIAA certifications for digital singles include on-demand audio and/or video song streams in addition to downloads.



  • Adele – songwriting, lead vocals, backing vocals
  • Paul Epworth – songwriting, producer, bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar
  • Neil Cowley – piano
  • Leo Taylor – drums
  • Tom Elmhirst – mixing
  • Dan Parry – mixing assistant
  • Mark Rankin – engineer
  • Tom Coyne – mastering


Download the ringtone and see more at Lyrics wiki!

There’s a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch and it’s bringing me out the dark
Finally I can see you crystal clear
Go ahead and sell me out and I’ll lay your shit bare

See how I’ll leave with every piece of you
Don’t underestimate the things that I will do
There’s a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch and it’s bringing me out the dark

The scars of your love remind me of us
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all
The scars of your love, they leave me breathless
I can’t help feeling...

We could have had it all
Rolling in the deep
You had my heart inside of your hands
And you played it to the beat

Baby, I have no story to be told
But I’ve heard one on you, and I’m gonna make your head burn
Think of me in the depths of your despair
Make a home down there as mine sure won’t be shared

The scars of your love remind me of us
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all
The scars of your love, they leave me breathless
I can’t help feeling

We could have had it all
Rolling in the deep
You had my heart inside of your hand
And you played it to the beat

We could have had it all
Rolling in the deep
You had my heart inside of your hand
But you played it with a beating

Throw your soul through every open door
Count your blessings to find what you look for
Turn my sorrow into treasured gold
You’ll pay me back in kind and reap just what you’ve sown

We could have had it all
We could have had it all
It all, it all it all

We could have had it all
Rolling in the deep
You had my heart inside of your hand
And you played it
To the beat

We could have had it all
Rolling in the deep
You had my heart inside of your hand
But you played it
You played it, you played it, you played it
To the beat


Throughout the chorus, second pre-chorus, and second half of the bridge, the line “you’re gonna wish you never had met me, tears are gonna fall rolling in the deep” is repeated in the background.

Despite speculation that Adele was singing, “I’ll lay your ship bare” as a sailing reference in the first verse, the original handwritten lyrics seen below indicate that the lyrics are “I’ll lay your shit bare.” Adele often changes this line to “I’ll lay your stuff bare” for some televised performances.

Adele - Rolling in the Deep (Handwritten Lyrics)