Million Years Ago (song)

"Million Years Ago"
Song by Adele from the album 25
Recorded Metropolis Studios, London
Genre Folk[1]
Length 3:47
Label XL
Producer(s) Greg Kurstin
25 track listing

"Love in the Dark"
"Million Years Ago"
"All I Ask"

"Million Years Ago" is a song recorded by English singer and songwriter Adele for her third studio album 25 (2015). The song was written by Adele Adkins and Greg Kurstin, while production of the song was provided by the latter. Lyrically, the track is about how fame has personally affected her and everyone around her. Musically, the song is an acoustic tune accompanied only by guitar. "Million Years Ago" received positive reviews from critics, with many comparing it to the music of Madonna.

The song peaked at number 8 on the Finland Chart and number 24 on the Scotland Chart. It also charted in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Adele performed the song during Adele at the BBC and on Today.


"Million Years Ago"
A 22-second sample of "Million Years Ago"'s chorus, an acoustic tune accompanied only by guitar.

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"Million Years Ago" is an acoustic tune accompanied only by guitar, finds Adele pining "for the normality of her not-so-distant childhood. Entwined with Middle Eastern twists of background hums that suggest Madonna's 'Frozen'".[2] The song's lyrics touch upon themes of fame, and how it "frightens", the song's lyrics talk about how fame has personally affected her and everyone around her, singing about how she misses the air, her mother, and her friends, but her "life is flashing by and all I can do is watch and cry."[3] Jon Pareles of The New York Times described the song as a "delicate guitar ballad with a hint of Edith Piaf [that] mourns lost youth".[4] Rolling Stone's Brian Hiatt compared the song to "a Nineties Madonna ballad mixed with 'The Girl From Ipanema'".[5]

Adele was accused of plagiarizing the melody of "Million Years Ago" from Turkish singer Ahmet Kaya's 1985 song "Acilara Tutunmak".[6][7][8]

Live performances

She performed the song on Adele at the BBC, which was recorded at The London Studios on 2 November 2015 and broadcast on BBC One on 20 November 2015. She also performed the song on Today on 25 November 2015.[9][10][11] Adele also performed the song on Adele Live in New York City, which was recorded at a one-night-only show at Radio City Music Hall on 17 November 2015 and broadcast on NBC on 14 December 2015.

Adele got an Daytime Emmy Award nomination for performing "Million Years Ago" live on Today.She nominated in the ‘Outstanding Musical Performance in a Talk Show/Morning Program’ alongside the likes of Bruno Mars Rachel Platten, and Annie Lennox. Nick Barnes from UnrealityTv wrote "If Adele wins the Emmy, she is just one step closer to her EGOT as she has already won an Oscar and several Grammy Awards. If the does win, she just needs to get herself a Tony somehow…"[12]


Chart (2015) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[13] 84
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[14] 48
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[15] 46
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[16] 97
Finland Download (Suomen virallinen latauslista)[17] 8
France (SNEP)[18] 42
Germany (Official German Charts)[19] 74
Hungary (Single Top 40)[20] 36
Ireland (IRMA)[21] 94
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[22] 24
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[23] 25
South Korea International Chart (Gaon)[24] 22
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[25] 64
UK Indie (Official Charts Company)[26] 10
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[27] 19


  1. The following sources refer to the song as folk:
  2. "Review: Adele, '25'". Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  3. mtv (2015-11-20). "A Track-By-Track Breakdown Of Adele's 25". MTV. Retrieved 2015-12-24.
  4. "Adele Cries to Her Music, Too". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-01-24.
  5. Hiatt, Brian (2015-11-03). "Adele: Inside Her Private Life and Triumphant Return". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-01-24.
  6. "Adele Accused Of Plagiarism On 'Million Years Ago': YouTube Video Compares The Songs (Video) : PERSONAL TECH". Tech Times. Retrieved 2016-01-24.
  7. Tristram Fane Saunders (2015-12-08). "Did Adele really copy Kurdish singer Ahmet Kaya with Million Years Ago?". Retrieved 2016-01-24.
  8. "Did Adele Plagiarize on New Song "Million Years Ago"? Some Kurdish Listeners Believe It". Retrieved 2016-01-24.
  9. Ree Hines (2015-11-25). "Adele performs 'Million Years Ago' on TODAY Show, talks motherhood and more". Retrieved 2016-01-24.
  10. "Adele Performs "Million Years Ago" on "Today" | News". Pitchfork. 2015-11-25. Retrieved 2016-01-24.
  11. Rachel McRady (2015-11-25). "Adele Belts New Song "Million Years Ago" on Today Show: Watch Now! - Us Weekly". Retrieved 2016-01-24.
  12. "2016 Daytime Emmy Awards nominees - FULL LIST!". Unreality TV. 2016-03-25. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  13. "ARIA Report: Issue 1344 (Week Commencing 30 November 2015)" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. p. 4. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  14. " – Adele – Million Years Ago" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  15. " – Adele – Million Years Ago" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  16. "Adele – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Adele.
  17. "Adele: Million Years Ago" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  18. " – Adele – Million Years Ago" (in French). Les classement single.
  19. " – Adele – Million Years Ago". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  20. "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  21. "Chart Track: Week 48, 2015". Irish Singles Chart.
  22. "Archive Chart: 2015-12-03". Scottish Singles Top 40. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  23. " – Adele – Million Years Ago" Canciones Top 50.
  24. "Gaon Digital Chart". Gaon Chart. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  25. "Archive Chart: 2015-12-03" UK Singles Chart.
  26. "Archive Chart: 2015-12-03" UK Indie Chart. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  27. "Adele – Chart History: Bubbling Under Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media.
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