The singer paid homage to her fellow Brit with a performance of ‘Fastlove’ which turned the dance-pop original into a sombre ballad. During her performance, she stopped her band mid-song and told the crowd: “Can we please start it again? I’m sorry, I can’t mess this up for him.” Watch below.
— Mashable (@mashable) February 13, 2017
However, a different kind of tribute featuring Beyoncé, Rihanna and James Corden – who essentially initiated Carpool Karaoke with George Michael – was also mooted. According to The Hollywood Reporter, each performer would have sung a verse from a different George Michael song, including ‘One More Try’ and ‘Freedom 90’.
However, the show’s executive producer Ken Ehrlich said it became apparent “how passionate Adele was… and that she had a vision for what she wanted to do with it.”
Adele told The Hollywood Reporter that Michael’s family “didn’t want a tribute at first,” but then “came back and were very specific that it be me”.
Backstage at the Grammys, she also shared her thoughts on George Michael, saying: “I found him to be one of the truest icons, because a lot of the time, with people who are that globally known and famous, there tends to be… not a fakeness in a bad way, but they put on this massive bravado and alter-ego to protect themselves.”
She continued: “And he was very British. No matter where his career or love life took him, he always remained true to Britain and they gave him a hard fucking time a lot of the time, but he still stayed loyal until the very end.”
“I relate to that,” she added. “No matter how much I try to escape Britain sometimes, my roots are there. I took great comfort in him – and the bigger my career got, in trying to remain myself.”
Earlier in the evening, Adele opened the show with a performance of ‘Hello’. She later won five awards including the three biggest prizes of the night.