Adele nixed plans to perform with Beyonce and Rihanna in the George Michael tribute at the Grammy because she had a "vision for what she wanted to do with it."
Adele stopped and restarted her performance of “Fastlove,” telling the audience “I’m sorry, I can’t mess this up for him.” The pressure was all on her shoulders, but it's because she wanted it that way. Grammy executive producer Ken Ehrlich told Billboard Michael Lippman, Michael's longtime manager, wanted Grammy host James Corden, Adele, Beyoncé and Rihanna to each take a verse from a song of a different tempo and era which included "Freedom" and "One More Try." But the idea was scrapped because of “how passionate Adele was,” Ehrlich said. “She had a vision for what she wanted to do with it.”
The 25 singer reportedly worked closely with Michael's lawyers to nail the imagery.
"It was important to her, and she was fully committed," said Ehrlich. "They corresponded directly about changes or thoughts she had," he added.
She discussed her love for Michael:
“I found him to be one of the truest icons, because a lot of the time, with people who are at 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. 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—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. It was an honor to do it tonight.”
Adele glowed over Beyonce after the show concluded, so it's surprising to hear she turned down an onstage collaboration. She felt like the Album of the Year award should have gone to Lemonade. "My album of the year is Lemonade," she told the press. "I spoke to her before just to let her know how honored and privileged I felt to be nominated alongside her, and we spoke afterward as well and she was very gracious and humble, as always, as we've come to expect," Adele said. "And the reason I felt the need to say something is because my album of the year is Lemonade. She is my icon of my whole life."
Beyonce took home a Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary Album and Rihanna, despite her 8 nominations, won nothing.