Grammy Awards boss Neil Portnow has officially given Adele a pass for restarting her live George Michael tribute at Sunday’s ceremony, insisting she “did the right thing”.
The Hello superstar was left close to tears after struggling with sound issues seconds into her reworked version of Fastlove, and stunned audience members and viewers alike by abruptly halting the music and asking to start again.
“I’m sorry, I can’t mess this up for him,” she explained.
Adele’s second attempt went off without a hitch, and earned her a standing ovation from the star-studded crowd.
The singer has since admitted she was “devastated” by the mishap, but Recording Academy president Portnow is adamant he holds nothing against Adele, because she did what was necessary to ensure she could properly honor George’s legacy on music’s big night.
“What I think was magnificent was it shows the humanity of live television, but it also shows professionals – you heard her say she’s a perfectionist – so she’s not gonna settle for something she’s not comfortable with,” Portnow explained. “Rather than just go along (with the bad audio), she did the right thing.”
The Grammys chief isn’t the only big name to give the British star his support over the incident – iconic entertainer Bette Midler heaped praise on Adele on Twitter as she watched the Grammys from home.
“#Adele taught us all a great lesson just now. If it’s not right? START OVER AND NAIL IT!,” she wrote. “And she did. Love you, girl.”
Oscar and Grammy winner Whoopi Goldberg also applauded Adele as she reflected on the tribute on Monday’s episode of her talk show The View.
“That’s a real performer,” she gushed of Adele. “She wanted it to be right and she didn’t just want to carry on. When you’re doing a tribute to someone who you actually respect, you wanna get it right and Adele, you are the real deal honey, we all know that.”
Ironically, it was the second year in a row Adele had faced problems performing at the Grammys – audio issues also plagued a rendition of her song All I Ask at last year’s show, during which a microphone fell onto the keys of the accompanying piano.
“It threw the whole thing off,” she told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres after the event. “Next time I have any sound issues, I am going to start over. (I’ll say), ‘Sorry, that’s not working for me.'”
After doing just that on Sunday night, Ellen took to Twitter and declared: “@Adele, you get every do over you ever need. Ever.”
– Cover Media0