Adele received a wave of support from fans and celebrities alike after restarting her tribute to late music icon George Michael during the Grammys on Sunday, and the president of the awards show is also applauding her decision.
Neil Portnow told reporters that although he wasn’t sure why the British songstress halted her performance and asked to start over, he suspects she wanted the tribute to be impeccable.
“What I think was magnificent was it shows the humanity of live television, but it also shows professionalism. You heard her say she’s a perfectionist, so she’s not gonna settle for something she’s not comfortable with,” he says. “Rather than just go along, she did the right thing.”
Portnow added that although he wasn’t aware of any technical problems influencing the performance, they’ll take the blame if that turns out to be the case.
“All credit to her for how professional she is,” he said of the singer last year. “She did a great job and we certainly don’t like when those things happen, but those things happen sometimes.”
Speaking with reporters in the press room at Sunday’s show, the 28-year-old singer acknowledged that despite her tedious preparation for her tribute to Michael, it didn’t go as planned. Just seconds into her emotional take on his 1996 hit “Fastlove,” Adele stopped abruptly and asked to start again.
“I was devastated by that, and my rehearsal — I did have a shaky rehearsal today,” she admitted. “But I have been working very hard on this tribute for him, every day.”
As she said onstage, Adele was determined to deliver the performance Michael, who died on Christmas Day last year, deserved.
The singer, who took home five Grammy awards on Sunday, told reporters that her first memory of being Michael’s fan was being “blown away by how f—ing hot he was.”
“I found him to be one of the truest icons,” she shared.