BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene
LOS ANGELES – Adele didn’t necessarily want to come talk to the press after her slam dunk at the Grammy Awards on Sunday – “I NEVER do interviews!” she exclaimed as she climbed up on the small stage to field questions.
But within seconds, she was her usual unguarded and charming self, asking the journalists who posed questions where they were from and answering thoughtfully and with self-deprecating humor.
The British singer had an interesting night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
She won in all five of her nominated categories – the same as David Bowie – including the big three awards for album, song and record of the year (“25” and “Hello,” respectively). She’s the first artist to sweep that trio of majors twice in a career (she did it in 2012 with “Rolling in the Deep” and her “21” album).
She also performed twice during the 59th annual ceremony, opening the show with a powerful “Hello,” and then asserting her perfectionism during a tribute to George Michael that required a do-over (the key didn’t sound quite right).
Backstage, she admitted she was “devastated” that she had to start the tribute song – “Fastlove” – again and reiterated that she had worked hard to craft a perfect homage to an artist she loved since she was 10 years old.
“My earliest memory of being a fan was ‘Fastlove.’ When the video came out, I was blown away by how ******* hot he was,” Adele said, dropping in her favorite adjective. “I was devastated (when he died) on Christmas Day and grieved for awhile. On Boxing Day, I said to (partner) Simon (Konecki), I have to do this tribute. (George’s) family didn’t want one at first, but they came back (to the Grammys) and said they specifically wanted me.
“I find him to be one of the truest icons. For him, it didn’t always seem to be solely based on a look. He was very British. The British press gave him a hard time, but he stayed loyal to the very end.”
When Adele was crowned Grammy Queen at the end of the show with her album of the year win, she appeared genuinely ambivalent about getting the nod over Beyonce’s “Lemonade,” a project many consider to be the defining piece in her career.
Adele said she spoke to Beyonce “to let her know how honored and privileged I feel to be nominated beside her,” and continued with the back story of when her adulation for the R&B superstar began.
“She is the icon of my life,” Adele said with obvious sincerity. “I was 11 years old with some girlfriends and we were rehearsing a song for an assembly. I probably suggested a Spice Girls song and they were like, have you heard (Destiny’s Child’s) ‘No, No No’? They played it for me and literally, I remember hearing her voice and I got home and my mom’s boyfriend found me photos of her online and I fell in love with her. The way I felt when I heard ‘No, No, No’ is exactly how I felt when I heard ‘Lemonade’ last year. I felt this album was another side of her …and I just thought this year would be the year the (Grammys) would go with the tide. I am, of course, grateful having won it, but I felt the need (to acknowledge Beyonce during the ceremony) because I love her and felt that she was more worthy.”
Perhaps a Beyonce/Adele collaboration in the future?
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