Adele Stops, Then Restarts George Michael Tribute Performance at 2017 Grammys and Nails It

The '80s rock and pop icon died last Christmas

By Corinne Heller Feb 13, 2017 3:02 AMTags
Adele, 2017 Grammys, Show, Performance, SadKevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS

When Adele wants a Grammys performance do-over, mid-performance, you give Adele a do-over.

The singer took to the stage at the 2017 Grammys to give a tribute performance to George Michael. While her set did not go as planned, it will certainly go down as one of her most memorable.

The Grammy-winning singer performed a haunting, slow version of "Fastlove," Michael's 1996 comeback fast-paced pop hit, while violinists and the song's video and other clips of the iconic '80s music icon played in the background. But after a minute or so, she stopped and cursed.

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"I know it's live TV," she said. "I can't do it again like last year."

Adele had suffered technical difficulties while performing at the 2016 Grammys.

"I'm sorry for swearing and I'm sorry for starting again," she continued. "Can we please start it again? I'm sorry, I can't mess this up for him. I'm sorry. I can't. I'm sorry for swearing. I'm really sorry."

The musicians and video then started again and Adele nailed her performance, getting emotional and drawing a standing ovation. 

Later during the ceremony, she won the Grammy for Song of the Year for her hit 2015 single "Hello."

"First of all, I really apologize for swearing," Adele said in her acceptance speech. "George Michael really does mean a lot to me so I want to apologize if I offended anyone." 

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Like many of her fellow Britons her age and slightly older, the 28-year-old grew up listening to Michael's songs. She is such a big fan that she dressed up like the singer did during his Faith era in the '80s for her 27th birthday.

"I was my hero x #gottahavefaith," she tweeted at the time.

"Happy Birthday @OfficialAdele !!!" Michael responded. "I'm so flattered, love The Singing Greek! xxx."

Mike Marsland/Getty Images

Throughout his life, Michael won two Grammys, both at the peak of his fame—Album of the Year for his 1987 record Faith and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal for his and Aretha Franklin's 1986 duet "I Knew You Were Waiting (for Me)."

Michael, whose real name was Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, died last Christmas at age 53. He was found lifeless in bed at the London home he shared with boyfriend Fadi Fawaz.

The singer has not yet been laid to rest. An autopsy was performed days after he was found dead but police said the cause of his death was inconclusive, adding that further testing was needed.

Tune in to E! News at 7 p.m. and Fashion Police at 8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 13 for complete coverage of the 2017 Grammys.