Backlash over cancelled show left Adele a 'shell of a person'

·3 min read
Adele Hyde Park - Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Adele
Adele Hyde Park - Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Adele

In an emotional return to her hometown, Adele was welcomed by ecstatic fans in London's Hyde Park this weekend at her first UK gig in five years.

However, after what she described as a “brutal” backlash to her cancelling her Las Vegas show earlier this year, the award-winning singer has disclosed that she felt like a “shell of a person” for months.

Adele made a tearful announcement in January postponing a series of 24 concerts as part of the Weekends With Adele series, just 24 hours before the opening night at Caesars Palace’s Colosseum.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs this week, she said she had been frightened of letting people down but stood by her decision, as the show was not ready.

But she said the backlash to her late decision was difficult to handle. Some fans were furious after losing large amounts of money on Las Vegas flights and hotel bookings.

“I was a shell of a person for a couple of months," said Adele. “I just had to wait it out and just grieve it I guess, just grieve the shows and get over the guilt, but it was brutal.”

She added: “I definitely felt everyone’s disappointment and I was devastated and I was frightened about letting them down and I thought I could pull it together and make it work, and I couldn’t, and I stand by that decision.

“You can’t buy me, you can’t buy me for nothing. I’m not going to just do a show because I have to or because people are going to be let down or because we’re going to lose loads of money. I’m like, the show’s not good enough.

“Of course I could be someone on TikTok or Instagram Live every day being like ‘I’m working on it’. Of course I’m working on it! I’m not gonna update you if I ain’t got nothing to update you with because that just leads to more disappointment.”

Adele chose an inflatable mattress as her luxury item on Desert Island Discs, and her favoured book was The Sun and her Flowers by Rupi Kaur. Among her castaway tracks were Dreams by Gabrielle and Bills, Bills, Bills by Destiny’s Child.

She also spoke about her dramatic weight loss and how exercise gives her an outlet for anxiety. The reaction of her fans to her new body was not always positive.

“Most other people would have a DVD out by now - I did it on the quiet for myself,” she said.

“I felt terrible for some people that felt like other people’s comments meant that they weren’t looking good, or that they weren’t beautiful. There were some people who felt very betrayed by me, being like ‘she's given in to the pressure of it’.

“It didn’t really bother me because you ain’t holding my hand at 4am when I’m crying my heart out with anxiety.”

Adele said she remains good friends with her former husband Simon Konecki, with whom she has a son, and is currently in a relationship with the American sports agent Rich Paul. She said she would love to have more children in the future.

Reflecting on the death of her estranged father last year, she said it was one of the “biggest moments” in her life.

Speaking about their last meeting before he passed away, she said: “He was really bloody funny and I don’t remember that when I was little. We laughed, we gossiped, we cried. It was great for both of us.”

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