Adele performed a slow-downed version of ‘Fastlove’ at Sunday night’s ceremony.
During her performance Adele was forced to restart the song to make sure she got it perfect, telling the audience, "I can't mess this up for him.”
Adele performed at tribute to George Michael at the Grammy awards
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter Adele revealed: "The family didn’t want a tribute at first, and they came back and were very specific that it be me.” The show's executive producer, Ken Ehrlich, added: "The dream was Adele, we had to get it right.”
However Michael’s longtime manager Michael Lippman had another vision for the performance, involving Grammys host James Corden, along with Adele, Beyoncé and Rihanna each taking a verse from one of Michael’s songs of a different tempo and era.
But according to Ehrlich, it became quickly evident "how passionate Adele was and that she had a vision for what she wanted to do with it.” The singer also helped in choosing the visuals used for the performance, which Ehrlich said: "corresponded directly about changes or thoughts she had.”
While it’s not clear why Adele decided to restart her performance on Sunday night, Grammys president Neil Portnow has praised her for the decision. “What I think was magnificent was it shows the humanity of live television, but it also shows professionalism,” he told People.
“You heard her say she’s a perfectionist, so she’s not gonna settle for something she’s not comfortable with. Rather than just go along, she did the right thing," Portnow added.
Speaking about the choice of song backstage at the awards, Adele said she was "about 10" years old when she first heard "Fastlove" and noticed the vulnerability in the song.
"When the video came out for that, I was blown away by how f***ing hot he was,” she said. “It’s actually quite exceptional how good-looking he was.” Adele added that she was “devastated" upon learning of Michael’s death on Christmas Day, saying: ”I actually had to go for a walk on my own and just breathe for a while.”