I am continuously enamored by Adele and all her grace. I had the privilege of interviewing her before she was famous. I’m not making claims of discovery; she was well on her way to stardom. Her first album 19, had just been released and she was doing a promotional tour with radio stations. We hosted a small cocktail party at a downtown Austin outdoor club on a cold night. It was to be an interview and small acoustic performance for maybe 75 people. I talked to her briefly before the event, she was so sick she could barely talk. Her crew was offering to help her get out of the interview and performance and just say hello and hand out cd’s. It was 2008 so cd’s were still a thing. She insisted that she go through with it. Halfway through the interview I fell in love with her. She was gracious and charming while fighting back a cough or blowing her nose. She was courteous when I couldn’t properly understand her heavy accent in a loud happy hour atmosphere. She kept her composure as social chat was disruptive during her performance, which was amazing. I bet those who didn’t give her their undivided attention would give anything to have that moment back.
I can go on and on about Adele, but last night she performed and walked off with Song of the year, Record of the year, Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album and Album of the year.
Here are some quick things I learned from her just last night:
When you make a mistake, admit it
People will forgive you and they did. During her George Michael tribute performance, she stopped (through out an expletive) and asked to restart of the whole song. What at first seemed like a disaster, quickly endeared who to the crowd, mostly performers who have been there and understand. She won over the crowd and the audiences at home by showing that she’s human, makes mistakes and wanted to perform at a caliber honorable to George Michael and the Grammy’s. The media could have been brutal to her for messing up the song, instead it became a positive headline.
Share the credit
When Adele went up to accept the award for Song of the year, she gave a short speech and introduced Greg Kurstin, who produced “Hello”. The show immediately brought in the music and cut him off, to a booing crowd. I think they appreciate the skill to produce Song of the Year. Not much later, she won Record of the year for “Hello” and immediately gave the mic to Greg, to make sure the audience got to hear from him this time. Classy move.
It’s ok to share your hardships
Amid an audience of almost everyone trying to act as cool as they can be, as if it was easy to get there, Adele shared her vulnerability. I honestly believe that when she made her most recent album, “25”, she had no idea that it would get the accolades of her previous work. What won me over was her sharing how hard motherhood is. She went on to say “5 years ago I became a mom and I lost a lot of myself. It’s really, really hard. I feel like a bit of me has come back”. What mother watching can’t relate to that?
Thank those that inspire you
When Adele won album of the year she was up against Beyoncés “Lemonade “and yet made almost her entire speech about her love and admiration of Beyoncé. She went on to say “My artist of my life is Beyoncé. The way you make me and my friends feel is empowering and you make them stand up for themselves”. It brought Beyoncé, and most of the audience to tears.
Adele has given us the albums “19”, “21” and “25”, named after her age at the time she recorded it. As much as we selfishly look forward to “27” or “28”, I’m almost hoping she waits for “35” and gets some personal time to raise that son of hers and pursue happiness.
Written by JB Hager, EBW Studios
photo By Egghead06 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons