Adele may have had to start her George Michael tribute performance of “Fast Love” over due to some sound issues that have seemingly plagued her at the Grammys every time she performs on their stage, but she didn’t let that stop her from performing beautifully and honoring the late singer’s memory. The song was a slower and more soulful version of the song that everyone knows and loves, and some of the sentiment online and among George Michael fans is that the composition wasn’t the right choice for the occasion, even though it was clearly meant to convey the sadness we are all feeling about his passing over the holidays.
There were many other directions that the Grammys production could have gone in should they wanted, however the entire feel of the show was a slowed down and mournful affair — with the exception of a few later performances that ratcheted up the energy again — and in that way Adele’s performance fit well. Bowie’s tribute last year was a medley and Prince’s tribute on Sunday was one of the most fun songs from his entire catalogue, so either of those styles could have been employed with George Michael’s tribute.
Even if they wanted Adele to perform part of the time and fill the “heartbreaking” quota, some of his more upbeat songs like “Freedom 90” or “Faith” could have been handed out to other artists to keep things happy amidst the sadness about his death. Most of the photos that flashed behind her as she sang were of Michael during happier times as well, with his smile beaming at the crowd from giant screens.
Regardless of the opinions about the performance itself, it was a good thing that the show did decide to have a British artist perform the tribute as George Michael was a Brit icon just as much as he was a gay icon or an overall icon of music. Adele thanked the crowd at the end of her performance as her eyes filled up with tears, proving just how much it all meant to her.
Not many people could have pulled off a performance like that, and no matter the quibbles the audience or fans at home may have with the composition or decision to have Adele be the one to perform the tirbute you can’t deny that it was a beautifully done performance.