February 14, 2017


Adele's George Michael GRAMMYs Tribute Could've Featured Beyoncé & Rihanna

Getty Images
Getty Images

Adele's George Michael tribute at the GRAMMYs was good, but the "Fastlove" cover's main draw was when the singer made the call to stop the band and start over. And it turns out the performance almost never happened in the first place.

"The dream was Adele—we had to get it right," said GRAMMY Awards executive producer Ken Ehrlich in a new Billboard story. But George Michael's manager, Michael Lippman, originally dreamt of more participants: BeyoncéRihanna and James Corden.

The article explains that the alternate version would have included...

"...GRAMMY host James Corden, whose 'Carpool Karaoke' series was launched with Michael in the passenger seat, Adele, Beyoncé and Rihanna, each taking a verse from a song of a different tempo and era ('Freedom' and 'One More Try,' among them) in one giant Michael mash-up—an idea that began to take root, says Ehrlich. But it became quickly evident 'how passionate Adele was,' Ehrlich adds, 'and that she had a vision for what she wanted to do with it.'"

Adele ended up becoming "incredibly hands on" with the Hans Zimmer–arranged "Fastlove" tribute, the mag writes. Ehrlich said the many-times-platinum singer, who went home with five awards including Album of the Year over Beyoncé, worked directly with George Michael's attorney to select images and videos to project. "It was important to her and she was fully committed," he said.

Throw it way back to an early-days Rihanna interview: