Adele is one of those rare celebrities who seems to have mastered the art of public life.
She’s one of the most famous people on the planet, and yet her name rarely turns up in gossip columns.
Sure, some rumors bounced around social media amid the singer’s divorce from Simon Konecki, but they were mostly sympathetic, and the majority of the speculation centered around the extent to which Adele would channel her heartbreak into songs for her next album.
So the pop icon is in somewhat of an unfamiliar position this week, as she stands accused of misleading fans with a tearful message about the postponement of her long-awaited Las Vegas residency.
Worse, Adele — long beloved by fans for her plainspoken, down-to-earth persona — is being accused of engaging in diva-like behavior and antagonizing a well-regarded employee.
The trouble began on Thursday, when she posted a video in which she issued a tearful apology to fans and explained that her string of residency performances — which was set to begin on January 21 — has been postponed indefinitely.
“I’m so sorry but — my show ain’t ready,” Adele told fans in a video message.
“We’ve tried absolutely everything that we can to put it together in time and for it to be good enough for you. But we’ve been absolutely destroyed by delivery delays and Covid.”
“Half my crew and half my team are down with Covid — they still are — and it’s been impossible to finish the show,” she added.
“I can’t give you what I have right now, and I’m gutted. I’m gutted and I’m sorry it’s so last minute. We’ve been awake for over 30 hours now trying to figure it out, and we’ve run out of time.”
An emotional Adele closed out the video with a heartfelt apology to fans who had traveled from all over the world to see her perform.
“I’m so upset and I’m really embarrassed, and I’m so sorry to everyone that’s traveled again,” she said, possibly in reference to the canceled shows from her previous tour.
“I’m really, really sorry. I’m really sorry.”
But according to a new report from UK tabloid The Sun, Adele did not offer a truthful explanation for why the show could not go on.
Insiders tell the outlet that for the past several weeks, the residency has been “heading for disaster” amid the singer’s “explosive arguments” with her set designer, Esmerelda Devlin.
“In spite of the set costing millions to put together, Adele was unhappy with the result, and she made her feelings very clear to Es,” the source says.
“She [Adele] was already nervous and the falling out sent her spiraling into a panic because she was desperate that everything should be perfect.”
Another source claims that Adele demanded “endless changes” to the set list and running order, putting major stress on Devlin at a late stage in the planning process.
“There was no real clarity around what Adele wanted for the show because of the endless changes being made to the production,” the insider says.
“It seemed that while she has always preferred a stripped-back performance, she was under some pressure to come up with a huge extravaganza,” the source continues.
“So there was a constant ricochet between those two versions of what the show should be, and it did cause some quite explosive arguments.”
The insider adds that Adele is aware that her perfectionist tendencies have caused problems in the past, but she’s unable to control them.
“It is well known that Adele suffers badly with anxiety when it comes to performing live, so it’s hard to imagine her going ahead if she wasn’t happy,” the source claims.
Hopefully, the Grammy winner and her team will be able to sort things out soon.
In the meantime, we’re sure Adele’s army of adoring fans is more than happy to forgive.