Entertainment

JANET STREET-PORTER: I just can’t take another chapter of Adele’s never-ending Sob Saga


It’s been tough, but I’ve made an important decision.

One that gives me peace of mind and serenity.

Yes, my life’s too short to include any more of Adele Atkins.

The tidal wave of tears that accompany every appearance. The drama, the torment, the misery.

After all, we’re talking about someone who sings for a living, not a brain surgeon, peace negotiator or diplomat trying to prevent the Russians invading Ukraine.

Adele has made millions from mining the trauma of her ‘journey’ from humble beginnings to millionaire single mum- but I (and many disgruntled fans) have decided to get off the bus after the latest catastrophic episode in her Saga of Sobs.

The tortured diva made an astonishing appearance on Instagram this week, sobbing her heart out as she announced her much-anticipated 24-night residency in Las Vegas was not happening. 

It was Kaput. Cancelled. Shelved until someone can sort it all out.

Sod your plans, she’s in emotional meltdown.

JANET STREET-PORTER: Adele – the tortured diva – made an astonishing appearance on Instagram this week (pictured), sobbing her heart out as she announced her much-anticipated 24-night residency in Las Vegas was not happening

I don’t know which was more jaw-dropping; Snivelling Adele’s feeble attempts at an apology to the camera with perfect nails on display, addressing us ordinary folk as if we were queuing for a bag of fish and chips (her actual words ‘My show ain’t ready’) – or the bare-faced cheek of coming to that decision just two days before kick-off.

Adele claims her long-awaited show ‘ain’t ready’ because half the team have covid and there’s been ‘delivery delays’ – meaning what? Her couture frocks aren’t finished? Sound equipment hasn’t arrived? Stage sets are held up? She claims to be ‘really embarrassed’ and so she should be.

But somehow this carefully stage-managed attempt at sympathy doesn’t seem believable. Anyone might think she’s been studying footage of the Master of Non Apologies Boris Johnson.

Ms Adkins might come from a working-class background (and has carefully retaining her ‘credible’ accent), but has spent the years since finessing her performances, rebranding herself as a glamorous icon and is now a far cry from that cheeky Londoner teenager in jogging pants.

Now she’s Los Angeles-based she has the best people advising every aspect of her career – and they would have been well aware that cancelling her Caesar’s Palace show would be a PR disaster. Over $50 million has been raised in pre-sales, according to industry insiders.

Buckets of tears won’t repay the hundreds of thousands of dollars fans have already spent on air tickets and hotel bookings, travelling from all over the world for a ‘Weekend with Adele’.

Many only found out the news as they landed in the USA. They have had honeymoons, birthdays and holiday plans completely ruined and are using social media to vent their rage and frustration.

Some have wondered why Adele can’t do a simpler show on a basic stage – wearing one of the frocks she’s trotted out at those star-studding gigs promoting her fourth Album last year.

One fan said she would be happy if Adele sang from a park bench.

Fat chance of that.

Adele's show was abruptly postponed due to Covid 19. Pictured: Signage for her show was plastered all around Las Vegas as fans went to the box office for refunds

Adele’s show was abruptly postponed due to Covid 19. Pictured: Signage for her show was plastered all around Las Vegas as fans went to the box office for refunds

In Adele’s world, everything has been getting bigger, brasher, more inflated and pompous – a bit like her hair.

Auditions were held in Las Vegas on January 5th for backing singers – the singer wanted a chorus of 100 to accompany her at the start of the show, in a James Bond tribute. Only 60 turned up and presumably, they are now out of work.

Ticket prices for the shows reflected the fact Adele was receiving a huge fee – $685,000 (£500,000) every time she sets foot on stage. 

The cheapest seats were $85 and the most expensive $680, and – as dates sold out – some changed hands for as much as $30,000. Those fools must be feeling – to quote the Queen of Gush herself – ‘gutted’.

Obviously the lingering presence of Covid will have an impact on both performers and guests. Adele’s audience were asked to provide proof of vaccination and a negative test within 48 hours of a show. Rapid testing sites had been set up around the venue, the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace.

The number of positive tests in Clark County, Nevada, which includes Caesars Palace, is running at 37%, compared to just 18.95% in New York, where Omicron is on the wane. But other performers – far older – have shown far more resilience that weepy Adele.

Elton John (74) is a true survivor- this week, he resumed his Yellow Brick Road tour in New Orleans, following hip surgery in 2021. Covid didn’t stop the Rocket Man. Hugh Jackman (53), who tested positive for Covid on December 28th, was back on Broadway in The Music Man by January 6th.

True professionals, they understand the bond between fans and performers is not one to treat lightly.

Somehow this carefully stage-managed attempt at sympathy doesn’t seem believable. Anyone might think she’s been studying footage of the Master of Non Apologies Boris Johnson, writes JANET STREET-PORTER

Somehow this carefully stage-managed attempt at sympathy doesn’t seem believable. Anyone might think she’s been studying footage of the Master of Non Apologies Boris Johnson, writes JANET STREET-PORTER

Adele seems beset by fears and anxieties that others might not find so threatening. She told the world she was ‘devastated’ by her divorce, even though husband Simon lives on the other side of the street from her in Los Angeles and they have remained friends.

In November last year, she granted Oprah an interview to promote her album 30 which mined the trauma of a failing marriage. She gushed her thanks to the host for allowing her to ‘tell my truth lovingly in a safe space’. What is this rubbish about ‘safe spaces’?

She’s been on a journey from wealthy woman to incredibly rich and self-obsessed global star. That doesn’t grant you the right to treat fans so appallingly, hoping that a snivelling apology will soften the blow.

This week, I interviewed another true survivor – the amazing singer Keala Settle, who co-starred with Hugh Jackman in the hit movie The Greatest Showman. 

In 2018, Keala discovered she had suffered a mini-stroke just 8 days before performing at the Oscars. 

She was fitted for her gown in hospital, delayed surgery and managed to give an astonishing performance. 

Afterwards, she went through 10 hours of brain surgery, and extensive rehabilitation, making an excellent recovery. She’s toured with Hugh Jackman and is about to open in the musical ‘& Juliet’ in London’s West End.

Keala’s motto is The Show Must Go On.

Adele – who took four years to reschedule two shows she cancelled in 2017 – is made of feebler material.

She’s got all the staying power of a soggy tissue. 



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