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Patrick Gomez and Karen Mizoguchi
February 12, 2017 10:35 PM

 

Even Adele gets a bout of jitters before performing, especially if it’s to dedicate an emotional tribute to the late George Michael.

“She was super nervous going into tonight. She cleared out the stadium for her rehearsal but it went really well,” a production source tells PEOPLE exclusively of Adele’s second Grammys gig.

The British singer, who handpicked Michael’s song “Fastlove” to sing, stopped and restarted her cover after a performance issue – referencing to her technical difficulties during last year’s Grammy Awards.

“I know it’s live TV … I’m sorry for swearing, and I’m sorry for starting again,” she said. “I can’t do it like I did it last year,” referencing her 2016 Grammys performance during which her audio was off.

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After finishing her tribute set, the night’s five-time nominee broke down in tears as the star-studded crowd stood and clapped.

Adele, who kicked off the show with a performance of her single “Hello,” surprised viewers and the star-studded audience when she came out for the second time. The Recording Academy previously announced a segment honoring Michael ahead of Sunday’s show, but did not share which artist(s) would take part in the telecast.

Check out PEOPLE’s full 2017 Grammys coverage.

Michael, who garnered six Grammy nominations in his lifetime, was 53 when he was found dead in his bed on Christmas Day.

“It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period,” his rep told PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly at the time, with his U.S. rep adding that he died of heart failure.

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