Why Adele Was So Nervous at the Grammys: How the Show Went Wrong for Her Last Year

Adele asking to restart her tribute to George Michael at the 2017 Grammy Awards was not the first snafu she encountered while singing at the ceremony

59th GRAMMY Awards - Show
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty

Adele may have confused the audience at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards when she briefly swore and asked to restart her George Michael tribute — but this isn’t the first time the singer struggled through a Grammy performance, as she acknowledged herself.

“I’m sorry, I can’t do it again like last year,” Adele said after starting and stopping her live tribute to the late “Faith” singer, in a reference to a snafu at last year’s ceremony.

“Can we please start it again?” she asked, as the audience cheered her on. “I’m sorry, I can’t mess this up for him.”

After restarting, Adele sailed through a take on Michael’s “Fastlove” — a reversal from her appearance at last year’s Grammys, when technical difficulties marred a performance of “All I Ask.” While singing her hit song then, the audio cut out briefly and a sound like a guitar tuning interrupted the performance.

Check out PEOPLE’s full 2017 Grammys coverage.

“During changeover and the ad break, the microphones fell onto the piano strings, which is what the guitar noise was — some people thought it was [Justin] Bieber rehearsing but it wasn’t him,” Adele joked later while explaining the mess-up onThe Ellen DeGeneres Show. “And it just kinda put the whole thing off, really.”

“I cried pretty much all day [the next day],” she said on Ellen. “In fairness, I would’ve cried if it had gone really well as well. … I kept spontaneously bursting into tears yesterday but it was all right, I’m fine.”

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Adele said she tried to get back on track with that performance last year but just wasn’t able to.

“I knew where the mic was and I wanted to turn around and lift it up, but I froze,” she said. “But I actually felt like it went well … I’m always a bit pitch-y anyway.”

She handled this year’s performance differently in honor of Michael, who died on Christmas Day last year.

“She was super nervous going into tonight,” a production source exclusively told PEOPLE. “She cleared out the stadium for her rehearsal, but it went really well.”

“I really do apologize for swearing,” Adele said later on Sunday’s ceremony as she accepted the win for song of the year, adding, “George Michael, I love him. He means a lot to me, so I’m really sorry if I offended anyone anywhere.”

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