Adele’s career was note-perfect – until Vegas

There have been reports of explosive arguments between Adele and acclaimed designer Esmerelda “Es” Devlin, who has previously created productions for Beyoncé, Kanye West, U2 and the Pet Shop Boys. A source has claimed that “there was no real clarity around what Adele wanted for the show”. Adele has admitted to experiencing a great deal of anxiety about performing, and has cancelled many shows in the past, including the final sold out nights of her Wembley Stadium concerts in June 2016. So to what extent have production issues become an excuse for Adele’s nerves?

The farrago in Vegas makes me wonder if Adele is ascending to the kind of level of fame, ego and power where no one in her team is able to speak honestly to her. The word diva is being bandied about, and it can sometimes be used as an insult to take down powerful women. But it can also be used to describe stars who are so used to getting their own way they are no longer receptive to unwanted advice – especially from people paid to make the world turn easier for them. 

A lot of stars, male and female, reach this elevated but unreal position, and wind up being briefed against behind their backs by those compelled to do their biddings. And we are starting to hear those whispers about Adele now. Local Las Vegas journalist Scott Roeben has claimed that “Caesars Palace was ‘100 per cent ready for her’, so there are other forces at work here. Unfortunately, it sounds like one of those factors is a diva.” Ouch.

It hasn’t yet reached Barbra Streisand proportions, of whom a record company executive once complained to me he had to import and install a square metre of her Beverly Hills lawn in a London hotel suite for her beloved dogs to do their business. Streisand, it must be stressed, takes exception to her reputation. “A man is commanding; a woman is demanding,” she has said. “A man is perfectionist; a woman is a pain in the ass. It’s all just diva crap.” Well, maybe. Certainly no one complains about Streisand’s singing.  But if you ask behind the scenes about the most difficult people in showbusiness to work for, her name is quite likely to be mentioned. Though not to her face, presumably.

Adele, on the other hand, is still widely considered personable and charming, a woman with the common touch, despite interviews in Vogue magazine last year in which she described her 6,500 square foot Los Angeles home as being in the style of an “English cottage”, had assistants hovering on standby to swap her high heels for flats, and got a Smithsonian Design Museum in New York to open up just to show her around a fashion exhibition.

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