It was impossible not to notice.
Adele sounded off. Really off.
Less than a minute into her Grammys performance of the ballad “All I Ask,” the singer seemed to falter, not quite hitting the highs the song demands. Adele, who wore a sparkling crimson gown and stood with just a spotlight behind her, had no back-up singers, no dancers and no band to cover for her. In the cold, unkind light of national television, Adele sounded flat.
And in the era of Auto-Tune and lip-synching, Tweets began to debate whether The Voice wasn’t as heaven-sent as it seemed to be. Or did Adele’s famous nerves get to her? Or was it a re-emergence of the polyp that had once wreaked such havoc on her vocal chords?
The explanation, the singer tweeted almost immediately after Monday’s Grammys had concluded, was a piano mic, which fell onto the piano strings:
Video of the performance backs up Adele’s contention. A few seconds in, the piano begins to sound like a strum — in the right key, but definitely not sounding right. After a few beats, it seems to correct itself. But you could almost see the singer wince at the first bad notes, and she never seemed to recover.
Compare the performance to her perfect delivery of the same song in New York in December.
The good news: Adele will be fine. Update: The Recording Academy, Variety reported, took full responsibility for the mic mishap, adding, in a statement to reporters, “To Adele’s credit, she killed it.” And she’ll probably continue to: As of the beginning of this month, her album, “25,” was nearing 8 million copies sold.