Daily Mail once claimed that Mariah Carey, the ultimate diva, required Cristal, a box of bendy straws, a “special attendant” to throw out her used gum, tea service for eight, two air purifiers, a puppy, and kittens in order to feel comfortable in her dressing room at shows. Lindsay Lohan once reportedly requested for a Ritz-Carlton penthouse suite and a personal meeting with President Vladimir Putin, when a Russian news outlet asked her for an interview. And J.Lo has been said to ask production managers to refurnish her dressing room in all white, a risky request for a pop star covered in head-to-toe hairspray and body makeup.
And then, there’s Adele.
In a new profile running in Elle’s September issue (vaguely titled “Oh My God Adele,” though it’s unclear why we should be gobsmacked), the people’s British songstress makes the case for Adele as Populist from the kitchen of her Beverly Hills mansion, formerly owned by Sylvester Stallone. In the aftermath of her canceled Las Vegas residency in January, she was chastised for displaying “diva” behavior—and this piece seems to serve as Adele’s final stop on a sprawling apology tour for pulling the plug on the highly anticipated “Weekends With Adele” shows at Caesars Palace, the day before opening night.
Here’s an abbreviated list of all the charmingly normal and relatable things Adele has now told us about herself: She’s a terrible sleeper. She knows how to make iced coffee with almond milk and would be happy to make some for her house guests. She does not even have the password to her official Instagram account (the one with 50 million followers). She once had a Finsta-like Twitter account to “lurk her mentions.” She actively uses her Pinterest account (Pinterest! Imagine Adele pinning easy Super Bowl snack recipes, or making a wedding vision board.) She’s obsessed with craft stores like Michaels (“I love it there,” she said. “Oh my God, and World Market. You can fuckin’ get some great things there.”) She records videos of herself crying, she can deadlift 170 pounds, and she’s a Phoenix Suns fan. Oh, and she really, really loves McDonalds—“her order is a Big Mac and fries and—‘if I’m really, really going for it’—six McNuggets,” according to Elle.
In other words, she is just like you, and she will make you like her, dammit.
For a bit more context on this apology tour, Adele announced her Vegas show’s cancellation at the last minute in a teary video on Instagram in January. While fans were understandably outraged, many found the ill-timed announcement to be relatable and genuine, if not worthy of sympathy. During the initial explanation video, the Grammy winner had cited covid complications and shipping delays, on top of a feeling of creative inauthenticity as the drivers behind the abrupt cancellation. Now, she tells Elle that “the worst moment in my career, by far” happened mostly because she refused to compromise her artistic integrity. “There was just no soul in it,” she said. “The stage setup wasn’t right. It was very disconnected from me and my band, and it lacked intimacy.”
The decision surely wreaked financial havoc on the programming folks at the Palace, who had hoped to cash in on Adele’s rabid fanbase. But the decision also impacted thousands of fans who had booked pricey birthday and anniversary trips to see her. They weren’t able to request a refund until Adele rescheduled the dates, nearly five months later. In the aftermath, Extra reported that the show had actually been in rehearsals in Fresno for five weeks and that Adele had “flipped out” when she came to see the show for the first time—just three days before the first performance. So it very much makes sense that she’s doing a bit of image rehab, now, to cast herself as much lower maintenance than you might have heard.
At the end of the day, Adele is a perfectly fine, lovable celebrity who’s been subjected to an unfair share of speculation and judgment about her face and body. And regardless of how calculated this effort to humble herself might be, it’s also kinda sweet. While I may never be able to afford to buy a home, and she’s worth $200 million posing on the cover of Elle in faux fur, I admit that I would absolutely go to Michaels with this woman and share a 12-pack of McNuggets. You win, Adele, you win.