If there’s anyone who knows how to put the intoxicating combination of love and loss into words, it’s Adele. Over the course of her career, she’s waxed poetic about divorce, getting sober, and raising her son—bittersweet tapestries of hard choices, low moments, and ultimate growth and wisdom. Now, after canceling a Las Vegas residency in January at the last minute, Adele has turned her eye to reflecting on that decision—one she says was “brutal” as they come, but one she’s “very proud” of, too.
“It was the worst moment in my career, by far,” she tells Elle in a new interview. “By far. I was so excited about those shows. It was devastating.” Just as heartbreaking as the decision itself was the fallout after; Adele says she essentially “went into hiding” from paparazzi and, frozen with guilt, paused all promotions for her critically acclaimed newest album 30.
“The first couple of months was really, really hard,” she said. “I was embarrassed. But it actually made my confidence in myself grow, because it was a very brave thing to do. And I don’t think many people would have done what I did. I’m very proud of myself for standing by my artistic needs.”
No matter how painful the decision was, Adele’s certainty that she made the right call also stems from a high bar for authenticity in her work, one her longtime tour manager Jonathan Dickson speaks to, sharing: “For her to go out and perform a show she’s not happy with would be a lie to the fans.”
Adele herself recalls feeling that the ambiance and setup of the original show just didn’t capture her vision. “There was just no soul in it,” she says. “The stage setup wasn’t right. It was very disconnected from me and my band, and it lacked intimacy. And maybe I tried too hard to give it those things in such a controlled environment.”
Since the cancellation, Adele has rescheduled the shows, which will run at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace from November through March 2023. The new series, she says, will trace her career from its early beginnings in her teen years to now, and foster the intimate, personal environment she’s been seeking.
“I’m not gonna give too much about it, but the show grows,” she says. “The show grows. It’s all about the music, and it’s really, really nostalgic. It’s gonna be really beautiful.”