Adele had opened the show with a flawless performance of her comeback song, Hello, but a minute into her cover of Michael's Fastlove, she asked to start again, and dropped the f-word on live TV – notoriously a no-no for the American crowd.
Apparently thrown off-guard after singing the uncensored lyric "tired of all this bullshit conversation", Adele swore. It was bleeped out of the live show, but Adele was subsequently very upset.
“I can’t do it again, not after last year, I can’t mess this up for him," she said. “I’m sorry for swearing, I’m sorry [Grammy producer] Ken [Ehrlich]. I’m going to start again, I’m sorry, I’m sorry for swearing.”
The crowd in the room had her back, with one calling out, “You’ve got this!"
Adele then sang the song with tears streaming down her face, and got a standing ovation from the crowd.
The singer broke Grammy records on Sunday night by becoming the first performer to win Song, Record and Album of the year in the same year twice, having first achieved the feat in 2012 with her album 21.
Accepting her Best Song award, she apologised again for her earlier mistake: “First of all, I really do apologise for swearing,” she said. “George Michael, I love him, so it means a lot to me. I’m really sorry if I offended anyone anywhere.”
The New York Times with Mariah Carey's New Year's Eve disaster: "While Ms Carey opted to smile and pose her way through apparent technical difficulties, looking as unruffled as possible, Adele showed a more human side and let the expletives fly. That is, after all, why people love her: She couldn’t help it."
Grammy Awards 2017: A big night for fashion