CBS has responded to frustrated fans, with a spokesperson confirming toBillboard that there was a five-to-eight second technical issue with the broadcast, adding that it was outside the network’s control. It appeared that the singer was singing without an earpiece, and that Columbia executives in the audience were visibly upset by the performance.
Billboard has reached out to Adele’s representatives for comment. Adele herself tweeted after the show, “The piano mics fell on to the piano strings, that’s what the guitar sound was. It made it sound out of tune. Sh– happens. X.”
“We have the most complicated technical show on television when it comes to music, bar none. Inside the piano are microphones, and a mike dropped into the strings. It happens to all sorts of people, but it rarely happens on our show,” Recording Academy President Neil Portnow told L.A. Times. “When we switched over to the backup system, it had to drop out for a few seconds. When performing in intimate performance, it can be unnerving. We certainly don’t like it when those things happen, but they happen.”