Adele has said she was left “a shell of a person” after the “brutal” reaction to her postponing her Las Vegas residency.
The singer was due to perform a series of shows from January to April this year at Caesars Palace but they were cancelled at the 11th hour.
Adele shared a tearful video message on social media, in which she explained her show wasn’t “ready”, citing saying delivery delays and Covid sweeping through her crew.
Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Adele said she had “definitely felt everyone’s disappointment” and had been “devastated”.
She told host Lauren Laverne: “I was frightened about letting them down and I thought I could pull it together and make it work, and I couldn’t.
“I stand by that decision. I don’t think any other artist would have done what I did, and I think that is why it was such a massive, massive story.
“It was like, ‘I don’t care’ and things like that. You can’t buy me. You can’t buy me for nothing. I’m not going to just do a show because I have to or because people are going to be let down or because we are going to lose loads of money. I’m like, ‘The show is not good enough’.
“Of course I could be someone on TikTok or Instagram Live every day being like, ‘I am working on it’. Of course I am working on it! I’m not going to update you if I haven’t got anything to update you with, because that just leads to more disappointment.
“Maybe that’s not been well balanced either… Maybe my silence has been deadly. I don’t know.
“But it was horrible and the reaction was brutal. I was a shell of a person for a couple of months.”
Asked how she dealt with the fall-out from the announcement, Adele added: “I just had to wait it out and just grieve it. Just grieve the shows and get over the guilt. But it was brutal.”
In an interview on The Graham Norton Show in February, Adele said she is “working her arse off” to reschedule the dates, and that it will “100% happen this year”.
This weekend saw her play two homecoming gigs at London’s British Summertime festival in Hyde Park, marking her first UK live shows in five years.
She told fans on Friday that she was “so happy” to be back playing for her home crowd as she fought back tears.
Adele’s Desert Island Discs is available on BBC Sounds.