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Adele’s team took away her Instagram password after this post got her into trouble

A woman holds up a purse to hide her face.
Adele, photographed at Staples Center in October, says she has never had the passwords to her social media accounts.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Adele has posted one single photo to Instagram in her lifetime, she says — and it cost her her password.

The “30" artist spilled the tea last week to NikkieTutorials, the popular YouTube series by makeup artist and beauty influencer Nikkie de Jager, while getting half her face made up.

As Adele and Nikkie were discussing how they connected via Instagram DM, the singer explained that for a brief shining moment, she had the controls to her own account. It was unusual, as she’d never had access to her social media accounts before.

Her team, she said, kept her passwords secret because they “were worried if I got drunk or ... annoyed,” she might do “whatever” — and “whatever” wouldn’t be good.

Singer Adele paid tribute to the Notting Hill Carnival, but her Bantu-knot hairstyle and Jamaican-flag bikini top came under fire on Twitter.

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While she had access, she said, she was using Instagram to send “funny memes and stuff” to her “actual friends” via direct messages during lockdown. Then, in late August 2020, she publicly posted that picture — the one she described to Nikkie as a photo that “a lot of people know about.”

Adele had posted the image to mark the dates the Notting Hill Carnival was supposed to take place that year, before it was recast as a virtual event due to the pandemic. The festival, which began amid racial strife in the 1960s, celebrates Caribbean culture. “Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London,” she wrote in the caption.

In the photo, the recently thinner singer was wearing a bikini top made to look like the Jamaican flag and a carnival-inspired headdress found in Afro-Caribbean cultures, with her hair done up in bantu knots, a style with its origin among the Zulu people of southern Africa.

On Instagram Live over the weekend, pop musician Adele sounded off on Beyoncé, Peppa Pig, her son’s birthday, her new album and so much more.

There was backlash, of course, over allegations of cultural appropriation. But others praised her for her weight loss and for being brave enough to post a midriff-baring photo. And people with Jamaican roots said they appreciated Adele for wearing their colors. (On Monday, readers started writing #FreeAdele in the comments of the August 2020 post.)

“It was the only picture I ever posted myself,” Adele said. “And then they took my password away from me again.”

And about that half-made-up face: At the end of the video, the singer got a peek at herself in a mirror and was amazed at the results. One half of her face remained the naked version from the beginning of the video. The other? A full face of makeup, including a nice smoky eye with cat eyeliner and lips done in the singer’s required “wet” lipstick.

Not half bad, Adele.


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