We all know Adele has a way with words — both in song and in interviews — but in her cheeky speech Thursday morning (Dec. 7) at The Hollywood Reporter‘s Women in Entertainment breakfast, she warned the crowd that she’s “not really a motivational words kinda gal.”
“I’m just gonna be upfront about it straightaway,” she said as she accepted the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award. “I’m also not really a speeches kind of gal. They’re really not my f—ing forte. I can’t. When I’m nervous, I swear. Forgive me. I’m British, what can I say?”
It might be hard to convince the room of Hollywood power players gathered at the Beverly Hills Hotel that Adele is not a “speeches kind of gal” after she gave an equal-parts heartfelt and riotous one on Thursday, poking fun at the early call time (“It’s an absolute honor to be here today in full f—ing glam at 8 a.m.”) while paying tribute to the industry trailblazing women who preceded her (“It’s because of them that I have every right to be the boss at work and the boss at home”).
The event also brought together two music powerhouses who one might assume had crossed paths before. “I finally got to meet Dua Lipa!” Adele said in her speech. “A bit starstruck. Absolutely love her. Fellow Londoner.” She also joked about the height of the microphone onstage and invoked her fellow pop star’s name. “It’s hard with this microphone, isn’t it, Dua?” she said. “We’re very, very tall — like supermodels. Well you are, I’m not — but anyway!”
Previous Sherry Lansing Award recipient Helen Mirren presented Adele with the honor, recalling the first time she heard the song “Hometown Glory” from Adele’s 2008 debut album 19 and “a shiver went down my back. That chill that comes just a few times in your life, when you realize you are listening to a brilliant and game-changing new artist. And I thought, ‘Wow, a goddess walks amongst us.’”
Kerry Washington was also honored at the event, receiving the Equity in Entertainment Award from Ariana DeBose. And the most touching aspect of the program was when Dua Lipa, Camila Cabello and others helped present more than $1 million in scholarships to high school seniors who are part of THR’s Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program. “The scholarships had me in floods of tears,” Adele said to start her speech.
Watch Adele’s full speech and see Dua Lipa’s photos from the event below: