Adele’s latest Instagram post is stirring controversy and has the internet divided.
On Sunday, the British pop star shared a photo in tribute to Notting Hill Carnival, which celebrates Caribbean and Black culture in the U.K. In the picture, presumably taken at last year’s celebration, the singer wore a bikini top with the Jamaican flag, black and white tye-dye leggings and yellow wings. She also had her hair in Bantu knots, which is a traditional African hairstyle.
“Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London 🇬🇧🇯🇲,” she captioned the post for the Carnival, which is being celebrated virtually this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Backlash and Criticism
Though Adele seemingly posted the picture with intentions of celebrating West Indian culture, people across social media took issue with the star’s appearance in the picture. Eve accusing her of cultural appropriation. Shortly after posting the pic, Adele got both meme’d and dragged on social media.
Ernest Owens wrote on Twitter, “If 2020 couldn’t get anymore bizarre, Adele is giving us Bantu knots and cultural appropriation that nobody asked for. This officially marks all of the top white women in pop as problematic. Hate to see it.”
Others took offense with Adele’s Jamaican bikini top. “Dear white people, please just be yourselves and stop it for good with cultural appropriation. Adele the bantu knots were unnecessary. The Jamaican flag bikini top was unnecessary… Please just stop it,” another follower wrote.
“This seems a strange thing for Americans to now get offended about”
However, the singer’s loyal fans came to her rescue defending Adele’s intentions. “The Notting Hill Carnival that takes place at this time of year is a celebration of West Indies heritage in London/UK. Adele grew up in Tottenham, one of the largest Jamaican diasporas in the UK. This seems a strange thing for Americans to now get offended about,” wrote a follower.
Some even clarified that Adele’s act was culture appreciation and not appropriation. “WE LOVE SEEING OUR FLAG EVERYWHERE!!!!” one person insisted in the comments. “This made me smile. It shows the impact my little island has on the whole world. How influential we truly are.”
Another wrote, “If you see this Adele, just know that not a single Jamaican or any other TRUE Caribbean is offended. Especially not during a carnival. Live your best life beauty! TUN UP! And Big up yuhself yes!!!”
“Adele was surrounded by Jamaican Culture while growing up in Tottenham”
Other fans took to Twitter to point out to Adele’s critics that she was surrounded by Jamaican culture while growing up in Tottenham. And has always been a supporter of the Notting Hill Carnival.
The star was born in Tottenham before moving with her mother Penny Adkins to Brighton at the age of nine. In 1999, at the age of 11 she and her mother moved back to London. First to Brixton, then to the neighboring district of West Norwood in south London. Which is the subject of her first song Hometown Glory.
When Celebrities came to her defense
Adele’s fans weren’t the only ones who had her back. The singer’s celebrity friends also reached out to show their love and support for the british crooner.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell, whose mother was born in Jamaica, commented on Adele’s Instagram photo with two love heart emojis and two pictures of the Jamaican flag. Actress Zoe Saldana also commented, telling the singer ‘you look right at home guurrrl!’
Joining in defense of Adele was DJ Ace and singer Alexandra Burke, who was a guest on the DJ’s Carnival tribute show on BBC Radio 1Xtra on Monday morning. Ace said, ‘I love the picture, I don’t care what people say. Big up to Adele for breaking the internet. As a Jamaican girl myself, my girl has grown up in black culture. People forget she’s from Tottenham. She probably eats jerk chicken all the time like all of us. All I’m saying is the girl looked good, leave her. Allow her man. If Popcaan is going to endorse it and say yes my girl, you’re wearing the flag and you’re wearing it well. Let her live her best life, leave her alone. We love Adele.”
“For more than 50 years carnival has been a statement that Black Lives Matter”
Notting Hill Carnival is one of London’s most popular annual events and would have taken place this weekend had the coronavirus pandemic not struck. Its origins date back to the 60s when it first took place to celebrate Caribbean culture. However this year the celebrations have been moved online for the first time, due to the pandemic.
On Saturday, the carnival’s executive director, Matthew Phillip, released a statement about the significance of the event in 2020, despite it being held online.
“For more than 50 years carnival has been a statement that Black Lives Matter,” he said. “That’s normal practice for us, it’s not something that we’re just jumping on now because of the current global climate and what’s going on. Carnival has been making these statements for 50 years.”
“I think this is a good way of showing that we have something to contribute, something that is positive.” He added, referencing the worldwide unrest over racial injustice and police brutality that ignited in May with the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
New Music: “It’ll be ready when it’s ready”
While the star has laid low this year, many are eagerly awaiting her next album. According to reports, In February 2020 Adele was performing at her friend Laura Dockrill’s wedding when she told the crowd to “expect my album in September.”
However, Adele’s manager Jonathan Dickins recently confirmed that her new music has been delayed indefinitely. “It isn’t coming in September, it’ll be ready when it’s ready,” Dickins revealed. “We’re all in the same boat, you’re doing stuff and then all of a sudden, the world stops. It’ll come when it’s ready. I can’t put a date on that yet. We have music, but we’re still working.”