One unexpected moment at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, besides Bonnie Raitt winning Song of the Year, came when host Trevor Noah surprised Adele by introducing her to a celebrity she loves and had never met: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Johnson tells Variety that moment was 100% not scripted — Adele really didn't know about it.
“We wanted to do something special for Adele,” Johnson tells Variety. “I know that she is a very big fan of mine and has made that clear publicly many times. But I’ve got to tell you, I am a huge fan of hers, as well — her music, her journey, her openness and directness in how she speaks. I’ve always admired that about her.”
Johnson was initially set to attend the taping of Adele's CBS special in 2021. He couldn't make it, so he sent her flowers instead, which Adele later said made her "nearly fall off my chair." That show's producer, Ben Winston, is also the producer of the Grammys, so when Johnson confirmed that he and his wife would attend the show, Winston pitched him on the idea.
"We had kicked around ideas all week,” Johnson says. "The key to a surprise like that is to actually keep it a surprise. Myself and the Grammys went to great lengths to make sure that Adele was authentically surprised in the moment, and she was.”
Johnson says later that evening nobody was more surprised than he was when he gave out the Record of the Year award and Adele's name was in the envelope.
"That’s why I was able to say, ‘Get up here best friend, Adele!’" he explains. "It was such a special night. And she’s such a special, iconic, brilliant, inspiring artist ... I love that woman."