ADELE sensationally cancelled her world tour on Friday night, amid fears she may never sing again.
The “devastated” star was forced to indefinitely postpone her final two Wembley performances after pushing her voice to the brink during a punishing 123-date tour.
Insiders told how she is now terrified the damage is permanent.
The Tottenham-born diva has previously battled to overcome vocal issues after she suffered a throat haemorrhage in 2011.
The injury forced her to cancel a US tour to undergo surgery.
In the aftermath of the operation, she had to teach herself how to sing again — and luckily for her millions of fans, she succeeded.
But after the op, she was warned that more damage could be done if she placed her voice under a similar amount of stress again.
We can reveal that in the run-up to the final gigs, Adele had suffered bronchitis, which can wreck singing voices when not rested.
On Thursday night she told the Wembley crowd: “It feels like I’ve got a dead rat in my throat.”
Speaking after her vocal op in 2012, Adele said: “My voice has its limits. If I go on a 200-date world tour, it would happen again.”
The singer pulled out of her final two gigs, delivering the bad news in a lengthy message to fans.
The letter posted on Twitter after the second of her four London shows and emailed to ticketholders for the cancelled gigs, read: “I’ve struggled vocally both nights.
“I went to see my throat doctor this evening because my voice didn’t open up at all today and it turns out I have damaged my vocal cords.
“And on medical advice I simply am unable to perform.
“To say I’m heartbroken would be a complete understatement.”
The singer, who said she was “maxed out on steroids”, also confessed she had even considering miming on stage to avoid pulling out altogether.
But she went on: “I have never done that, and I cannot in a million years do that to you. It wouldn’t be the real me. I’m sorry.
“I’m sorry for the nights you would have had with your loved ones and the memories you would have made together.”
Adele promised to give fans their money back if the dates could not be rescheduled.
She ended the note, saying: “I’m sorry. I love you. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me. X”
The last-minute cancellation left thousands of fans devastated, especially as just days earlier, Adele had hinted in another note in her concert programme that she might never tour again.
She wrote: “So this is it. After 15 months on the road and 18 months of 25 we are at the end.
“Touring is a peculiar thing and it doesn’t suit me particularly well.
“I only ever did this for you. I wanted my final shows to be in London because I don’t know if I’ll ever tour again so I want my last time to be at home.”
Last night, Adele’s team feared she may have paid a far more serious price for her epic world tour than she realised.
Our source told us: “Adele was desperate to do the tour for her fans and her team did everything they could to protect her voice.
“The dates were spaced out so she could recover between shows, and she followed a plan put in place by vocal coaches to the letter.
“But when she struggled in the earlier gigs — even admitting at one point her throat felt like it had ‘a dead rat in it’ — she pushed right through the pain, and that may have done irreversible damage.
“In her camp, the fear is not that she won’t tour again. The fear is that she won’t be able to sing again.”
We’re sending our best wishes to our favourite down-to-earth diva.
Whether we see her onstage again in three weeks, years or decades, it would be a tragedy to never hear her belt out another ballad.
FANS’ £9MILLION BOMBSHELL
ADELE said the 150,000 fans with tickets would be refunded if she could not reschedule shows – but many will still end up losing out.
One fan said on Twitter: “£1,340 out of pocket to not see @Adele tonight. I do understand but can’t afford to travel again to London.”
Tickets cost a minimum of £45, with the total costs in the region of £9m. But refunds will not cover travel and accommodation costs – or higher prices paid to touts.
Russ has it oil sorted
CHAMPAGNE socialist RUSSELL BRAND loves to bang the drum for the poor at every chance he gets.
But we hear the anti-capitalist star and his fiancée LAURA GALLACHER spent last Saturday at the plush spa in Peckforton Castle, Cheshire.
And to avoid rubbing shoulders with fellow spa-goers (plebs), Russ spent “between £3,000 and £5,000” to hire the whole retreat.
The couple also stayed in an £800-a-night lodge at the resort where footballer JAMIE VARDY and US singer CIARA held their weddings. When Russell stages his revolution, he’ll have the ideal HQ.
Anne ‘N’ Ed to ink up
ANNE-MARIE was showing off a new “forgiveness” tattoo when we met her at the O2 Silver Clef Awards this week.
And the singer is planning to follow the inking with one inspired by ED SHEERAN.
Anne-Marie, with Laura said: “I’m getting people who have taught me something in my life to write that word down then getting it tattooed.
“So forgiveness is from my best friend, and I also have trust. I’m going to get Ed to write down ‘modesty’ and I’m going to get that done.”
It’ll be a while before Anne-Marie is as inked up as Etch-a-Sketch Ed.
ONE SLIP AND MICK IS DAN FOR
Troubled Danny Dyer fears he’s one gaffe away from EastEnders axe after booze benders and affair with Sarah Harding
JONNY’S BEEN ROTTEN BEFORE
Love Island rat Jonny Mitchell dumped his fiancée just MONTHS before their wedding – and his ex is not surprised by his TV antics
Real Housewives of Cheshire’s Ester Dee has reconciled with her husband… after he bought her a new car
RI-RI’S OSCAR WISH
Rihanna dreams of winning the Oscar for Best Actress — and insists she wasn’t a diva on set ahead of the release of her new sci-fi film
Kerry Katona splits from her third husband George Kay amid claims he was ‘sick of being nanny to her kids’
KATE LOOKS RIO GRAND
Ex-Towie star Kate Wright, 26, shows off her curves in cream bikini from her swimwear range
X-tra tight security
THIS year’s Britain’s Got Talent was guarded by Taser-toting cops amid fears of a terror threat.
Now we hear X Factor bosses have beefed up security.
Our sources say venues hosting filming for the ITV talent show have taken on extra security staff, equipped with metal detectors.
Airport-style body scanners are in use, too.
One source told us: “The bosses are acutely aware that they are responsible for everyone on site, and they are taking that incredibly seriously.”
Alex top of bops
WE HEAR that Strictly’s first signing for this year’s series is chart-topper ALEXANDRA BURKE.
The former X Factor star – who we cheered to victory on the ITV show back in 2008 – has gone on to have a successful career in the West End.
But now she is heading for rival organisation the BBC after casting directors approached her.
Our ballroom insider said: “Alex loves theatre, but she wants to relaunch her TV career. This seems the perfect way for her to do it.
“She has heard a lot about how great the experience is and can’t wait to get started. She is already working hard on her fitness.”
When we approached Alex’s reps, they said coyly that it is “nice” to be linked to the BBC show.
We doubt the X Factor team will be quite so happy when they read this.