Adele and grime rapper Stormzy were among the British stars who paid tribute to the victims of the devastating Grenfell fire on the third anniversary of the London blaze, which took the lives of 72 people.
“I want to send my love to all of you today, and let you know that I’m thinking of you, as I always do,” said Adele, 32, on Sunday (June 14).
“Even though we’re having to do this in the virtual world, online, on 2020 Zoom life as it is, it’s still so important for us to mourn together and for us to remember that night and to reflect on that and also reflect on where we are now with that, also to celebrate the lives that were lived before they were sadly taken that night,” she said.
More than anything, during this difficult year, Adele said there has never been a more appropriate time to exercise “camaraderie, and compassion, and open-mindedness, and persistence,” including persistence for answers to what caused the fire and action to prevent such a disaster from happening again.
“It’s a scientific fact that human beings are pack animals, we’re not supposed to be left on our own,” she said during the nearly two-hour Remember Grenfell online event. “We need each other to survive, and that is something that I truly see in action with the Grenfell community.”
The singer said she’s never been “so moved or so inspired” by a group of people before, saying their resilience is second to none. Mostly, she was sad she could not be with the group due to the COVID-19 restrictions. “I’m so sad that we’re not all together today because although it’s always a very somber event when everyone gets together, it’s also beautiful and the kids running around — I can’t wait to hear all about them,” she said. “And I know that before the anniversary next year that we can all do that and I can’t wait. I can’t wait to be there and I can’t wait to see all of you.”
Stormzy, another vocal advocate for the victims and impacted families, also offered his thoughts during the event commemorating the June 2017 fire, one of the UK’s worst modern disasters. Speaking from his heart with no notes, he said, “To all the people of Grenfell, we’re still mourning with you, so to anyone watching this let’s use this time, let’s use today to stand in solidarity with them and say that we ain’t forgotten you. We love you, we’re here for you. When the governments and powers that be have turned their back on you, we’re here. We’re here, we’ve got you, we remember, we’re not letting this go.”
Even as the rest of us have moved on, the rapper said that those who were impacted by the fire live in that “dark reality” every day. “To the people of Grenfell, I’m so upset that this pandemic is the reason we can’t be together today,” he added. “You inspire me because you have managed to remain so resilient in the face of the darkest tragedy that people should never experience.”
The event also featured Mumford & Sons’ Marcus Mumford performing a solo acoustic version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
Among the others offering their support on Sunday were Rita Ora, Liam Payne, the Charlatans’ Tim Burgess and Anne Marie.
Watch Adele’s statement (beginning at 12:56), the Mumford (40:57) performance and Stormzy’s statement (50:00) below, and check out the supportive tweets from other musicians.