Alex Clare had to turn down the chance to support Adele because of his religious beliefs.
The ‘Too Close’ hitmaker returned after a five-year hiatus last week with the new single, ‘Why Don’t Ya’, and in a new interview he has opened up about being dropped by Island Records because of his commitments to his Jewish faith.
Alex grew up in a “very, very secular” family and became a Baal teshuva – a Jew from a secular background who becomes religiously observant – ?to Orthodox Judaism in 2015.
And a decade after dropping the 36-year-old singer-songwriter, Island has contacted him to “apologise” after they let Alex go when he had to pull out of a performance for the BBC in observance of the seven-day Sukkot holiday to commemorate the sheltering of the Israelites in the wilderness in October 2011.
A spokesperson told the BBC: “What was said to him 10 years ago was wrong and does not in any way represent our views or policies.”
That same year, the ‘Heaven to Me’ star – who left London for Jerusalem in 2015 – had to decline the chance to open for the ‘Hello’ hitmaker – who has also made a comeback with her new single, ‘Easy On Me’, this month – due to the concerts falling over Passover and Sabbath, which they were “tolerant” of at the time.
On having to reject the Adele gigs, he said: “They thought I was nuts.”
However, after having to miss more opportunities, Alex – who famously dated the late Amy Winehouse – recalled: “They said, ‘It seems like you’re more into your religion than you are into your career,’ and that really wasn’t the case.
“I really was focused on my career, but personal lifestyle choices, whatever they are, haven’t always necessarily been so tolerated. I’m not unique – historically this has been a running theme, not just for Jewish people but anyone who makes commitments elsewhere.”
He added: “When I signed, they knew that that was happening but they didn’t quite understand how serious the rules of keeping the Sabbath [resting from Friday sunset until Saturday sunset] are. And for some reason every piece of promo that came in was seeming to fall on a Friday night or Saturday morning, and I was turning down opportunity after opportunity.”