D’Angelo to Perform on ‘SNL’ for the First Time

Courtesy of Gregory Harris / GQ
Courtesy of Gregory Harris / GQ

D’Angelo has been confirmed as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live on January 31st. This will be D’Angelo‘s first television performance in years. The last time he performed was at the 2012 BET Awards, and he also appeared at the Essence Music Festival the same year. This will also mark D’Angelo’s first time on Saturday Night Live. Academy Award nominee J.K. Simmons will host the Saturday Night Live episode. 

The R&B singer and his backing band, the Vanguard, booked their first US headline show since the release of Black Messiah. The show will take place at New York’s Apollo Theater on February 7th. The singer will kick off his 17-date European tour in Zurich, Switzerland on February 11th. The tour entitled The Second Coming Tour will conclude on March 7th. Tickets for the February 7th show will go on sale tomorrow. D’Angelo released Black Messiah on December 15th, putting an end to his fourteen-year hiatus. During his fourteen-year solo album hiatus, D’Angelo was featured on several hip-hop albums such as Snoop Dogg‘s Tha Blue Carpet Treatment (2006), Common‘s Finding Forever (2007) and Q-Tip‘s The Renaissance in 2008. Despite his long absence, D’Angelo’s fans remained loyal to the singer, and his album debuted at Number 5 on the Billboard 200 charts. Black Messiah also sold more than 117,000 copies in its first week, and peaked at Number 1 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. 

According to the New York Times, the singer decided to release his album in late 2015, but the controversial decisions in the Mike Brown and Eric Garner cases promoted him to release the album earlier than expected. The surprise release caused a great deal of pandemonium on the Internet, similar to the uproar Beyoncé‘s self-titled surprise release in 2013 caused. D’Angelo’s project received rave reviews from music critics, including a review from The Guardian journalist, Paul Lester. “‘Black Messiah’ is as much a political work as it is a restatement of faith in the principles and sounds of pre-digital era of black music,” Lester went on to compare the album to Marvin Gaye‘s What’s Going On album.