Her performance was an inspired tribute.
Lizzo dazzled on her SNL debut this weekend, but fans might have noticed another source of energy and talent emanating from next to the "Truth Hurts" singer as she belted out her tunes.
That would be Celisse Henderson, who shredded on guitar as Lizzo sang.
Lizzo: Truth Hurts (Live) - SNL www.youtube.com
Henderson is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who is a member of the band Ghosts of the Forest. She took center stage during Lizzo's performance, adding a layer of gritty, bluesy rock to the unbelievably catchy song about getting over a man who doesn't deserve you.
Henderson styled her look and guitar after the legendary Sister Rosetta Tharpe, whose gospel and blues recordings were instrumental in shaping rock and roll. As one of the first guitarists to use distortion, she inspired many blues and rock players, and her voice and stage presence helped make her a star.
Seeing Lizzo's pristine, very 21st-century pop mixed with a tribute to one of the greatest rock and roll guitarists of all time gave scope and depth to the performance and helped make it the unforgettable showstopper that it was.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Up Above My Head www.youtube.com
Did you catch the reference? #sisterrosettatharpe #Lizzo #snl https://t.co/tcCBw29dlt— Celisse (@Celisse)1577001541.0
Celisse paid tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe last night. She rules. Rosetta Tharpe basically INVENTED rock and r… https://t.co/Nivifb04Aq— Alex Boniello (@Alex Boniello)1577077583.0
Welp, that just ruled. #lizzo https://t.co/xF4A72NzW3— Celisse (@Celisse)1577000477.0
For those of you asking what was on the 🎸 strap on Saturday night, it was this... @lizzo @gucci @nbcsnl… https://t.co/8IIX3fu9Su— Celisse (@Celisse)1577116478.0
Celisse Henderson - Stuck On You Blues | Sofar NYC www.youtube.com
Lizzo, who took to the stage covered in head-to-toe Gucci and hit stratospheric notes from start to finish, also posted a heart-warming tribute to her journey.
On the left was when I worked for liberty taxes, as a sign spinner... on the right is my @nbcsnl debut. Don’t sto… https://t.co/pZ0QR8QO3o— Feelin Good As Hell (@Feelin Good As Hell)1577036633.0
Between Henderson's masterful guitar playing, Lizzo's unbelievable pipes and stage presence, and the dancers that lit up the stage, it was a performance to remember.
I never paid attention to or heard an @lizzo song before. Watching her and guitarist on #SNL I connected the dots.… https://t.co/6T4u45m5vI— sheldontaylor (@sheldontaylor)1577075254.0
Lizzo's sets were highlights of Eddie Murphy's star-studded, highly acclaimed, and hilarious SNL episode, which also braided tributes to icons of the past (like Gumby, dammit) with very modern humor.
Eddie Murphy Monologue - SNL www.youtube.com
- Celisse (@celissemusic) • Instagram photos and videos ›
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The hit musical will drop on Disney+ July 3rd.
Lin Manuel-Miranda's Hamilton has taken the theater world by storm since its 2015 Broadway premiere.
A hip-hop musical about America's founding fathers doesn't sound immediately appealing, but Manuel-Miranda's brilliant song writing and diverse casting not only captured the attention of audiences, but proved that major change is possible within an art form as encumbered by traditions as musical theater.
This man is not well.
When Pete Davidson avoids wearing stage makeup on Saturday Night Live, it's a decision that I respect, but it concerns me.
Davidson has always rocked a sultry, exhausted, baggy-eyed look, but lately things seem to have spiraled out of control.
Whenever Davidson goes notably absent from SNL, he'll reappear with jokes about getting lost inside Stranger Things' Upside Down. He'll then emerge in his usual spot as a guest on Weekend Update alongside Colin Jost (who appears to be glowing with health in comparison, perhaps because he's married to a tree).
Throughout it all, I can never stop thinking about the sheer size and scope of the vast plum-colored shadows that surround Davidson's eyes. Like black holes or those doorways to the Upside Down, they almost resemble portals to other worlds.
Let's be clear: I'm a fan of Pete Davidson's appearance (against the majority of my better judgment). You have to admit that there's something to the super-tall, bleach-blonde, white-toothed, tattooed, I'm-clinging-to-life-by-the-smallest-thread aesthetic that he so effortlessly displays.
Or there once was. Now, Pete appears to be seriously pushing the boundaries between heroin chic and vampire who's gone vegan to save the planet. Since seeing him on the show, I haven't been able to sleep because I can't stop thinking about how little he's probably slept in the past few weeks. If anything, all this has only made my Pete Davidson obsession worse.
Ariana Grande - pete davidson (Audio) www.youtube.com
Weekend Update: Pete Davidson on Sexually Transmitted Diseases - SNL www.youtube.com
Sometimes I do wonder why I and so many others are attracted to Pete Davidson and similarly bedraggled, frequently bedridden types. There's that old, mostly incorrect stereotype that argues that women are only drawn to bad boys, but even if that stereotype were true, Davidson isn't exactly a James Dean or Ted Bundy. So why do we (and by we I mean me, Ariana Grande, Kate Beckinsale, and probably you, if you've read this far) love him so much?
Pete Davidson scholarship is a growing field, so there are plenty of theories. It could be the BDE, but some thinkers propose that Davidson is so alluring simply because he seems like a genuinely nice guy. Perhaps all his frank openness about his disorders, illnesses, and marijuana addiction make him seem honest, like the kind of guy who wouldn't, say, assault women and then lie about it.
Context could also have something to do with it. Urban Dictionary defines the Pete Davidson Effect as "when women are influenced by their peers in determining if a man is attractive or not."
There's also the innate impulse I have to try to help him, an impulse that I've intellectually transcended but that still lurks in my subconscious, rearing up like a recurring dream. This is absolutely the same impulse that Bailey Gismert, the teenage girl played by Heidi Gardner who appeared later on Weekend Update, thinks she could probably "help the Joker." (Davidson even connected himself to the Joker while on Weekend Update, saying, "And by the way Colin, I don't know if you've seen The Joker, but I think you should start being way nicer to me.")
Weekend Update: Bailey Gismert on Fall 2019 Movies - SNLwww.youtube.com
And perhaps this impulse is connected to an even more misguided and more deeply buried belief that some of us have that says if we only find someone more messed up than we are, we will gain the empathy and understanding that we really should have given to ourselves all along.
Or perhaps it's more. Perhaps Davidson's popularity and continued resonance are indicative of some kind of existential millennial/Gen-Z exhaustion, narrowly hidden under the guise of nihilistic meme-inspired humor—or could it be nothing at all?
In the end, Pete Davidson's dark eye circles have reminded me that I cannot save Pete Davidson or the Pete Davidsons of this life (only structural healthcare reform and a new form of religion that reintegrates meaning into our existence can do that job). I can only love them from afar, write articles about them on the Internet, and convince myself that I'm only ironically listening to "thank u, next." Unless...
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