R&B singer D’Angelo (pictured) used his “Saturday Night Live” performance this weekend to bring the murders of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner to the fore, just weeks after his first CD release, which came after a years-long career hiatus that was dogged by persistent rumors of substance abuse and arrests.
The 40-year-old singer performed two singles from Black Messiah, which was released in December, as his backup singers, the Vanguard, wore “#BlackLivesMatter” and “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts, a nod to ongoing protests against police violence in the Black community.
Rolling Stone magazine reports:
For the Black Messiah track, [‘The Charade,”] D’Angelo wore a hoodie to salute Trayvon Martin while the Vanguard donned shirts with the words “I Can’t Breathe,” a tribute to Eric Garner. On the Studio 8H floor laid a chalk outline of a human body, D’Angelo’s nod to the song’s lyrics and Michael Brown.
The deaths of Garner and Brown and the subsequent grand jury decisions not to press charges against police officers in both cases fueled D’Angelo to complete and rush-release Black Messiah, and with his outstanding SNL visit, he delivered his message loudly: “Black Lives Matter.”
Watch D’Angelo perform “The Charade” here:
As aforementioned, D’Angelo has reportedly had some struggles off of the stage: As NewsOne previously reported, the Virginia-born singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist has faced his own troubles with the law. He’s battled drug and alcohol addiction, and in January 2005, he was arrested for marijuana and cocaine possession.
D’Angelo is slated to perform at Harlem’s Apollo Theater on February 7th, before leaving for a month-long tour in Europe.
Watch D’Angelo also perform “Really Love” on “SNL” here: