In a surprise announcement, Lizzo will be the musical guest for “Saturday Night Live” next week, on Dec. 17, which will feature “Elvis” star Austin Butler as host.
Originally announced musical act the Yeah Yeah Yeahs had to cancel their appearance on the show due to guitarist Nick Zimmer’s battle with pneumonia.
“As many of our fans know, Nick has been sick with pneumonia the past month and it’s been an up and down recovery process,” the group wrote on Instagram. “The band’s top priority is supporting Nick through a full recovery. As a result we had to pull out of from our engagements at KROQ’s Acoustic Christmas and Saturday Night Live.”
Lizzo will become the second musical guest on “SNL” to assume that role twice this year, following Brandi Carlile’s second appearance of 2022 Saturday night. In April, Lizzo hosted as well as performed during the music slots..
Lizzo is fresh off a victorious performance at Madison Square Garden at Z100’s iHeartRadio Jingle Ball, where she dressed like the Grinch for a set that included hits “Good as Hell” and “About Damn Time.” She shared a photo of her look on Instagram with the caption “100% That Grinch.”
“About That Time” was recently honored as Variety‘s Hitmakers Record of the Year.
“It’s a dance song with these super-emotional lyrics, where you can tell this person’s been through some shit,” Lizzo told Variety in an interview about her new “Love, Lizzo” documentary. As the classically trained flutist expertly broke down the song’s components (“There’s a lot of tension” in a chord that’s “somewhere between major and minor,” she explained), pausing to consider the bigger picture.
“That’s the power of understanding music theory and understanding songwriting the way that I do,” she said. “It can’t all be happy and it can’t all be sad. You’ve got to give the listener a real human experience when they’re listening to the song, which is a mixture of pleasure, pain, joy, sadness, fear, release.”
The upbeat, disco-tinged anthem reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as Adult Top 40, Dance/Mix Show Airplay, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Mainstream Top 40 and Rhythmic Airplay. After its release in April, the song gained steady momentum on TikTok, thanks to a sassy dance made by creator Jaeden Gomez. “About Damn Time” captured the No. 1 spot in July.
“It was a great song to begin with, but I really believe that the TikTok moment and the choreography behind it going viral definitely helped take it over the top,” sai Theron Thomas, who helped pen the track.
Slatkin agreed, saying the song was inspired by coming out of quarantine — in other words, it was about damn time to dance. “We wanted to make something that immediately transports you to the dance floor the second you hear it,” he said. “I love that it took off with a TikTok dance trend, because that’s exactly what we wanted — to see everyone happy and dancing.”
Slatkin cited Lizzo’s exacting standards as a big part of why “About Damn Time” performed so well. “It was four months of almost every single day being in the studio, getting that song perfect,” he said.
“The song is happy and positive and confident,” Reed added, “but I think it also says, ‘Look, we’ve been going through it, and we’re still going through it.’ There’s a lot of challenges out here right now.”
“That’s the power of understanding music theory and understanding songwriting the way that I do,” she says. “It can’t all be happy and it can’t all be sad. You’ve got to give the listener a real human experience when they’re listening to the song, which is a mixture of pleasure, pain, joy, sadness, fear, release.”
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