Lizzo pulled double duty on the April 16 episode of "Saturday Night Live," but the Grammy Award winner didn't break a sweat as she toggled between her roles as host and musical guest (although she did break character). When it came time for her musical performances, Lizzo performed two songs from her long-awaited new album, "Special" — which is set for a July 15 release — for an enthusiastic "SNL" audience. First up, she performed her disco-esque new single, "About Damn Time," and then she debuted the album's titular song, "Special," in an emotional performance that made it clear how personal the anthem to perseverance is for the singer.
The two vastly different performances seemed designed to show off the "Truth Hurts" singer's impressive range. For "About Damn Time," she donned a sparkly yellow ensemble and was joined by her backup dancers, the Big Grrls, as she sang the upbeat bop about healing. "Turn up the music, turn down the lights/ I got a feelin' I'm goin' be alright," she sang before breaking out her flute.
However, "Special" was the standout of the night. Lizzo previously shared a snippet of the song on TikTok, but this marked the touching ballad's official debut. Fittingly, she had her mom, Shari Johnson-Jefferson, introduce her before she launched into her soulful performance. From the opening lines, it was immediately clear the song is as much about the singer's personal experience as it is about reminding her listeners that they're all special in their own way.
The song begins with: "Woke up this morning to somebody in a video/ Talking about something I posted in a video/ If it wasn't me, would you even get offended?/ Or is it just because I'm Black and heavy, you don't hear me though . . . / Famous, pretty, new, but I've been used to people judging me."
In a recent interview with Zane Lowe on Apple's "New Music Daily," Lizzo opened up about drawing on her own fears and turning them into positives for the songs on her new album. "I had a lot of fear, and I had to do the work on myself, and this music is some of that work in turning that fear into love," she explained. "I hope that when people listen to this album, it makes their day just a little bit better, a little bit more filled with love."
Check out Lizzo's "SNL" performances ahead.