It was the British pop star’s third appearance on the long-running US comedy show and saw them play two of their upcoming record’s recent releases.
First, Smith performed the global smash hit “Unholy,” which saw them appear on stage wearing a giant pink feathered coat. Midway through, backing dancers opened the two lapels of the outfit to reveal collaborator Kim Petras sitting at Smith’s feet, at which point she launched into her guest verse.
Later, Smith was joined by a choir for a rendition of the title track, “Gloria,” which was shared last week. The choir shrouded Smith for much of the performance, parting ways for them as the song hit its crescendo.
“Gloria” was written during lockdown and later completed with the help of folk and blues musician Jimmy Napes. The recording that appears on the album was done with the London Voices choir at St Mary’s Church in Saffron Walden, Essex – the church that Smith attended as a child.
Speaking about the latter song upon its release, Smith described it as “filth,” adding: “I’m a sexual person, I like sex. It’s something I’m teaching myself to not be ashamed of. Me and Jessie were basically drunk, drinking whisky in Jamaica, two in the morning, running around absolutely wasted, like two girlfriends having a laugh.”
Next month, “Unholy” could earn the modern British icon another Grammy, with the track in the running for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the ceremony. In 2015, he won Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year for “Stay With Me” and Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Album for In The Lonely Hour.