Many might call R&B singer SZA a "rising artist," but here at the Refinery29 office, we were on the edges of our seats throughout the entire BET Awards, anticipating the moment the singer took the stage even more than some of the "bigger" names. Many of us have long been fans of her EPs, and we're all obsessed with her new album CTRL, so I just knew as soon as she hit the stage, she was going to do the damn thing. Unfortunately, things didn't exactly go according to plan.
As we heard the first notes of SZA's "Love Galore" and the curtains began to rise, suddenly we heard a male voice saying "Keep going!" SZA kept singing, then was cut off...and suddenly we just heard a few seriously awkward moments of silence.
I immediately slapped my forehead on behalf of SZA. Simply: She deserved better. CTRL is the album the Black women of her generation have been waiting for, a record that finally gives us permission to be ourselves, nurse our broken hearts, and flip the bird to the fuckbois in our lives. (And be fuckgirls ourselves, if we so please.) She's also got a sound, vibe, and look all her own, so it was incredibly disappointing when she got anything less than the royal treatment during one of her first major live performances.
Black Twitter agreed, obvi.
Okay, okay, I get it. Technical difficulties happen, so I can't completely blame BET. But the best part of it all was that despite being a somewhat green live performer, SZA showed us exactly why she's the next big star. She didn't let the mistake phase her. In fact, she did the complete opposite: She came back on that stage and slayed. Her angelic voice soared through the venue as she belted out "Love Galore," and she followed up with a goosebump-raising rendition of "The Weekend," sounding just like she does (dare I say, even better?) on the album.
Twitter gave SZA her props, too.
One of the truest tests of an entertainer is how they perform under pressure, so I was proud of my girl for doing the damn thing. Hopefully she'll have better luck with the next awards show. And then hopefully, the tour! In the meantime, I'll be playing CTRL on repeat.