Over the weekend, Taraji P. Henson turned the iconic Saturday Night Live stage into a simulated church service, complete with an accompanying choir.
“I spent so many years hustling in this business and now, I’m here, so I guess you can say I made it. Hallelujah!” she said, before grabbing a microphone and breaking out into a charismatic performance fit for Sunday Morning.
Only the 10th woman of color to host SNL in its 40 year history, Henson, 44, delivered a bold, vocally solid and high energy opening from Studio 8H at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
“Used to tip 5, but now it’s 30 percent,” she sang, as an 8-member choral ensemble, adorned in purple and gold robes, sang in perfect harmony, “Cause she made it.”
The lyrics of the show opener listed a number of undesirable things Henson once did before her success in her role as Cookie on Empire. It also included scenarios detailing what she could have currently been doing were it not for her hit show.
The actress, who has been in the business 20 years, belted, “Oh yes I made it! Almost sold my organs just to pay the rent.”
The background vocalists followed up with “Still got her kidneys!”—because, well, she made it, of course.
Though the exuberant musical selection was rehearsed and humorous at its core, Henson’s genuine sense of joy and appreciation shone through the shenanigans typical of SNL opening monologues.
“Now listen,” Henson said mid-song, “instead of worrying about where we want to be, how about we try to be thankful for where we’re not. Think about all the things we could be doing right now.”
She then added, “We’re blessed. Somebody better testify!”
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SOURCE: EEW Magazine