Music News

Babyface talks Super Bowl performance, working with SZA and more

Todd Williamson/NBC

Babyface took the Super Bowl field on Sunday to perform an acoustic rendition of “America the Beautiful.” Fresh off the stage, he spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about his feelings before and after the performance.

“I feel relieved — now I can breathe,” he said. “Before it was moments of nervousness and then I’d be chill and then I’d get a little nervous again. Right before they introduced me [I was like], ‘Oh sh**, there it is.’ I just have to be chill and just try to concentrate on the song.”

“You know the words, but it’s a different kind of song. It’s not something that you sing every day and you’re on the spot,” he continued. “If you go wrong in this, you go wrong forever. I’m thankful that we made it through it good.”

Babyface, who debuted in 1981 alongside his R&B group The Deele, says he didn’t see the opportunity coming. “It’s such an honor to be here,” he said. “I was honored that Roc Nation and Jay-Z thought I was worthy of doing it. It’s great.”

Forty years later, his discography includes his own songs, as well as collaborations with Whitney Houston, who he says “was always fun” and “silly,” BeyoncéToni BraxtonBoyz II MenMary J. BligeTLC and Usher.

Babyface also worked with SZA on “Snooze,” which is featured on her latest album, SOS. He revealed that they have an unreleased song that he hopes will still come out.

“SZA is great. We worked on two songs, actually. Hopefully one day she’ll let us put out that other song, but she’s amazing,” he said. “I don’t know any artist that’s like her, male or female. She is truly one of the best that I’ve ever written with.”


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