BET Awards: D’Angelo Gives Triumphant Return Performance

By Carter Maness

D’Angelo, the iconic R&B artist who has largely stayed out of the public eye for over a decade, returned to television with a performance at the BET Awards.

Upon appearing, the entire crowd at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium rose for a standing ovation as the opening notes of his classic “How Does It Feel” filled the room. Twitter users quickly commented that, despite an aged appearance, his silky, soulful voice and talented musicianship had hardly changed over the years.

After the classic, D’Angelo switched to a funky new track that landed somewhere between Stevie Wonder, Sly Stone and a J Dilla-based production from the late ’90s. Leading the way on piano with a wicked chord vamp. D showed-off his instrumental chops, merging rap-tinged R&B with fierce piano soloing.

Many in the crowd remained on their feet, dancing throughout the performance. Even Nicki Minaj, who had performed a few minutes earlier, was shown bopping her head in the front row seated near Kim Kardashian.

For D’Angelo, the return to television followed earlier 2012 dates in Europe and a surprise performance at the Bonnaroo Music Festival. Fans are still anxiously awaiting his follow-up to the 2000 classic Voodoo.

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