Nathaniel Rateliff Makes His ‘Saturday Night Live’ Debut With Two Powerful Performances [WATCH]
Nathaniel Rateliff made his Saturday Night Live debut on Saturday night (Feb. 13). The folk singer-songwriter performed two songs while serving as the musical guest during a Regina King-hosted episode of the late-night television sketch comedy show.
Rateliff's first song was "Redemption," a song he wrote and recorded for the Apple TV+ drama film Palmer at the behest of actor and fellow musician Justin Timberlake, one of the movie's stars, and director Fisher Stevens. The artist began the song solo, accompanying himself on electric guitar as he stood under a tent of light beams, before a trio of backup singers and the full band joined in.
"After watching the film, the melody and the opening line came to me immediately. But it wasn't until I had a conversation with Justin that helped me to put the song together," Rateliff explains of how he wrote "Redemption." "He said the film was about redemption. I saw that in the characters and did my best to add that to the final scene."
For his second song, Rateliff selected "A Little Honey," a solo-written cut from his band Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats' 2018 album Tearing at the Seams. The R&B-influenced song was a perfect pick to begin Valentine's Day: "I need you, baby / More than you'll ever, ever know," he sang.
After nearly a decade and a half of fame within the Denver, Colol, music scene, Rateliff rose to national fame with the Night Sweats in 2015, with the No. 1 single "S.O.B." The band's "You Worry Me" and "Hey Mama" also topped Billboard's Adult Alternative Songs chart, as did Rateliff's solo song "And It's Still Alright."
Rateliff, a Missouri native, released his most recent album, a solo project titled And It's Still Alright, in 2020. The record earned an Album of the Year nomination at the 2020 Americana Honors & Awards.
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