D'Angelo performs at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Tennessee
Crowds at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival were privy to a very special treat when R&B singer D’Angelo took the stage for the first time since 2000. The singer proceeded to perform a 90-minute set that included songs such as Jimi Hendrix’s "Have You Ever Been to Electric Ladyland," Parliament Funkadelic’s "Funky Dollar Bill," Led Zeppelin’s "What Is and What Should Never Be" and The Beatles’ "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window."
During the show, D’Angelo swapped between playing the keyboard and the guitar, but remained visibly reserved throughout most of the performance. He only interacted with the crowd once during the end of the set, when he asked: "Do y’all want us to go home yet?"
A great supporter of D’Angelo’s comeback was his friend Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, who introduced D’Angelo following his own Superjam session at the festival, and claims that he wanted to prove that D’Angelo still had the talent he was once renowned for.
"I wanted him to see that," Thompson said
. "That’s a green light. Me doing it wasn’t, like, running out of jam partners. Me doing it was basically showing him, ‘Look, you are so missed you don’t even realise how much you are missed,’ hoping that this will be the adrenaline boost that will finally get him to turn his record into the label. It’s done, it’s brilliant. I played on it. I know it’s brilliant. Now it’s just time to let his kids go and show it to the world. That’s what I’m here for."
D’Angelo has been notably absent from the music scene since 2000 when he wrapped up his renowned Voodoo Tour. Despite the success of the tour which is still remembered as one of the greatest live music shows in history, D’Angelo began to suffer from the effects of fame.
On the last day of the famout tour, Thompson recalls
D’Angelo telling him:
"Yo man, I cannot wait until this fucking tour is over. I'm going to go in the woods, drink some hooch, grow a beard, and get fat. I was like, 'You're a funny guy.' And then it started to happen. That's how much he wanted to distance himself."
D’Angelo also admits that has been suffering from a long battle with substance abuse, which he is still recovering from.
"I didn't really think I had a problem like that. I felt like, you know, all I got to do is clean up and I’ll be fine. Just get in the studio and I’ll be f**king fine," he recently told GQ
Although D’Angelo is still travelling along the long road to complete recovery, the artist continues to work on songs for his third studio album, an album which, when released, will feature the first new music by the artist in 12 years.