Watch H.E.R. Debut New Song “Hold On” in Electrifying ‘SNL’ Performance

The rising R&B star set Studio 8H ablaze with a searing set.

Never one to waste a high-profile set, H.E.R.‘s Saturday Night Live debut was politically-edged and potently-purple in all of the right ways.

Co-starring as musical guest in an episode hosted by Adele, the rising R&B star hit Studio 8H twice over the course of the show. With her first outing, the singer blaze through her recently-released late-night crawl, “Damage.” For the second round, H.E.R. hit the stage against a royal purple glow. Backed by a full band donning black t-shirts reading #ENDSARS, the singer strapped up her signature iridescent axe to premiere the new single “Hold On” with a searing performance that leaned into very Paisley terrain, capping the ballad with a blistering solo. The closing set served as the latest act of solidarity with activists in Nigeria protesting against the country’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) police unit, which has been indiscriminately opening fire on peaceful protestors for weeks now. “Hold On” was released on digital streaming platforms immediately following the performance.

The rest of the show wasn’t nearly as charged. After two stints as musical guest, Adele’s hosting debut was a pretty light affair. The show’s cold open took a swing at the final presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, flipping their slightly more composed bout into a drinking game with Maya Rudolph taking the week off as Kamala Harris to portray the night’s moderator, Kristen Welker. The pop star’s monologue offered an update on her next project and expressed her reluctance to perform without a completed album in the bag. She appeared in a number of skits, including a pair of digital shorts, one of which shared the screen with Rudolph in an ad for a pair of scented jeans.

Watch H.E.R. close Saturday Night Live with an electrifying performance above and stream “Hold On” via Spotify below.


Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

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