Lizzo celebrated Valentine’s Day in the most “Unholy” way. The “Special” singer-rapper hit the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge earlier this week for a run through the Sam Smith–Kim Petras Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit and, of course, she had to put her signature flute filagree on the song.
In a spare, bass-thumping arrangement that leaned into the track’s sensual groove, Lizzo totally sold the bump-and-grind attitude of the original before busting out her woodwind and adding a jazzy interlude. She brought it home with some ad libbed soul shouting, assisted by three back-up singers repeating the chorus and a wailing electric guitar solo.
Smith and Petras performed their Grammy-winning song at this year’s awards ceremony on Feb. 5 and then again at the 2023 Brit Awards on Feb. 11. According to U.K. broadcasting regulator Offcom, the latter received more than 100 complaints, even though it didn’t feature the same Satan-themed touches as the Grammy set.
For the Brit Awards, Sam and Kim took a more literal approach to their “Body Shop” metaphor from the song’s lyrics, with an industrial set, flying sparks and mechanic’s outfits on both performers and their dancers. While it is unclear which parts of the performance received complaints, Offcom received 106 complaints for the 2023 Brit Awards, the majority of which were aimed at Smith and Petras.
The complaint comes after the pair’s highly publicized Grammy’s performance, which also drew plenty of criticism for its use “satanic” imagery from viewers and even a few right-wing politicians, including Ted Cruz and Marjorie Taylor Greene. The Church of Satan itself ended up weighing in, saying the pair’s performance felt pretty tame.
Check out Lizzo’s Live Lounge performance of “Unholy” below.