Watch Janelle Monae Revive 'Idol' With 'What Is Love'

'The Electric Lady' played 'Rio 2' original for ailing reality show giant

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Kyle McGovern WRITTEN BY
Kyle McGovern

Janelle Monáe touched down on American Idol Thursday night to perform "What Is Love," her tropical-flavored contribution to the upcoming animated feature film Rio 2. As per usual, The Electric Lady delivered a show-stealing performance. (Remember, David Letterman dubbed Monáe "the hardest working woman in showbusiness" last year — and that was before the SPIN profile subject killed it on Today, Saturday Night Live, and The Arsenio Hall Show.) If Idol really is circling the drain, then Monáe successfully injected some rhythm into the reality show's death throes. Watch the performance clip above and find a trailer for Rio 2 below. The kid-centric flick, which also features Monáe in a small speaking part, lands in theaters on April 11.

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