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Watch M.I.A. Almost Make Stephen Colbert Cry on Camera

m.i.a., matangi, stephen colbert

An unstoppable force met an immovable object on The Colbert Report last night (November 20), when M.I.A. squared off against Stephen Colbert for an interview. The late-night host quizzed the Matangi mastermind about her opinions on America — uh, she’s pro-Bob Dylan and Public Enemy — and demanded to know why the Sri Lankan firebrand mixes music with politics. “It’s dance music,” Colbert accurately pointed out. “Just let me get up there and shake it. Do I have to dance and think about the Kumudini boat massacre of 1985?”

When the faux-pundit wondered why Maya Arulpragasam also dabbles in the visual arts, the SPIN profile subject shrugged and responded,That’s what refugees do, we’re multi-faceted.” She was less composed when Colbert asked her thoughts on his persona. “I don’t know,” M.I.A. said, looking legitimately speechless for a moment. “I’ve never watched the show.”

After bringing Colbert nearly to tears with that revelation, M.I.A. performed a double-header for the studio audience, singing Matangi highlights “Y.A.L.A.” and, as a Web exclusive, “Come Walk With Me.” Watch the Q&A segment above, and scroll down for the performance footage (which, thanks to camera filter effects, comes drenched in the Matangi cover art’s red-and-green color scheme).

Elsewhere on the late-night circuit, U.K. soulstress Jessie Ware dropped in on Conan to perform her Devotion stunner “Running”; CHVRCHES closed out Jimmy Kimmel Live! with the “The Mother We Share” and “Lies,” both from their outstanding debut album, The Bones of What You Believe; and Charlie Wilson went solo on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, returning to the NBC stage sans “Bound 2” collaborator Kanye West, to sail through “I Still Have You,” a breezy smooth-talker from his latest LP, this year’s Love, Charlie. Find all of those clips below.