Saturday Night Live returned for its first episode of 2023 last night (Jan. 21) with White Lotus star Aubrey Plaza hosting for the first time and Sam Smith serving as the musical guest. The British vocalist brought along some friends for their performances.
Smith’s first song was their massive hit “Unholy.” The powerhouse singer wore an oversized, hot pink ruffled frock, and midway through the song opened the dress to reveal collaborator Kim Petras waiting inside to offer her vocal parts.
For the second song, Smith gave the live debut of the title track from their new album Gloria, which is set for release Friday through Capitol Records. Surrounded by a cloaked choir filling the performance with ethereal harmonies, the segment also featured the seemingly random appearance of guest Sharon Stone on a chaise lounge in the middle of the stage.
According to Capitol, Gloria explores Smith’s personal journey through “sex, lies, passion, self-expression, and imperfection.” The artist released the title track on Friday, hailing it a “queer love hymn.”
It follows previous singles “Love Me More” and “Unholy,” the latter becoming a huge hit with 300 million global streams and No. 1 placements on both The Billboard Global 200 and the U.K. singles chart. Gloria comes nearly three years after Smith’s album Love Goes was released in 2020. The four-time Grammy winner also recently announced a global tour, kicking off in April in the U.K. and heading to the States in July.
Next week’s episode of Saturday Night Live features host Michael B. Jordan and music guest Lil Baby.