Backed by a full band, Black Pumas took the stage after an interview segment highlighted their nomination in the Record of the Year category. Singer Eric Burton gave an impassioned take on the song, belting the track as previous performers Harry Styles, Haim, and Billie Eilish remained in the roundabout nodding along to the soulful track. Following the performance, host Trevor Noah spoke with Burton about busking on the street six years ago and making it to the Grammy stage.
“Colors” appears on Black Puma’s self-titled debut, which arrived in 2019. The album’s deluxe edition, which dropped last year, earned the Austin duo a handful of Grammy nominations: The deluxe edition of the LP is up for Album of the Year, while “Colors” was nominated for Record of the Year and Best American Roots Performance. (The group lost the latter category to John Prine’s “I Remember Everything.”)
Black Pumas formed in 2017 after Adrian Quesada — a music industry vet and former member of the Grammy-winning Latin funk outfit Grupo Fantasma — linked up with Eric Burton, who’d been busking around Austin. While their 2019 debut did fairly well, the band seemed to come out of nowhere when they landed among the Best New Artist nominees at last year’s Grammys (Billie Eilish ended up winning the prize).
While the duo has another year under their belt now, in an interview with Rolling Stone ahead of the 2020 Grammys, Burton stressed how sudden it all was, especially for him. “I still can’t believe we’re part of the conversation, because we haven’t been a band very long,” he said. “I’ve had to be more professional, or else I’m going to get fired.”