Lizzo's Guitarist Honored Sister Rosetta Tharpe on 'SNL' - Rolling Stone
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Lizzo’s Guitarist Paid Tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe on ‘Saturday Night Live’

Celisse Henderson helped intro “Truth Hurts” on Gibson SG Custom guitar just like Tharpe’s

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Eddie Murphy" Episode 1777 -- Pictured: Musical guest Lizzo performs on Saturday, December 21, 2019 -- (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC)

Lizzo's guitarist Celisse Henderson (right) paid tribute to legendary guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharpe on 'Saturday Night Live.'

Will Heath/NBC

Lizzo capped off her breakout 2019 with her Saturday Night Live debut this weekend, and her guitarist, Celisse Henderson, took the opportunity to pay tribute to the legendary guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Henderson appeared alongside Lizzo for a slightly altered intro to her smash, “Truth Hurts,” picking out a crackling version of the song’s lead melody on a cream-colored Gibson SG Custom — just like the kind Tharpe used to play. Henderson topped it all off with a guitar strap emblazoned with the word “Sister.”

On Twitter, Henderson wrote, “What an honor it was to kick off this incredible performance by the amazingly talented and good hearted @Lizzo, And it’s all for #SisterRosettaTharpe.”

Tharpe was a pioneer in every sense of the word. A queer black woman from Arkansas who came up playing music in the church, she played alongside greats like Duke Ellington and scored a handful of gospel-R&B crossover hits in the Forties.

The first generation of rock & roll artists, from Elvis to Chuck Berry to Bob Dylan, revered Tharpe, but while her career saw a small resurgence during the Sixties, she didn’t get the same bump as male blues artists. Tharpe died in 1973 and it took until 2017 for her to be posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

 

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