02/01/2015 01:07 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

D'Angelo And Band Wear 'Black Lives Matter' Shirts In 'SNL' Performance

D'Angelo used his debut "SNL" performance -- and first live TV appearance since releasing his surprise album "Black Messiah" in December 2014 -- to make a powerful statement.

On Saturday, D'Angelo and his band, The Vanguard, started things off slow with their performance of the ballad "Really Love" from "Black Messiah." They used their second song, "Charade," to acknowledge the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed black men who were killed by police officers last year, spawning the #BlackLivesMatter protests.

There were recent grand jury decisions to not indict the officers in either case.

The Vanguards wore "Black Lives Matter" and "I Can't Breathe" T-shirts, the latter in reference to Garner's last words, while D'Angelo wore a hooded sweatshirt for half of his performance in what seemed to be a tribute to Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teen who was killed in Florida by a neighborhood watch volunteer in 2012.

A chalk outline also covered the stage in a possible ode to Brown.

Watch the full performance of "Charade" above and of "Really Love" below.



#BlackLivesMatter March on Washington, DC