Jazmine Sullivan dazzled attendees and viewers with her performance of her new single, “Tragic,” at the BET Awards 2021, which included an appearance from California Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Co-written by Dutch singer-songwriter Leven Kali, who also produced the track, “Tragic” samples Waters’ famous “reclaiming my time” quote from a 2017 deposition, making her surprise cameo even more appropriate. Surrounded by mysterious, masked dancers wearing lingerie, Sullivan runs through a portion of “Tragic” before being joined by R&B songstress Ari Lennox for their duet off of Sullivan’s Heaux Tales album (which also won Album of the Year for this year’s awards), “On It.” Taking center stage, the two divas go note for note, turning in a riveting performance that served as the most sensual moment of BET’s annual festivities.
Sullivan made a big splash with the release of Heaux Tales, her first project in six years, this past January. which has been hailed as one of the stronger R&B efforts of the year. Recently headlining the ESSENCE Fest with a virtual performance of her biggest hits, the Philly native is taking full advantage of the spotlight that’s been bestowed upon her as of late.
Aside from “Tidal Wave,” her recent collaborative effort single by Njozma, and “Bed of Lies,” a song featuring her late cousin, Jaelyn “JaeRene” Chapman, Ari Lennox has been relatively quiet on the musical front since the release of her debut album, Shea Butter Baby, two years ago. However her appearance at the BET Award 2021 was a pleasant surprise, and could hint at the singer gearing up to release new music, which she discussed in a recent interview.