In a surprise appearance on the NBC late-night show, the Grammy-winning R&B vocal group reunited remotely from their homes to perform “A Song for Mama,” a ballad from their 1997 album Evolution.
As an extra bonus, longtime collaborator Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds joined the group on guitar from a separate location. Babyface famously wrote and produced Boyz II Men’s hits “End of the Road” and “I’ll Make Love to You” in the early ’90s.
The SNL musical guests also provided the soundtrack to a special slideshow. As moms across the world face a Mother’s Day without seeing their families due to coronavirus-induced quarantines, the performance proved to be especially poignant as a montage of photos of the Saturday Night Live cast members with their moms played onscreen.
The performance was introduced by veteran SNL actor Michael Che, who thanked mothers everywhere as he announced Boyz II Men as the musical guest for the unconventional season finale.
In comments to Saturday Night Live’s YouTube video of the performance, fans raved about the throwback performance they didn’t see coming. Others noted that they didn’t realize how much they needed this remote reunion during these unprecedented times.
“Babyface is so damn chill he doesn’t even need an introduction,” one fan wrote.
“In case any of us forgot how incredibly talented these men were and are. I mean, wow,” another viewer said.
“Thank you for this unexpected and beautiful tribute to moms everywhere, Boyz II Men,” another person added. “Your talent is unrivaled even after all these years.”
“Please tell me I wasn’t the only one getting teary-eyed when this song was playing,” a fourth fan wrote. “Such a beautiful song thank you SNL and Boyz II Men.”
Boyz II Men and Babyface were the third surprise musical guest grouping since Saturday Night Live switched to a remote format last month. On April 11, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin performed a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Shelter From the Storm,” and on April 25, Miley Cyrus sat outside by a fire pit as she belted out a stunning rendition of Pink Floyd’s 1970s classic “Wish You Were Here.”
All of the Saturday Night Live musical guests and hosts — including Tom Hanks, cold open guest star Brad Pitt, and this week’s guest host Kristen Wiig — have been unannounced ahead of time since the show went to an at-home format.
The last live in-studio episode of Saturday Night Live was on March 7, when Daniel Craig and The Weeknd took the stage at Studio 8H.