Not only was a song by Grammy Award winner Leon Bridges placed on Barack Obama’s 2020 Summer Playlist, but the singer was also invited to share his music for the Democratic National Convention. On Monday, Bridges gave a moving performance of his recent track “Sweeter” with Terrace Martin during the virtual event.
Situated with his full band atop a roof of a city building, Bridges crooned the lyrics to his poignant number. The singer penned the song from the perspective of a Black man taking his last breath and looking back on the injustices in his life. The song was originally meant for a future album, but the singer decided instead to debut the track in mid-June as a reflection on the murder of George Floyd and the racism he’s personally encountered throughout his life.
In a statement alongside the song’s release, Bridges offered insight into the track’s inspiration:
“Growing up in Texas I have personally experienced racism, my friends have experienced racism. From adolescence, we are taught how to conduct ourselves when we encounter police to avoid the consequences of being racially profiled. I have been numb for too long, calloused when it came to the issues of police brutality. The death of George Floyd was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. It was the first time I wept for a man I never met. I am George Floyd, my brothers are George Floyd, and my sisters are George Floyd. I cannot and will not be silent any longer. Just as Abel’s blood was crying out to God, George Floyd is crying out to me. So, I present to you Sweeter.”
— julianna (@JuliannaKChang) August 18, 2020
Leon Bridges performs "Sweeter" pic.twitter.com/tcZPRJi5QC
— johanna bright🌊🌊🌊 (@MommayayaBright) August 18, 2020
Watch fan-captured clips of the moving performance above.