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Watch Brittany Howard Perform ‘Goat Head’ on ‘The Tonight Show’

Howard sings of her own family’s personal history with racism and prejudice in the midst of ongoing protests for black equality

Brittany Howard appeared on The Tonight Show Wednesday night to take a personal look at race and prejudice with her song “Goat Head,” from her 2019 standout solo debut Jaime.

Performing in an isolated studio — with several of her band members in face masks — Howard delivers a message on her own mixed-race origins at a time when the country is in the midst of reckoning with race and pervasive anti-blackness in its justice system.

“My mama was brave/To take me outside,” Howard intones, “‘Cause mama is white/And daddy is black/When I first got made/Guess I made these folks mad.” At the end, she asks, almost whispering, “Who slashed my dad’s tires/And put a goat head in the back?” Howard and her backing vocalists grooved at the mics throughout their set, injecting the charged song with some additional seething energy.

Howard contributed to a new compilation album, Silence Is Not an Option, in support of Black Lives Matter. She also appeared last week on the Small Biz Live virtual concert, benefiting black, minority and women-owned small businesses across the U.S. With most live music postponed for the rest of the year, Howard is next slated to perform at Outside Lands in 2021.