SZA, who debuted her new song "Saturn" in collaboration with Mastercard at the Grammys, took home an award for best R&B song for "Snooze"
At Sunday's award ceremony, SZA was rushed to the stage after her performance to accept the award for best R&B song for her song "Snooze." During her acceptance speech, SZA's shock and gratitude was on full display.
"It's the culmination of everything. Of the moments leading up to that, even Lizzo and not realizing what was happening and being lost. Then I saw her and I was like, 'Oh.' I was realizing what was happening," SZA, 34, who's partnering with Mastercard for their Priceless Planet Coalition, tells PEOPLE exclusively of the onstage moment.
She adds, "I was just very shocked and very confused and just trying to not miss my award."
Recounting the moments backstage beforehand, SZA says she was taking her "sweet time" changing because she didn't think any of her nomination categories were up next.
"I said, 'I think I'm going to go home now.' And then as I changed, someone was like, 'You need to hurry up and get in your seat,'" the "Nobody Gets Me" singer recounts. "Then a woman starts yelling, 'Run, run, run.' So I thought they were running me to my seat because they needed a camera shot of me or something, but they did not lead me to my seat. They led me to the stage."
Leading into the night, SZA was the most-nominated artists and the nerves were kicking in. Now that it's over, she feels nothing but gratitude.
"I'm just grateful and relieved, mostly," she says. "I feel like I've been holding my breath for a long time. So it's good to get that out."
To her surprise, she felt "peace" during the show, which she anticipated to be a "big, scary moment" in her head.
"I swear it was the most terrifying thing that has ever happened to me prior, and I didn't think I'd survived it, but I can't believe I did. And I think that at all is a relief," she says, adding that the highlight of her night was witnessing Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder perform.
"Sorry I'm out of breath because I was changing then I took a shot and I ran here," she said as she ran on stage and greeted Lizzo, 35, who presented the award to her with a big hug. "But Lizzo and I have been friends since 2013 when we were both on a tiny RedBull tour together opening up in small rooms for like 100 people. And to be on the stage with her is so amazing, I'm so grateful."
She continued, "I would like to thank my parents, my mom and my dad, God, Top Dawg, Punch, all of TDE and my siblings at TDE, to my godparents, to my niece."
"I just.. I'm sorry, I'm just really overwhelmed," the singer said as she got choked up. "You don't really understand. I came really, really far and I can't believe this is happening and it feels very fake."
In addition to her "Kill Bill" performance, SZA debuted her new song "Saturn" off her upcoming album Lana, at the Grammys in collaboration with Mastercard. The music video captures SZA's passion for sustainability and environmental causes
"'Saturn' discusses the desire and the longing for things to be better on this planet, and we want to go somewhere else, but we can't, so we have to find something worth saving here," says the singer, who wore a top made up entirely of seeds for the music video.
Through the collaboration with Mastercard, 100 million trees will be restored. Fans can participate by using their Mastercard to make a purchase with Lyft and/or SiriusXM. Once they do, a tree will be planted. Mastercard cardholders can also enter for the chance to win their own tree seed from SZA’s “Saturn” performance outfit by commenting with a “🌱” and tagging a friend on Mastercard’s post of SZA’s performance.
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