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The rapper-actress kicked off her week of A-list stars with visits from John Travolta and Willow Smith, but she began Monday’s show by doing what she does best: performing.
Latifah strutted onto her set to the music of “Staying Alive,” carrying a paint can just like Travolta in the iconic opening of Saturday Night Fever.
She then launched into a performance of a modified version of the song, featuring lyrics about her show like “I’ve got no fear even though John Travolta’s here” and a chorus of “Queen Latifah doing it live.”
She then introduced her DJ, MC Lyte, thanked her fans for supporting her and thanked Lenny Kravitz for designing her set, which she said she’s nicknamed “Big Sexy.”
Latifah also explained that even though she’s been preparing for her talk-show debut, she found time to squeeze in a few acting roles, showing the audience clips of her edited into key scenes from Mad Men, Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones.
When Travolta came out, the two danced to “Blurred Lines” and toasted her debut with Champagne or “sparkling cider,” as she called it. The two then talked about his kids, their inability to retire (Travolta said he didn’t think he could fill all of that free time), their years in show business and what they learned along the way and, most importantly, their support for the New York Giants football team.
Latifah then showed how she and Alicia Keys surprised a high school music class in Southern California. But after Keys performed for them live, the students and their teacher got an even bigger surprise: they returned to their classroom to see that Latifah’s show had renovated their music room with a new floor, chairs, paint and, courtesy of Yamaha, new instruments.
The students and their teacher were overcome with emotion.
Latifah finished her first show with another performance — this time by Willow Smith, whose dad Will Smith is the guest on Tuesday’s show. Watch her performance below.
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