There was a moment during Erykah Badu's birthday concert Friday night when the singer asked fans at the sold out Bomb Factory in Deep Ellum to put their phones away and pay attention.
It was a candid request for several reasons, the first being there were plenty of Instagram-able moments. Comedian Dave Chappelle hosted the shindig and looked wonderfully buff in his green tank top. But more recently, Badu released a track entitled "Phone Down," in which she rightfully claims she can make you put your phone down. That's just the effect the legendary R&B star has had on people throughout her 45 years.
The 4,000-plus show attendees complied -- what choice is there when Erykah Badu is wearing the birthday hat (in this case her signature foot-tall showstopper with a crown on the outside)? Badu then asked everyone to raise both hands in the air and squeeze their fingers together tightly; she was taking them to church.
"What you have just done sisters and brothers, ladies and gentlemen, you have transcended race, religion, color, sex, kind, and technology," Badu said. "I do not take for granted your spirits today."
Much the concert had this communal feeling, like Badu's biggest fans were sitting in her living room wishing her happy birthday over a couple of beers. As Chappelle would later proclaim, she is special, and the fact she decided to celebrate in her hometown made the evening one for the books.
Here are the highlights from Erykah Badu's 45th birthday party.
Host Dave Chappelle
"For all the kids who are too young to know, my name is Dave Chappelle."
As one of the evening's most anticipated guests, Chappelle entertained the crowd with jokes about being old and getting booed off stage in Detroit before introducing the main event. Chappelle also made an appearance when more than 20 people joined Badu on stage to close the set.
Badu's closing medley
Late in the performance, friends and family surrounded Badu on stage to sing "Happy Birthday" and gift her a week-long spa vacation. Afterward Badu and company ventured through a medley of "Bag Lady," Snoop Dogg's "Ain't No Fun," and "Tyrone" to close the set. Epic!
Surprise guest André 3000
Hip-hop artist and one half of the group Outkast André 3000 made a surprise appearance at the show, joining friends and family on stage for the aforementioned closer. He and Badu have a child together, so his chances of attending were pretty good, though no less awesome. (Obligatory told ya so.)