D’Angelo Returns With Surprise Black Messiah Album After 14 Years

D'Angelo
D'Angelo released a new album, Black Messiah. Mychal Watts/WireImage.com

He's back! After a 14-year hiatus, '90s R&B favorite D'Angelo returned to the airwaves this past weekend. 

The "Lady" crooner, 40, pulled a Beyonce and dropped his long-awaited third studio album at midnight on Monday, Dec. 15. Though he has stayed out of the public eye for years, D'Angelo came back in a big way with the release of Black Messiah

The record, which takes a political tone, was first introduced by the track "Sugah Daddy" and features songs like "1000 Deaths" and "The Charade." 

"Black Messiah is a hell of a name for an album," D'Angelo said in a release. "It can be easily misunderstood. Many will think it's about religion. Some will jump to the conclusion that I'm calling myself a Black Messiah. For me the title is about all of us." 

"It's about the world," he continued. "It's about an idea we can all aspire to. We should all aspire to be a Black Messiah. It's about people rising up in Ferguson and in Egypt and in Occupy Wall Street and everyplace where a community has had enough and decides to make change happen. It's not about praising one charismatic leader but celebrating thousands of them. Not every song on this album is politically charged (though many are) but calling this album Black Messiah creates a landscape where these songs can live to the fullest. Black Messiah is not one man. It's a feeling that, collectively, we are all that leader."

The leader-celebrating album features current industry heavyweights such as Q-Tip and Questlove. Black Messiah's first single, "Really Love," features D'Angelo's trademark pipes and is available to fans on Monday morning. 

D'Angelo
D'Angelo performs at the MTV Movie Awards on June 3, 2000 Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

D'Angelo released the 12-track Black Messiah more than 14 years after the debut of his critically acclaimed sophomore album Voodoo, which hit stores in January 2000 and was certified platinum. The project hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and introduced the hit single "Untitled (How Does It Feel)," which was accompanied by a music video showing the completely naked and impressively jacked singer, shot from the waist-up, crooning about love.

The singer's first album, Brown Sugar, was released in July 1995. There were rumors about the latest venture for years, with his collaborators teasing the project earlier this year. Take a listen to a bit of D'Angelo's new music in the video above. 

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