Katy Perry delivered a stunning and emotional performance at the American Music Awards on Sunday night in her first time taking the stage since giving birth to her first child, Daisy Dove Bloom, in August.
The 36-year-old sang a special rendition of a new song, "Only Love," off on her latest album, "Smile," in dedication to her father. The superstar, who last performed at the AMAs in 2013, had also welcomed a guest to the stage to perform alongside her: singer-songwriter Darius Rucker.
"She taught us how to be a firework and shine,” AMAs host Taraji P. Henson said in an introduction. “You know I love when we shine, baby, shine. She's invited one of her very favorite singers to join her in a very special duet that she has created just for us.
"It asks the question, if you had one day left to live, what would you do with it? What would you do if you had nothing to lose? Please welcome Katy Perry and Darius Rucker, reimagining Katy's new song, ‘Only Love.’”
Rucker, 54, who served as lead vocalist and guitarist of the Grammy-winning rock band Hootie & the Blowfish, joined Perry for a stripped-down rendition of the tune on a dimly lit stage.
Hours before she took to the stage, the "Firework" singer teased on social media what was to come.
"Went back to church, met a new friend @dariusrucker and found #OnlyLove," she captioned a set of photos shared on Instagram. One was a selfie showing of her outfit from performance, while the other seems to be a behind-the-scenes peek at her rehearsal with Rucker.
The new mom followed up with another post, a throwback photo of herself as a child in her father Keith Hudson's loving embrace. She captioned the sweet vintage pic, "tonight’s @amas performance is for my father."
Lyrics to "Only Love" allude to possible hardships and making amends with her parents. The pre-chorus sings: "Oh, I'd call my mother and tell her I'm sorry, I never call her back/ I'd pour my heart and soul out into a letter and send it to my dad/ Like, oh, my God, the time I've wasted, lost in my head."
The song's lyrics continue: "Let me leave this world with the hate behind me and take the love instead."