All the SNL Hosts Who Were Also Musical Guests

All the SNL Hosts Who Were Also Musical Guests

Billie Eilish will become the 42nd person to perform double duty when she hosts this weekend

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On Dec. 11, 19-year-old Billie Eilish will become the second-youngest person to simultaneously play host and musical guest on “SNL.” (Britney Spears is the current record-holder for doing double duty at age 18.) Over the course of its 46-year history, television’s longest running sketch show has been double-helmed by many performers. From J. Lo to Justin Timberlake, plenty of established multihyphenates have graced the stage of Studio 8H, as have many performers who don’t quite fit the bill. Here’s a chronological history of everyone who has doubled as host and musical guest so far.

Paul Simon 

 

The Simon & Garfunkel singer-songwriter holds a number of “SNL” records: not only did he become the first person to pull double duty in 1975, but he’s also done it three more times, in 1976, 1986, and 1987. Simon has appeared as a musical guest a whopping nine more times, most recently in 2018.

Lily Tomlin

 

Best known as an actress and comedian, Tomlin has also moonlighted as a musical guest on “SNL,” twice. In 1975, she sang alongside Howard Shore & The All-Nurse Band; in 1983, she performed as the character Pervis Hawkins, a Black R&B singer.

Desi Arnaz

 

Arnaz of “I Love Lucy” fame made his first and only “SNL” appearance in 1976, with some help from his son, Desi Arnaz Jr.

Kris Kristofferson

 

Ahead of starring in 1976’s “A Star is Born” with Barbara Streisand, the singer and actor took the “SNL” stage with then-wife Rita Coolidge and sang a solo, “I’ve Got a Life of My Own.”

Ray Charles

 

The King of Soul performed some of his classic hits – “I Can See Clearly Now,” “What I’d Say,” “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You” – while double-dutying in 1977.

Art Garfunkel

 

The other half of Simon & Garfunkel double-headlined once, in 1978. In addition to performing “All I Know,” “Scarborough Fair” and “Crying in My Sleep” himself, he sang “Wonderful World” with co-musical guest Stephen Bishop.

The Rolling Stones

 

Not before or since the English rock group’s 1978 appearance has an entire band both hosted and served as the musical guest on “SNL.” Among other hits, they performed “Beast of Burden” and “Shattered.”

Frank Zappa

 

The rock musician’s one-time stint as a double-headliner in 1978 did not go according to plan. He managed to anger the audience, cast and crew by stating that he was reading off cue cards, reportedly resulting in his being banned from the show.

 

Ricky Nelson

 

The actor and teen idol shared his musical hosting duties with Judy Collins in 1979. His set list included “Hello Mary Lou,” “Travelin’ Man,” “Fools Rush In” and “Dream Lover.”

Gary Busey

 

In 1979, the “Lethal Weapon” actor was joined by co-musical guests Gregory Hines and Eubie Blake. He sang “Stay All Night” and even added some percussion to his monologue.

Debbie Harry

 

Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry took the stage as host and musical guest for a Valentine’s Day episode in 1981. The Hall of Famer sang with Funky 4+1 More on “That’s The Joint,” which became the first hip hop song to air on television. 

Olivia Newton-John

 

The “Grease” star-turned-pop and country singer performed songs from her album “Physical” in a 1982 episode of “SNL.”

Stevie Wonder

 

The versatile singer-songwriter appeared in sketches with Eddie Murphy, continuing a long tradition of cast members playing alongside the famous people they impersonate on the show. He also sang “Overjoyed,” “Fingertips” and “Go Home” in the 1983 episode.

Willie Nelson

 

The country icon had already appeared as the musical guest in 1977 and would do so again in 1993, but he took on a hosting role in 1987. In addition to three of his own songs, he performed the comedic “The Boyfriend Song” with one of the cast members.

Dolly Parton

 

Actress and country star Parton took on “SNL” double-duty in 1989 to promote her upcoming film “Steel Magnolias.” She also performed songs from “White Limozeen,” the album she released earlier that year.

Quincy Jones

 

The music industry titan and legendary producer was accompanied by a bevy of musical guests for his 1990 hosting gig: Take 6, Tevin Campbell, Andrae Crouch, Sandra Crouch, Kool Moe Dee, Big Daddy Kane, Melle Mel, Quincy D III, Siedah Garrett and Al Jarreau. Together, they performed “Back On The Block,” “The Verb To Be” and “Wee B. Dooinit.”

Sting

 

Of the five times the Police frontman has appeared on “SNL,” he only hosted once, in 1991. While he didn’t exactly win rave reviews for his comedic abilities, his performance of “My One & Only Love” was well-received.

M.C. Hammer

 

Hammer helped close out 1991 with an “SNL” double appearance. His performances of “2 Legit 2 Quit” and “Addams Groove” (the theme from “The Addams Family”) went more smoothly than his sketches.

Deion Sanders

 

“SNL” has been hosted by plenty of pro athletes who scored big laughs, but apparently Deion Sanders is not one of them. His 1995 appearance included renditions from his rap album “Prime Time,” which debuted the previous year.

Garth Brooks

 

The country singer made his “SNL” debut in 1992, but wouldn’t return to double as host for another six years. In 1998, he sang hits like “Two Piña Coladas”; the next year, he followed in Lily Tomlin’s footsteps and performed as Chris Gaines, his alt-rock alter ego.

Britney Spears

 

Like many of the other names on this list, Spears has made multiple appearances as the musical guest, but she did them one better by becoming the youngest person to pull double duty at age 18. In 2000, she sang “Oops, I Did It Again” and “Don’t Let Me Be The Last To Know”; in 2002, she performed two hits from her self-titled album “Britney.” The following year she was the musical guest to Halle Berry’s host.

Jennifer Lopez

 

Jenny from the Block made her “SNL” debut in 2000 with host Alan Cumming, then took the hosting reins the following year, around the release of her film “The Wedding Planner.” Nine years later, she returned to host and play songs from her seventh studio album, “Love?”

Justin Timberlake

 

A member of the “Five-Timer Club” and one of the most frequently recurring guests for “SNL,” Justin Timberlake has hosted and musical guested three times, in 2003, 2006 and 2013. That doesn’t count the two times he’s appeared as the musical guest only, once with NSYNC and once by himself – or his various cameos in digital shorts and sketches over the years.

Janet Jackson

 

Previously, Jackson served as the musical guest in 1994, but she added “SNL” host to her resume in 2004. She displayed her range with impressions of Condoleeza Rice and Paula Abdul, among others, and performances of her songs “Strawberry Bounce” and “All Night (Don’t Stop).”

Queen Latifah

 

Before the premiere of her movie “Taxi” (co-starring “SNL” alum Jimmy Fallon), the rapper-singer-actress did double duty in 2004. Between sketches, she sang “The Same Love That Made Me Laugh” and “Hard Times.”

Ludacris

 

Rapper and “Fast and Furious” actor Ludacris took the “SNL” stage in 2006 as host and musical guest. He performed “Money Maker” and “Runaway Love,” with help from Mary J. Blige.

Taylor Swift

 

Swift made “SNL” history this November when she became the first musical guest to perform a single 10-minute song, the “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version).” The singer-songwriter has appeared a total of five times, hosting and singing “You Belong With Me” and “Untouchable” in 2009.

Elton John

 

Almost three decades stand between John’s musical guest appearance in 1982 and his double-headliner in 2011. He performed “Monkey Suit” and “Hey Ahab” with an assist from Leon Russell.

Mick Jagger

 

Similarly to John, Jagger returned to host and play “SNL” in 2012 after a 34-year hiatus. This time, he was without the other Rolling Stones, but Arcade Fire, Jeff Beck and the Foo Fighters showed up to accompany him. The English rocker performed a number of medleys, including the songs “Tea Party” and “The Last Time.”

Bruno Mars

 

Before there was Silk Sonic, Bruno Mars played “SNL” as a solo artist on three separate occasions. However, in 2012 he gave one of the most memorable host-musical guest performances in recent history. In addition to singing “Locked Out Of Heaven”  and “Young Girls,” he showed off his acting chops with musical impressions and his “Sad Mouse” digital short.

Justin Bieber


Bieber returned to Studio 8H three years after his “SNL” debut. Along with performing “Nothing Like Us” and an acoustic version of “As Long As You Love Me,” the Canadian pop star also hosted in 2013. Later, Jay Pharaoh and Bill Hader called him the worst guest host they’d worked with during their time on the show.

Miley Cyrus

 

The pop star returned to her “Hannah Montana” roots as a singer-actress with double-duty performances in 2013 and 2015. Interestingly, the “Wrecking Ball” singer has also served as a host only (alongside the Strokes) in 2011 and has played musical guest at least five other times along with various cameos.

Lady Gaga

 

The three-time “SNL” musical guest did double duty in 2013, showing off her powerhouse vocals with performances of “Gypsy” and “Do What U Want” featuring R. Kelly. Considering her recent ventures into acting in films like “House of Gucci,” it wouldn’t be surprising if she takes the stage again soon.

Drake

 

The Canadian rapper reminded audiences that he got his start acting in “Degrassi” when he served as host and musical guest in 2014 and 2016. His turn as Lil Wayne playing Steve Urkel made for one memorable “Did I do that?”

Blake Shelton

 

In 2015, the country singer and “The Voice” mentor made his hosting debut. He also performed his songs “Neon Light” and “Boys ‘Round Here,” plus the standout sketch “Wishin’ Boot.”

Ariana Grande

 

Pop powerhouse and “Victorious” alum Grande put her famous vocal impressions to good use when she hosted and sang in 2016. Over the course of the show, she transformed into Jennifer Lawrence, Britney Spears, Celine Dion and Shakira. It’s also the show that kicked off her ill-fated romance with cast member Pete Davidson.

Donald Glover

 

Glover leaned on his background in stand-up comedy and “Community” role for his dazzling hosting gig in 2018. The “Atlanta” star and creator had audiences in stitches with sketches like “A Kanye Place,” “Barbie Instagram,” and “Dirty Talk.” Under his alias Childish Gambino, he performed “Saturday” and “This Is America.”

Halsey

 

In October, Halsey was the musical guest to Kim Kardashian West’s host, but it wasn’t her first “SNL” rodeo. The pop singer has performed on the show three other times, serving double duty in a 2019 episode. Between sketches, she sang renditions of “Eastside” and “Without Me.”

Chance the Rapper

 

Like Miley Cyrus, Chance the Rapper had separately hosted and served as musical guest (twice), before combining duties in 2019. He performed “Zanies and Fools” and “Handsome,” alongside Megan Thee Stallion, from his album “The Big Day.”

Harry Styles

 

By the time he doubled as host and musical guest in 2019, the British singer-songwriter had already performed four times on “SNL,” twice with his One Direction bandmates and twice solo. Styles showed off his comedic chops and accent repertoire with a number of sketch appearances, as well as performances of “Watermelon Sugar” and “Lights Up.”

Nick Jonas

 

In February 2021, Jonas finally checked “SNL” double duty off his list after appearing twice with brothers Kevin and Joe as part of the Jonas Brothers, and once as the musical guest for Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ hosting gig in 2016. The singer-actor performed “Spaceman” and “This Is Heaven,” while acting in standout sketches “Mirror Workout” and “Murder Show.”

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