Earlier this year in an interview with GQ, actor Brad Pitt spoke about how Frank Ocean’s sensitive, singer-songwriter-centric R&B was helping him through his public and painful divorce from Angelina Jolie. “I find this young man so special. Talk about getting to the raw truth. He’s painfully honest. He’s very, very special,” gushed Pitt, who also confessed that he “just got R&B for the first time.”
Apparently, the feeling is mutual. Last month, Ocean sported a Brad Pitt T-shirt while playing the Parklife Festival in Manchester, England, and this past Saturday, when he headlined the FYF Fest at Los Angeles’s Exposition Park, he actually brought Pitt out for a surprise serenade.
Ocean sweetly crooned a medley of the Jackson 5’s “Never Can Say Goodbye” and the Stevie Wonder remake of the Carpenters’s “Close to You” while Pitt sat stage side with a cell phone pressed to his ear, nodding attentively, as if receiving a call from the singer.
While this odd, out-of-the-blue cameo may have seemed like the festival equivalent of that Ed Sheeran-on-Game of Thrones moment, this unlikely pairing seemed to go over much better than Sheeran’s polarizing TV appearance, with fans whooping as Pitt’s handsome face suddenly appeared on the main stage’s video screens. Pitt himself seemed thrilled to be there, flashing a smile for the cameras as the performance reached its tender end.
Ocean’s FYF Fest set was momentous aside from Pitt’s appearance. Not only was it the reclusive artist’s first U.S. concert in three years, but it was a make-good of sorts for FYF 2015, when Ocean pulled out of the festival with only a few days’ notice and Kanye West took his place. (Incidentally, Ocean canceled two festival performances this year, at Washington’s Sasquatch and Alabama’s Hangout.)
Diehards seemed to think Ocean was worth the wait, and some even queued for as long as four hours to purchase Ocean’s limited-edition, custom-printed FYF T-shirts, which were only available Saturday at an on-site pop-up shop. It doesn’t seem like the aforementioned Brad Pitt tee was available for sale as well, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Pitt scored at Ocean shirt while he was at FYF.