Katreese Barnes, Former 'Saturday Night Live' Musical Director, Dead At 56
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Katreese Barnes, Former 'Saturday Night Live' Musical Director, Dead At 56

Katreese Barnes, the behind-the-scenes musical force of Saturday Night Live, has died at age 56 after fighting breast cancer for 20 years. She won two Emmy awards for her work on Saturday Night Live. 

She first started on the show in 2001 as a pianist and worked her way up to musical director. She was also a key component of the show’s most viral musical moments before viral was even a thing, co-writing Justin Timberlake and The Lonely Island’s “D–k in a Box.” For the song, she was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics. The second Emmy came with a second Timberlake collaboration a few years later.

In a statement to The New York Times, Andy Samberg said, “She was the light in the room, just had one of those smiles that warmed everybody. She wrote songs for every live sketch as well, constantly, over and over. That job is so demanding, I was always blown away.”

She left SNL in 2009. In the 1980s, she had a band with her brother Jerry called Juicy, and they were signed to Arista Records. The group released three albums, including It Takes Two. They became well-known in New York’s music scene, especially working with Roberta Flack, co-producing her Grammy-nominated 1994 self-titled album.



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