Beyonce’s performance of the gospel classic "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" at Sunday’s Grammy Awards surely brought on the controversy!
Ledisi, who played gospel great Mahalia Jackson in the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic Selma, delivered a beautiful and empowering rendition of the song in the film and for the soundtrack, but it was Beyonce who performed the song on “music’s biggest night,” leaving a bad taste in the mouths of many who believe the producers went for mainstream appeal instead of giving Ledisi her time to shine.
The Grammy performance was used to shed light on the current #BlackLivesMatter movement in conjunction with the film's portrayal of true-life struggles from 50+ years ago. According to John Legend, Beyonce asked to sing the song because it holds a special place in her heart. In the clip below, she reveals her mother used to sing the song to her as a child. “My grandparents marched with Dr. King. My father was a part of the first generation of Black men that attended an all-White school. My father has grown up with a lot of trauma from those experiences. I feel like now I can sing for his pain. I can sing for my grandparents’ pain. I can sing for some of the families that have lost their sons.”
Since her star is as big as it is, it's easy to think she bumped Ledisi out on purpose, but could it be that maybe she simply hopped on the opportunity to make sure she’s not out of touch with social issues, and wanted to publicly voice her concerns with the onslaught of violence against black men by law enforcement? She says in the clip below, “I felt like this was an opportunity to show the strength and vulnerability in black men.” Also in the clip, the men who backed her up for the performance speak out on their experiences with racial profiling.
Do you think Beyonce purposefully stole Ledisi's spotlight? Or was she just trying to publicly show she's onboard with the #BlackLivesMatter movement?