“You don’t say ‘no’ to Beyoncé…” ~ John Legend
Well, in the “Gul, you ain’t have no business singing that song” moment heard around the world, Beyoncé Knowles has now performed a little “damage control” in response to Sunday’s (Feb. 8) Grammy Awards.
Quick recap: Grammy nominated songtress and vocal powerhouse Ledisi was originally on the soundtrack for the movie “Selma.” She premiered in the film portraying the late Mahaila Jackson singing “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.”
Her soulful rendition was served as an intro during Sunday’s ceremony which would lead into John Legend and Common’s Oscar winning song “Glory.”
Here’s where the “problem” came in – 20x Grammy-winner Beyoncé asked John Legend and Common to join the performance which caused a bit of controversy. They agreed to let Beyoncé do the intro contingent off her popularity and the status she has in music.
SN: Apparently, popularity outweighs the talent needed to work a song but hey…moving on.
After Beyoncé performed the Thomas Dorsey written song, social media went ham at the lack of soul and spirit needed to pull off the gospel-themed composition.
It wasn’t that Beyoncé didn’t “sound good,” but reality had to set in that sometimes you just need certain vocalists for particularity in songs. For example, would you get Trey Songz to sing a J Moss record?
In other words, Ledisi should’ve been asked to perform due to the vocal quality that was required. In addition to that, her rendition was based off having a placement on the “Selma” soundtrack. So, imagine someone else singing in place of you and they weren’t originally on the soundtrack to begin with.
While Beyoncé sort of “performed” the song with her usual great technique, something was still missing that took away from the emotionalism.
Suggestively, when you think of a great singer who can convert a gospel song to mainstream audiences, you think of singers like Jennifer Hudson, Tamar Braxton, Brandy, Monica, Jazmine Sullivan, Lala Hathaway, Faith Evans, Tamia, to name a few.
These are great examples of women who can carry big songs on their shoulders with just the right amount of conviction needed for the transition.
Some fans felt Beyoncé knowingly sabotaged Ledisi of an opportunity to gain more exposure. However, the controversy alone gave Ledisi a boost. “If you ain’t know who she was on Sunday, you know now.”
Beyoncé has now released behind –the-scenes footage of her now recent performance. She opened up about what the song meant to her, how she learned it and its significance tied to her family roots.
Viewers and #BeyHive fans will learn that Beyoncé ’s grandparents marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The footage was already recorded prior to Sunday’s show.
Check out some excerpts below:
Hearing “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” for the first time:
First time I heard “Precious Lord” I was a kid and my mother sang it to me, and my mother played me Mahalia Jackson’s version. She sang the song with her eyes closed, and she was a vessel, and it was like God speaking using her body to speak and to heal.
On choosing all men as the backup singers:
I wanted to find real men that have lived, struggled, cried, that have lively spirit about them. I felt like this is an opportunity to show the strength and vulnerability in Black men.
On why the song was personal for her:
My grandparents marched with Dr. King and my father was part of the generation of black men that attended an all-white school and 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.
Watch the clip below:
What can really seem “bothersome” to those who are fans of the “Drunk In Love” singer is that she’s proven she’s talented. Her vocal techniques are nothing short of great and when you want to see a good performance, she will always be among the best.
Not every voice is appointed to tackle the essence of each song we hear. The industry is full of talented female singers that appeals to all genres, however; politics shouldn’t be used an advancement tool that in turns denies someone their rightful recognition.