On Sunday night, at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, Beyonce performed ‘Precious Lord, Take My Hand’. The song was originally written by Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey. It was one of Dr Martin Luther King’s favourite songs and he would often invite gospel singer Mahalia Jackson to sing it at civil rights rallies to inspire the crowds.
There however has been controversy around Beyonce’s performance. There are some who believe that Grammy nominated neo soul singer Ledisi should have been the one to perform the song. Ledisi plays Mahalia Jackson in the Oscar-nominated film ‘Selma’ and did a rendition of the song in the movie. Many Ledisi fans think that Beyonce did not do the song justice and the performance lacked soul. Some articles suggest that the song was “originally” performed by Ledisi. Is that accurate? The song has been around for a long time.
Ledisi responded to the controversy on the red carpet “What I will say and what I’m excited about is that I had the pleasure of playing an iconic figure in Selma, and the song, ‘Take My Hand, Precious Lord,’ it’s been going on forever—starting with the queen Mahalia [Jackson], the queen of soul Aretha Franklin”. A very mature responce. We do love Ledisi. But we also love Beyonce. What did you think of Beyonce’s performance? You can watch the video here.
Yesterday Beyonce posted an emotional video which explained the message behind her performance. When singing the gospel song, the stage was filled with black men. In the video, Queen Bey said “I wanted to find real men that have lived, have struggled, cried… I felt like this is an opportunity to show the strength and vulnerability in black men”.
The men who joined her on stage talk in the video about their experiences of being black men in society and make reference to the recent tragic deaths in the US including Michael Brown.
Beyonce continued to say “My grandparents marched with Dr King and my father was part of the first 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”.
Check out the video below and let us know what you think.