On Sunday night at the 57th Grammy Awards, Beyoncé performed the spiritual “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” which was originally sung by Ledisi in the Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic, ‘Selma.’
Beyoncé performed the spiritual leading into the performance of “Glory” by singer John Legend and rapper Common. It’s being reported that Beyoncé was asked by the Grammys to perform the song instead of Ledisi —-and Ledisi “had no clue” about it.
Ledisi, who plays gospel singer Mahalia Jackson in Selma, responded to the controversy and admitted to being a little disappointed but looked at the positive.
“But I got over that and I had to look at the positive and empower women,” she told The Associated Press on the Grammy red carpet on Sunday before the show started. “We have to empower each other. It’s a great thing. And one day I’ll be on that Grammy stage. Every artist wants to be on the Grammys stage. That’s part of our career is to be there. So my time will come when it’s time.”
“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. Then, I was able to portray and sing my version of the song, and now we have Beyoncé. Her generation will now know the song, so I’m a part of history.”
Many fans were upset at Beyoncé for agreeing to the Selma performance and felt Ledisi was not getting her due. Grammy producers were also accused of replacing Ledisi with Beyoncé for ratings.
“No one is saying Beyoncé shouldn’t perform at #GRAMMYs. What we’re saying is it should be Ledisi performing the song for #Selma perf,” one tweet reads. “Ledisi sung it in the Selma film, so they should have asked her. Beyoncé doesn’t have the chops for that one. She’ll over do it.”
Ledisi sung it in the Selma film, so they should have asked her. Beyoncé doesn’t have the chops for that one. She’ll over do it.
— SUN. MOON. (@_daydreamer88) February 5, 2015
— Mark Sundstrom (@106th) February 5, 2015
She’s performing a Mahalia Jackson song for the Selma tribute while Ledisi who played Mahalia in the movie AND is nominated does… what?
— Sophia Patrillo (@DreaOnassis) February 6, 2015
— Ramel (@itsRamel) February 9, 2015
We know that she’s “Beyonce” but she shouldn’t be singing that song. It’s not her song to sing…that Grammy moment belongs to Ledisi
— Patrick (@PresidentPat) February 5, 2015
So Beyonce is singing a song at the Grammy awards that was performed beautifully by Ledisi on the Selma soundtrack. That makes sense to who?
— THE TRUTH (@THETRUTH247365) February 5, 2015
In an interview with ET, John Legend responded to the Beyoncé and Ledisi controversy:
“We were actually approached by Beyoncé. She wanted to do an intro to our performance and introduce us,” Legend told Kevin. “You don’t really say no to Beyoncé if she asks to perform with you.”
We are happy to see Ledisi respond with such class about the incident. She truly deserved to perform at the Grammy’s.
Both Ledisi and Beyoncé were nominated in the Best R&B Performance category for ‘Drunk in Love’ and ‘Like This.’ Beyoncé took home the award.
Photo Credits: Getty Images