When Beyonce and all her ethereal glory shared the Grammy stage with John Legend and Common, something was noticeably off about the performance. Bey was on hand to perform Mahalia Jackson’s “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” an opening act for Legend and Common’s delivery of “Glory.” Soulful singer Ledisi played the gospel singer in Selma, as well as sang the song for the film. So the question unanswered is, why didn’t Ledisi do the honors on stage, especially since she was actually sitting there in the Grammy audience?
She’s just as puzzled as her Twitter fans were. “I don’t have a clue,” she said with a smile when asked why Beyonce was singing her song. “But I will say that what I’m excited about is I had the pleasure of playing an iconic figure in Selma. The song “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” has been going on forever, starting with the queen Mahalia, the queen of soul Aretha Franklin. Then, I was able to portray and sing my version of the song, and now we have Beyonce. Her generation will now know the song, so I’m a part of history.” What a refreshingly positive and classy perspective on the series of events.
On the other end of the performance, Beyonce released her own reasons behind taking that slot.
“My grandparents marched with Dr. King,” she explained in a behind-the-scenes rehearsal video for the performance. “My grandfather was a part of the first generation that attended the 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.” She also had her backup choir talk about their personal connections to the song.