I had a feeling Beyoncé was going to come through at this year’s Grammy Awards. I just had a feeling. And turns out my intuition was on point, once again. And even though I looove to be right, I feel a way about the way this is going down.
I’ll explain; but first, the receipts.
Everyday this week, we’ve been learning who was and wasn’t performing. On the no list: Taylor Swift. On the yes list: Kanye West, Katy Perry, Sam Smith and Mary J Blige (together), Ariana Grande, Common and John Legend.
In a recent interview with Us Weekly, Common spilled the tea, confirming that Beyoncé would take the stage as well. Here’s what he said:
“We do have an incredible introduction to our performance. A segue into our song ‘Glory,’ as a tribute to Selma, being done by the great Beyoncé. That’s one of the greatest talents you can have, helping us segue into it. To co-create a performance with someone like her. It’s good.”
If y’all don’t know, I love Beyoncé. I love her albums, she seems like a nice person, I defend her against people who are hellbent on denying her very real and glaring greatness. She literally inspires me.
But with all that being said, I feel a way about her performing with Common and John Legend.
According to Billboard, Bey will perform “Take My Hand Precious Lord” to honor Selma. Like, I said I ride for Bey and even though this is a tall order to fill, considering gospel great Mahalia Jackson sang it so memorably, I think she can do it. That’s not the issue.
If you’ve seen the movie Selma, you know that there is a scene in which David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, calls Ledisi, who portrays Mahalia Jackson, and she sings this very song to him. And Ledisi sang that song. I’m not one of those people who believes we only have room for one “fave.” If you’ve found yourself sleeping on Ledisi for far too long, in my best Dap from School Daze voice, “WAKE UP!” Her honeyed rich vocals and impeccable scatting abilities are unmatched in the industry.
And considering the fact that she actually starred in the movie Selma, along with Common, it only seems right that she would be the one to perform this song on this “great” stage.
But apparently, the industry doesn’t work like that.
At the end of the day, Beyoncé is a much bigger name. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that, with her light skin and straight hair, Bey Bey fits more neatly into the mainstream mold of beauty. But that’s not her fault. Genetics do what they do. I don’t even think Beyoncé is at fault for accepting the invitation to perform the song. Hell, if they asked me to perform “Take My Hand Precious Lord,” I might get up there and do a Negro spiritual hum. Who wouldn’t want to be associated with this classic and beautifully-made film?
But why couldn’t the two sing together, with Ledisi singing “Take My Hand Precious Lord” and Beyoncé singing… something else?
Anything else is just shady boots.
Judging by Ledisi’s Instagram, which I do follow, I know that she’s in LA for Grammy week and she’s also nominated for Best R&B performance of her song “Like This.” So there is absolutely no reason, other than exposure and industry shadiness, to keep her from doing what she consistently does, deliver a goose bump inducing and memorable vocal performance.
Basically, this should have been Ledisi’s moment.