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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.”

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

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  • Ms. Vee

    Im gonna be honest with why I think they chose Beyonce over Ledisi. At the end of the day Ledisi embodies the image of a black woman. Dark with a head of lovely natural hair. That alone cannot be promoted over the palpable Eurocentric looking Beyonce. I’m not saying Bey can’t sing but her white imitation image gives her more leverage. Let’s be real.

    • visitor1

      hit the nail on the head!

    • Love.tweet.joi

      Looks all the way to voice. Reminds me of that part in Dreamgirls when they choose her to sing lead because her voice is less soulful.

    • tammia

      If you look and act like freak that’s what time it is in the music industry!

  • visitor1

    after this, i am not longer a beyonce fan. i know it doesnt matter to anyone anywhere, but i’m not….this was such ugliness from the inside. too much ugliness. imagine if beyonce had stood up for ledisi instead of deciding this was an opportunity for herself, again, to be out front, once again. and i said this in another blog. last year at the Oscars, what if beyonce had sung “let it go” from frozen, instead of idina menzel, who sung the song for the movie? i bet more questions would have been raised, and just look at what that exposure did for idina menzel! this could have really catapulted ledisi into household name status, which beyonce already is. share people!

    • LaurenStar

      First off, this isn’t an original song written for Ledisi. Any singer has a right to sing it. Secondly, Ledisi never asked the Grammys, John Legend and Common to perform the song. Thirdly, John Legend and Common were on the Selma soundtrack with Ledisi. Common and Ledisi were in the movie. They never asked Ledisi to sing it as an intro to their song Glory. They were only going to sing Glory. Nobody had any intention of singing Precious Lord at the Grammys until Beyoncé suggested it. Now, I wonder if the Grammys had asked Ledisi to perform at all if she would’ve done her nominated song or Precious Lord. Why Ledisi didn’t sing it isn’t Beyoncé’s fault. It seems like Ledisi only thought to sing it after Beyoncé suggested it and was committed to doing it.

  • Tira Masu

    Beyonce is a plastic product. That was the fakest performance I’ve seen in years of a truly profound gospel song. You better not leave her out in the sun too long, she might melt.

  • Wanda

    In addition to her version lacking the spirituality that must be conveyed when you are singing a scared hymn, why was she wearing a plunging, cleavage-showing neckline? Downright disrespectful.

    The Glory is not intended to be focused on your wardrobe.

    I just don’t believe she really knows any better.

    • Love.tweet.joi

      My girl Ledisi be bustin out singing gospel too. IJS. Chile, I saw her at my church for a free concert and she needed clothes that fit.

  • Jay

    I for one don’t get this. This isn’t about Ledisi or Beyonce. Or rather it shouldn’t be,
    Mahalia Jackson sang this song originally and it is her song. It has a great message and anyone singing it after her, their job should be to spread that message. People seem to get tunnel vision when it comes to Beyonce. This became and is about her, when it shouldn’t be. I like that this song was performed and had such a huge audience and I like that she is explaining what it means to her on youtube. Because from the comments it is clear that some on the kids needed it explained. This all seems rather petty and in opposition to the message of the song. Reading the article and the the comments. I seems like a bunch of people trying to get one over on Beyonce or happy that this makes her look bad. I don’t care. Glory and Selma’s message isn’t about that. If you people really cared about this artist wouldn’t you be asking why John Legend and Common are performing everywhere but she isn’t. No your agree at Beyonce. It’s black history month, honestly she’s doing her bit to make people aware and promote black artists and performers on her website, you do yours.

    • visitor1

      are you beyonce’s publicist? this was a very well thought out message to try to hush people up. people actually are being reasonable. even beyonce’s “fans” are calling her out on this one, it was mean spirited to say the least…and yes beyonce probably doesn’t give a rat’s t ail about all of this, but it’s nice to see that people can still recognize when someone as influential and loved as beyonce does something this foul. nobody is beyond reproach, and if beyonce really wanted to put the content of that song first, she would have done the honorable thing and stepped aside, let ledisi sing it with the depth and emotion it deserves, and there wouldnt be any controversy right now. everything about beyonce’s performance looked forced, contrived.

    • “She just stays on her grind and rises above.”

      But she’s NOT THE ONLY ARTIST who grinds and rises. I get sick of hearing of her “work ethic”, as if she is the only artist who works hard. Others work hard, too, but they don’t say it repeatedly so that the masses will believe it.

      This type pedestal is a dangerous one. Beyonce ain’t the onliest one [of us] working hard and grinding! Sheesh.

    • Jay

      Wow, you know what is dangerous this type of animosity. Don’t think the word ‘only’ was anywhere in my post? And it would be silly, yes silly to believe Beyonce ‘is the only one of us working hard’. Just stupid. Yes, shes hard-working, so am I, I would hope so are you. Why are you angry now?

    • Hi Jay. I am not angry. I just despise the sentiment from her hive that keeps them from even considering all those others in the industry who work hard and even harder.

    • Okay

      LOL. Knew you would get around to asking someone why they were so ‘angry’. Its as predictable as water is wet.