Ledisi is addressing fan uproar over Beyonce performing her song from Selma, the spiritual “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.”
When word spread that Beyonce would take the GRAMMY stage instead of Ledisi, fans felt the 42-year-old R&B singer wasn’t getting her due. “No one is saying Beyonce 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. Beyonce doesn’t have the chops for that one. She’ll over do it,” another angry tweeter chimed in.
Ledisi, who plays gospel singer Mahalia Jackson in the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic, responded to the controversy on the GRAMMY red carpet Sunday – and admitted that she “had no clue” why Beyonce was performing it over her.
“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,” Ledisi told ET’s Kevin Frazier on the carpet.
“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,” she continued.
Meanwhile John Legend, who joins Common later this evening to perform their Oscar-nominated song “Glory,” revealed to ET that Beyonce approached them about singing “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.”
“We were actually approached by Beyonce. She wanted to do an intro to our performance and introduce us,” Legend told Kevin. “You don’t really say no to Beyonce if she asks to perform with you.”
Interestingly, Beyonce and Ledisi are both nominated in the same GRAMMY category – Best R&B Performance – for “Drunk in Love” and “Like This,” respectively. Beyonce ended up winning the award.