The Inside Story of Beyoncé's "Black Parade," the Most Nominated Song at the 2021 Grammys

Samantha Schnurr
·3 min read

As Beyoncé told fans on June 19, 2020, "'BLACK PARADE' celebrates you, your voice and your joy." And on Sunday, the celebration will continue at the 2021 Grammys.

Since its release on Juneteenth, the song has served not only as an anthem, but also as a charity single with proceeds going to the BeyGOOD Black Business Impact Fund. "I hope we continue to share joy and celebrate each other, even in the midst of struggle," she wrote on Instagram after announcing the song's release. "Please continue to remember our beauty, strength and power."

It became the singer's 40th top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and now it's the most-nominated track at the 2021 Grammys, earning nods for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song—making Beyoncé the leader of the nominee pool this year with nine nominations total.

The song's success and reception amid the coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement was, as one of the single's songwriters Rickie "Caso" Tice put it to E! News, "kind of unreal."

"To not be able to see the real-life response, only online was kind of strange, but it was still so powerful that it touched so many people," Caso exclusively told E!. "It was definitely like a light that I know we personally needed, but I think the whole world needed, especially at that time."

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Together with her partner, fiancée Kimberly "Kaydence" Krysiuk, the couple proved to be a match made in songwriting heaven. "We wrote a couple of songs and we were like, 'Wow, we are really good at this together,'" they shared with E! News. "I honestly think the whole Beyoncé album is what kicked us off working together full-time because we were like, 'Damn, if Bey approves of us, we must be doing something right.'"

Along with other collaborators, the two were ultimately credited on "Black Parade" as well as The Lion King: The Gift's "Keys to the Kingdom." As Kaydence recalled, "I had a couple of mutual friends that worked with some of [Beyoncé's] executives, so that's kind of how I got into the same....orbit as the queen. There was actually a particular song that Caso and I both worked on together that ran across her ears and that's kind of what got us involved with the Lion King-inspired album."

Grammy's Oral History, Beyonce, Black Parade
Grammy's Oral History, Beyonce, Black Parade

So, what was it like working with the one and only Beyoncé? "She had very, very specific notes of what she was trying to accomplish," Caso described, "because obviously she's perfection, so she's super detailed."

As for the song itself, the music conjured up images of a royal procession early on in the process. Kaydence remembered, "Caso actually said, 'Hey, this sounds like a parade.'"

Chimed in Caso, "'Can't you see her just like on some elephant or something ridiculously fabulous with all her jewels and everything?' and it just kind of started like that...She was so specific about wanting to make the album celebratory and so honest to her roots and empowering and just like, 'We are all royalty.'"

While they were working on several different ideas at the time, "This one was just so majestic," Caso said, "we had to flush it out and see what it would become."

Ultimately, it was "the most enjoyable experience" for the pair, made even sweeter by the Grammy recognition—which they found out about over text while waiting at Starbucks. "I was literally kicking the dashboard because I was so excited," Caso described, "and we told the barista at the drive-through window."

Watch E!'s 2021 Grammy Awards red carpet coverage Sunday, Mar. 14 starting at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT followed by the Grammys telecast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.