Why Beyoncé, Not Ledisi, Performed With John Legend at the Grammys

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Though it was not released in time for Grammys consideration this year, producers decided to close out the show with John Legend and Common’s politically-charged (and Oscar-nominated) “Glory,” which they wrote as the theme for Selma.

For their Grammys performance, Legend and Common had Beyoncé herself come on as their opener, singing the gospel hymn “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” flanked by a chorus dressed all in white, but it was not without controversy. After all, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” is sung on the film soundtrack, as well as in the movie, by Ledisi, who plays gospel icon and Martin Luther King, Jr. confidante Mahalia Jackson.

[Related: Grammy Highs and Lows: Annie Lennox, Sam Smith Take America to Church; Madonna Doesn’t]

Asked on the red carpet why it was Beyoncé, and not she, who was singing the song, Ledisi told Entertainment Tonight she “had no clue.”

But as Legend explained to The Insider With Yahoo, the performance was actually Beyoncé’s idea, and you do not say no to Beyoncé.

"It’s not like we said let’s have ‘Precious Lord’ and let’s have Beyoncé do it," he explained. "If Beyoncé says she wants to do a gospel intro to your song, you’re like YES."

In what is either a strange coincidence or an extra twist of the knife, depending on which side of the controversy you fall on, Ledisi and Beyoncé were actually nominated against each other in the Best R&B Performance category. Bey ended up taking the trophy home for “Drunk in Love.”

[Related: This Year’s Most Surprising (or Downright Weird) Grammy Wins]

Backstage, Legend did not say whether or not Ledisi will join them on the Oscars telecast in two weeks, but he did promise that the two performances would not be the same.

"We’re not changing the essence of the song at all, but we do want every performance between the Oscars and the Grammys to have its own flavor and its own presentation," he said.