Ledisi Responds to Beyonce ‘Precious Lord’ Controversy

Fans say Beyoncé stole Ledisi’s moment

(Image: Facebook)

Beyoncé made Grammy history last night as the most nominated female artist of all time, but she also ruffled a few feathers when she chose to sing Thomas Dorsey’s “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.” The gospel classic has been performed by vocal greats Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Kelly Price, and more recently, Ledisi.

Ledisi plays Mahalia Jackson in the movie and sings the song for its soundtrack, however, she was not tapped to perform it last night as part of the Selma set, which also included “Glory” by Common and John Legend. Instead, Beyoncé performed the number in an all white ensemble with the help of a male choir.

Fans were upset that Ledisi wasn’t selected to sing her arrangement, despite her attendance, impeccable vocal ability and Grammy nomination. @Joe_Mani tweeted, “WOW. This version lacks Painful, Gut wrenching #SOUL #PreciousLord #LedisiWasRobbed SHE made me wanna cry! #SELMA.” Equally bothered fans took to social media to express their disappointment, using the hashtag #LedisiWasRobbed.

On the Grammy red carpet, Entertainment Tonight caught up with Ledisi to ask “So why aren’t you singing that song?” The vocal powerhouse responded, “I don’t have a clue, but I will say what I’m excited about is that I had the pleasure  of playing an iconic figure in Selma.” She continued on to say how “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” had been a timeless number, sang by “…the Queen Mahlia, the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, then I was able to portray and sing my version of the song.” As far as her feelings on what many considered to be Beyoncé stealing her moment, she responded, “I mean, her generation will now know the song, so I’m a part of history. I can look at it like that instead of looking at it as a negative. To me it’s a great, great honor to be a part of the legacy of a great song by Thomas Dorsey.”

According to ET, John Legend revealed that Beyoncé approached him and Common about doing the song as an opener to “Glory.” “You don’t really say no to Beyonce if she asks to perform with you,” the singer said.

Conversations surrounding the controversy are still circulating on social media. Beyoncé has not made any statements in response.

 
  • GoodWifeMom

    I am especially disappointed if it was Beyoncé’s idea and not the ignorance if the Grammy folks …

  • Dolores Kirksey Harris

    Ledisi can sing circles around Beyonce. No surprises here that Beyonce asked to perform the song, being the spotlight hog that she is. After all, the world does revolve around her! Yes, I’m being sarcastic….and yes, the previous statements are only my humble opinion! #ImDone

    • Sarag

      How exactly is she a spotlight hog? Do you hear of her going from man to man? Getting picked up from drugs and DUI’s? Do you see her pimping her daughter? She goes out there, works hard and achieved great success. So why all of the hate? When she’s not working, she appears to be with her family. What is there to criticize her for? Ledisi or Beyonce’, which one will garner more press and more viewers. I saw Selma and Ledisi was good, but many people forget that the bottom line for any award show is ratings and money. The bigger name is Beyonce’. John Legend and Common knew that. There really isn’t a way in Hell to please some people and Black people seem to lock on other Black people worse than anyone.

      • GiftofDiscernment

        Ummm, Wrong is WRONG! Apparently you were not blessed with critical thinking and DISCERNMENT, SMH!!!

      • Trudy ‘Mtram’ Rozani

        “Which one will garner more press and more viewers”? Seriously?? I have a lot of respect for Bey, but even she started somewhere. Before she was what she is today, there were people who didn’t believe in her,and she proved them wrong. I think other female singers deserve the chance to do the same.

      • Margaret M. Parker

        Don’t let the naysayers below upset you. You have an excellent point. If they allow the fog to leave their minds, they’ll see that you are not putting anyone down, you have just making an excellent point and its your opinion.

      • nicole ready

        A spotlight hog is someone who loves attention, whether negative or positive. She loves the accolades of people and seek to constantly upstage other performers. She mimics the music, artistry, and talent of other artist and showcases it as her own. She desires to be idolized and worshipped. Her humility is false because she inwardly have other motives which she openly admits. She stated during taylor swift grammy interruption by kanye she wanted taylor to have her moment, but later admitted she was afraid and unprepared for to give an acceptance speech. I will say i respect how she plays the media. I think they deserve to be made a fool of with presumptuous inaccurate reporting. I respect bey as a performer but I question her character.

    • Sarag

      How exactly is she a spotlight hog? Do you hear of her going from man to man? Getting picked up from drugs and DUI’s? Do you see her pimping her daughter? She goes out there, works hard and achieved great success. So why all of the hate? When she’s not working, she appears to be with her family. What is there to criticize her for? Ledisi or Beyonce’, which one will garner more press and more viewers. I saw Selma and Ledisi was good, but many people forget that the bottom line for any award show is ratings and money. The bigger name is Beyonce’. John Legend and Common knew that. There really isn’t a way in Hell to please some people and Black people seem to lock on other Black people worse than anyone.

  • Kathleen Kennedy

    Sorry Mr. Legend you are wrong, you should have said no to Beyonce. She had NOTHING to do with the movie Selma and had no business wiggling her way into it.

  • The African-Italian Project

    RT @etugman: “Shoulda made it a family affair! Bey did .@ledisi then Jay shoulda done .@common I hear he can rap, too! #LedisiWasRobbed”

  • bryant

    Just like she stole Toni Braxton remake of 2Pac’s song. BJ does whatever they want and nothing ever happens.

  • Eloquence Andrea

    this article is poorly written. it begins saying “the movie” without stating first which movie the article is referring to. step it up BE!

  • Lisa

    Ledsi talent is in a class by itself SHE CAN “SANG” Not to take anything from Beyonce but in my opinion the song she perform did not fit her voice That song was song by icons with powerful strong voices she did not hit the mark with this one Ledsi on the other hand would of brought down the house and gain new fans along the way She has that voice I understand the politics of it all BUT sometimes you have to put politics to the side and do the right thing LEDSI
    Can y’all tell I’m a fan Lol

  • Margaret M. Parker

    Ledisi is a better person that most of those making comments on this article. Anyone can sign anything they want. Perhaps, Beyonce was honoring Ledisi by singing the song since the Grammy’s didn’t invite Ledisi to sing. This just could have been Beyonce’s way of honoring Ledisi’s great talent. There is always a positive way to look at things. Let’s stop criticizing each other. This would be our (Black People’s) world and other people would be just living in it if we start speaking up for each other instead of the opposite. My opinion, I’m just sayin.

  • Andrea Rose Clarke

    “You don’t really say no to Beyonce”?! Who is she, God? Oh wait…#politicsasusual #whythinkforyourself #noballswhatsoever

  • Loez

    It’s a fucking song get over it. So what if she sang the dang song it’s not like she killed someone.

    • nicole ready

      Its not about the song, its about the principle. Honoring a movie and requesting the stars to perform the songs in the movie with the exception of one, because she is not famous enough, not pretty enough, not popular enough is egregious and disrespectful. Ledisi has a powerful voice, but beyonce has a powerful name so forget principle, lets choose name because ratings over right prevail on Grammy night. I feel sorry for people who think money and fame is the totality of life. Wait to they discover its also an afterlife.

  • ShayNayRay

    What a well deserved breakout opportunity this would have been for Ledisi, whose years of education, acting, singing and songwriting artistry led to being cast in “Selma.” John Legend, please make this right at the Academy Awards!
    Beyonce, don’t be surprised if you hear the opening lines to Ledisi’s “Like This” coming at you for awhile (Yes, the song was nominated but lost to “Drunk in Love”) — “DONT WANT TO BE WITH YOU / YOU SINGING SOME ONE ELSE’S SONG” !!
    (Show Ledisi some support and download “The Truth” today…)

  • Tawanna Tina Cooper

    Precious Lord was not an intro Glory. The Grammy awards team did not ask Ledisi to sing because it was Beyoncé’s idea to introduce John and Common. Now if the Grammy committe had the idea asked Ledisi and then retracted and replaced her with Beyonce that would be a different conversation. When Beyonce suggested the arrangement everyone jped on it because of ratings and their is a short documentary on the all male back up singers where they are interviewed and it is explained why she wanted to sing the song and introduce her friends

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