The song “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” rose to importance this year as it appeared on the Selma soundtrack and played a powerful moment in the film. However, it was not sung by Bey in the film, but rather a lesser known — but equally talented — woman named Ledisi Young.
The actress and singer portrayed Mahalia Jackson in the film and royally recorded the hymn for it… And yet she was not the performer asked to take the stage last night.
Even worse? Young was in attendance at the Grammy Awards due to her nomination for Best R&B Performance, which she lost to — get this — Beyoncé.
Young revealed she had no idea how Bey came to be chosen over her for the performance, admitting she was a little disappointed she wasn’t asked.
“But I got over that and I had to look at the positive and empower women,” she told the Associated Press before the show. “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.”
Many others, however, were not able to move on as quickly as Young, unable to understand why the Grammy producers wouldn’t somehow incorporate Young into the performance.
So if “Precious Lord” was gonna be the lead-in to “Glory” why not keep it all the way Selma and let Ledisi sing it? No shade, just asking.
— Tiffany (@BeckyFletch) February 9, 2015
Beyoncé, blonde, steals song from a dark skinned black artist from a movie about civil rights. We’re still on the plantation. #Ledisi
— Max S. Gordon (@maxgordon19) February 9, 2015
Beyoncé has yet to respond to the controversy, but did release a moving behind-the-scenes look at the men who were involved her performance in a video titled, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord: The Voices.”
The video dives into the lives of Bey’s backup gospel singers, having them open up about how they’ve been affected by discrimination, the controversy in Ferguson and the meaning of the song.
So despite the debate as to who should have performed the hymn, we’re glad to see Beyoncé using it as a means to raising awareness and delivering a message of peace during what’s been a sad year in U.S. history.
Check out the full video by hitting play above.