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Ledisi Addresses Grammy Gospel Performance Controversy


The 57th Annual Grammy Awards were held in Los Angeles today. The show was as long and tedious as ever, and British soul singer Sam Smith took home four awards.

The year's second biggest controversy, just after Iggy Azalea's many nominations, was the choice to use Beyoncé in a performance of "Take My Hand Precious Lord" as a lead-in to "Glory" by John Legend and Common. Both songs appear on the "Selma" soundtrack, but Ledisi performed the film version and portrayed Mahalia Jackson on screen.

John Legend confirmed that Beyoncé requested to perform the song and the offer was too good to pass up. "You don’t really say no to Beyonce if she asks to perform with you," he told ET.
Both Ledisi fans and gospel music purists questioned the decision, but when asked about it, Ledisi delivered a perfectly gracious response.

"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.”

She went on, “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.”



Ledisi's version is available on iTunes.

Here's Bey's rendition (before it gets removed)


Kimberly Foster is the founder and editor of For Harriet. Email or

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