Beyonce took to the stage at the Grammys on Sunday night and belted out a touching rendition of Mahalia Jackson's "Precious Lord, Take My Hand." Despite putting on a heartfelt show, the performance has been overshadowed by controversy with critics asking why Beyonce was selected to sing the gospel track over "Selma" actress Ledisi.
Ledisi sang Jackson's song in "Selma," which was one of the highlights of the Academy award-nominated film.
Beyonce is said to have approached John Legend and Common, who performed their Academy award-winning song "Glory," about singing Jackson's song but did not consult Ledisi. The singer told AP that she was "a little disappointed"
"But I got over that and I had to look at the positive and empower women. 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," she told AP on the red carpet prior to Beyonce's performance.
She also gracefully told ET "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."
During her performance, Beyonce appeared in head-to-toe white and she was backed on stage with an all-male choir. At one point, the choir raised their hands as a gesture to showcase support for the "hands up don't shoot"-led protests which swept the nation last year amid ongoing civil unrest stemming from the controversial deaths of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown and Staten Island resident Eric Garner.
Despite the growing questions about Ledisi and why she was not asked to sing, Beyonce's soulful rendition and the political tribute in her performance resonated with the crowd and drew applause.
Legend took the time to explain how exactly Beyonce came to sing the gospel track amid critcism.
"We were actually approached by Beyonce," said Legend. "She wanted to do an intro to our performance and introduce us. You don't really say no to Beyonce if she asks to perform with you."
In Dec., Ava DuVernay's "Selma" was named the top film of 2014 by the African-American Film Critics Association.