Many were surprised when Beyonce took the stage at the 2015 Grammys on Sunday, Feb. 8, choosing to sing a gospel hymn instead of one of the sexy tracks off her much-nominated self-titled visual album. But the pop diva, 33, decided to send a message that was close to her heart during the live show’s finale.
Singing “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” with an all-male choir of black men standing behind her was a very deliberate move on the part of the 20-time Grammy winner.
“I wanted to find real men that have lived, have struggled, cried, and have a life and a spirit about them,” she said in a newly released behind-the-scenes video called “‘Take My Hand, Precious Lord’: The Voices.” “I felt like this is an opportunity to show the strength and vulnerability in black men.”
Beyonce chose to do this after a year plagued with race-related protests following the controversial deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and more.
“My grandparents marched with Dr. King, and my father was part of the first generation of black men that attended an all-white school,” Beyonce said of her dad and former manager Mathew Knowles. “My father has grown up with a lot of trauma from those experiences. I feel like now I can sing for his pain. I can sing for my grandparents pain. I can sing for some of the families who have lost their sons.”
Her powerful rendition of the classic anthem introduced the Oscar-nominated song “Glory,” which was sung by John Legend and rapper Common. Both “Glory” and another version of “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” were featured on the Selma soundtrack.
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