Career and BusinessCulture

Five business savvy things you can learn from Ledisi’s and Beyoncé’s Grammy Non-Performance Performance (Video)

Ledisi and Beyonce on Grammy night.

Ledisi and Beyoncé on Grammy night. Images via screen shot.

Darn near everyone already knows that Beyoncé sang “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” at the Grammy Awards. It was the beautifully sung song by Ledisi, who portrayed the great Mahalia Jackson in the movie “Selma.” While everyone is deciding who is right and who is wrong, there are many lessons that can be learned from this incident.

Listen here for Ledisi’s version of “Take My Hand Precious Lord.”

Here is Beyoncé’s version

When you see an opportunity go for it or someone else will. Beyoncé didn’t hesitate. She went for it and asked John Legend if she could lead in for his and Common’s song “Glory” and claimed it.

According to E! John Legend said, “We were actually approached by Beyoncé. She wanted to do an intro to our performance and introduce us. You don’t really say no to Beyoncé if she asks to perform with you.” Read more here.

Even if something is not your expertise try it. You never know until you try. Well, Beyoncé tried singing gospel.  While she has a beautiful voice, according to the overwhelming social media consensus, unless you were not raised in a Black church, Beyoncé lacks the soul to sing gospel music. Pop music is her thing.

If you are put in a horrible position, maintain your dignity. That is exactly what Ledisi did. She handled a very uncomfortable situation with a lot of class. She is receiving tons of positive attention. Hopefully, the Oscars will take advantage of the publicity and allow her to perform her version. Take a look at her response here.

Place yourself in a position of power so you can leverage your power. Beyoncé asked to do the song knowing that regardless of the quality of the performance, she could bring eyeballs to the Grammys. I mean, why else would anyone stay up late to watch the show? Unfortunately, Ledisi could not. All the Grammys care about are their ratings! Of course, it does help when your hubby owns the help (John Legend) so you can do what you want.

“All my skin folk ain’t all my kin folk.” – Zora Neale Hurston. While claiming her choice for singing this song was about the vulnerability of Black men, Beyoncé ruthlessly took the spotlight from a Black woman. In a larger sense, that happens to Black women every day when we focus on Black issues i.e. Black men’s issues.  The point is just because we are Black women it does not mean we are all looking out for each other.

What happened between Ledisi and Beyoncé happens in offices, schools, and in life to Black women every single day. It was just remarkable to watch it evolve on such a large-scale. The lesson is you have to go for yours and if someone is taking advantage of you, you have to know how to deal with the situation. I hope Ledisi finally gets the credit she is due and is rewarded for her class and talent. It is absolutely amazing to watch the business savvy Beyoncé dominate her industry. What do you think?

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  1. Cherri 9 February, 2015 at 17:45 Reply

    I get going for yours but this was such a whack move to do to another Black woman, especially for a White audience. I mean, damn. Assuming Beyonce would have even attended, I have to wonder if she would have attempted a move like that at a Black venue like the BET Awards?

      • Pale 15 February, 2018 at 01:00 Reply

        My feeling is that she was already part of the act and these two dudes sidelined her. The main acts have the choice of who is on stage with them. They have that power. So they in fact could have said no

  2. Shannon A 9 February, 2015 at 17:49 Reply

    I completely agree. Everyone’s version is going to be different. But what Beyonce does that everyone fails to realize is that she puts herself out there not only to succeed but also to fail. She understands that you have one life and no time to be playing around with folks. Go after what you want in life no matter what it is. It’s called the entertainment BUSINESS for a reason.

  3. Delicious 9 February, 2015 at 18:43 Reply

    You can say its just business but honestly I don’t see what Beyonce gained from this. Did she want an opportunity to prove she could sing gospel? She didn’t benefit from any Selma/Glory hype. She is a bigger star than the movie or the artists performing the song. The Grammys would have allowed her to sing one of the newer songs off the (now old) Beyonce cd. This situation just makes her look petty and the reviews weren’t great so its not a win for her unless the point is to demonstrate her power.

    • Spinster 9 February, 2015 at 21:06 Reply

      Exactly. She could’ve graciously given Ledisi the spotlight. She did that when Kanye West embarrassed the shit out of Taylor Swift, so why couldn’t she sit the hell down for this?

  4. Cherri 9 February, 2015 at 18:53 Reply

    Also, she pulled this moved on someone she knew she could get away with pulling it on, not on someone who is on a more equal footing with her, like Rihanna or Katy Perry. That I could respect. But this? I’m sorry, I’m not going to celebrate or applaud this bullyish bratty behavior.

  5. Spinster 9 February, 2015 at 21:04 Reply

    “While claiming her choice for singing this song was about the vulnerability of Black men”…

    (typical male-enabling & caping)

    “…Beyoncé ruthlessly took the spotlight from a Black woman.”

    (which is exactly what male enablers do – cape for men and place them on pedestals, while throwing [black] women under the bus)

    The vulnerability of black men my entire ass. 😐

  6. deena 9 February, 2015 at 21:11 Reply

    How are you a black woman who was raised in the church but cant sing gospel? The performance was so forced. ick!!! Beyonce proved who shouldn’t have done it-herself.

  7. Felicia Marie 9 February, 2015 at 21:49 Reply

    First ill address the Moron currently knoen as Kanye, then ill address Cryonce…Oh…. My… God! This guy. Does this tired , diluted, narcissistic bafoon, not understand what “artistry” actually is? Beck has written sings for some of the top musicians. I said MUSICIANS in the industry, PRINCE being one of them. And as far as that self important trash bucket Beyonce is concerned, that performance she bullied herself into was horrendous! Katie Perry ( an actual trained and polished gospel singer) would’ve done better because at least Katie, like Ledesi, are anointed singers!! That heifer Beyonce Knowles over sang and screeched through on of the world’s best loved gospel hymns… Shameful. .Jayz, “Cryonce”, Kanye and that Trick Kim, can have several stadium sized seats; preferably in a far back dark corner, near an exit!

  8. Eva 10 February, 2015 at 09:06 Reply

    I didn’t like Beyonce’s version of the song. But I have to be real, she sang the song because more people know who Beyonce is than they know who Ledisi is.

    And that is very true, “all skin folk ain’t kin folk.” I learned that by watching how the white people treated each other in business. White women and men will walk over each other to get what they want, why would I expect black people to be any different?

  9. reality_check 10 February, 2015 at 21:32 Reply

    Just to be fair, and please correct me if I’m wrong but there was going to be NO intro before Beyonce asked John Legend to sing and intro for their performance. Everyone is assuming she “stole” a performance from Ledisi, but by all accounts, she called and made the suggestion.

    I am not a Beyonce stan. But this woman either seizes or creates opportunities. Can’t blame her for that now can you?

    • BWMM 23 February, 2015 at 10:52 Reply

      That’s the thing we don’t know that. There are also rumors that John and Common were going to have Ledisi sing, but Beyoncé asked “and you can’t say no to Bey. hmmm.)

      Artists slated to perform have a choice of who performs with them. Kanye chose an unknown black singer over Lauryn Hill to give the unknown singer the spotlight.

  10. Michele 11 February, 2015 at 15:38 Reply

    This is what happens when the people around you are to scared to tell you the truth. Somebody should have told that woman not to sing that song. Her voice was to weak for it. She is Beyonce she could have closed the show with any song she wanted from her catalog. The Grammys would have allowed it. Now it just looks like she shat on Ledisi and now people are comparing her vocals to a superior singer.

  11. firefly88 11 February, 2015 at 19:57 Reply

    First lets start with Beyonce she might be experimenting and all that is great. She can flex her power because she has amasses it and get most of what she wants. However, I think she rushed this one and if, she was thinking long term she would have found another way to do this and test her gospel appeal.
    How? She should have taken the time to devise a way to be on stage with the woman and champion her and sing with her. Why one it puts her in a strong position to influence future invites where she has no in and no real reach or power. Making an alley of this other woman would have given her an easy in with other singer more to potentially produce, connect with and manage means more money control and fame. Also, B should avoid looking like a B whenever possible as you can always get more with honey than with vinegar.It also weakens her standing and gives Ledisi an advantage that she in no way is indebted to Bey and can subtly cry foul and get sympathy which is already happening all over the web.

    Ledisi did it right and came out ahead from where she started just like Jennifer Hudson. She showed poise grace and had the luck for one of the biggest names in the business to attach her name and fame to hers. She is getting way more publicity and people are now searching and listening to her music and she has other people on their websites championing a cause for her that she did ask for or recognize. She is in a position where all she has to do is say the tactful things she has been saying about the situation and sit back and enjoy. Beyonce gave her a big gift and lowered herself to do it which means if, Beyonce steps into Ledisi way too many times she’ll come off as an ogre and can and will lose power. If, Ledisi is shrewd which she appears to be she knows she holds the cards in this situation and only needs to sit back and let Beyonce do the talking and approaching whatever the outcome it is most likely to Ledisi advantage.

    I listened to both songs and Bey has some work to do if, she really wants to pull off songs like that. I have a feeling though she’ll stick to pop cause that is where her money is at.

  12. darkandlovely 16 February, 2015 at 14:41 Reply

    Even though Ledisi sang the song in Selma, the song does not “belong” to her. Just because you sing a song does not mean that you own it.

  13. Yolanda 24 February, 2015 at 06:13 Reply

    The Gramny ratings were at a 6 year low so no one was watching for Beyonce. I understand being business savvy as we own a family business. However, this was only about Beyonce’s business. I didn’t watch (except Common/John Legend on Youtube) because the Gramny’s suck & real artists/musicians/singers don’t get the due they deserve. Beyonce gained nothing for her performance, no more wealth or fame. If she had to ask, that means she wasn’t invited so she made a spot for herself. Her showmanship is first rate, however I find her talent rather dubious and I have seen her perform live. I actually hated her performance as did many hundreds of others who walked out while she performed. If Ledisi had sang, people around the world would’ve been floored & she could’ve gained many new fans. Dancing, prancing, shaking of the as$ & slangin’ horse hair does not a great singer make.

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