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Beyoncé Talks Personal, Political Connection to "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" Grammy Performance [WATCH]

by Shawn Christ   Feb 10, 2015 10:59 AM EST

Despite losing the Album of the Year award to Beck, Beyoncé reigned supreme in the performance realm of the Grammys. She introduced the gospel standard "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" to a legion of pop fans and followers in a show-stopping tribute to the civil rights movement. Bey talked about the political message of the song following the ceremony in a video clip, revealing her personal connection to the standard as well.

The singer channeled Mahalia Jackson's rendition of the moving Thomas A. Dorsey song, which her mother played for her as a child.

"My mother sang it to me and my mother played me Mahalia Jackson's version. She sang the song with her eyes closed. She was a vessel, it was like God speaking, using her body to speak and to heal," Bey remembers in the clip below, via Billboard.

For her performance, the former Destiny's Child leader sang for her family, who all suffered injustices due to race -- her grandparents marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She also wanted to soothe the pain of "families that have lost their sons," which was evident when her male backup vocalists put their hands up to signify the recent "Hands-Up Don't-Shoot" protests stemming from the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

"I wanted to find real men that have lived, that have struggled, cried. Have a life and spirit about them. I felt like this is an opportunity to show the strength and vulnerability in black people," she added about her singers.

One singer in the video summed up the performance as a "risk" for the superstar, since she chose not to sing anything from her self-titled album at the awards show.

"She's just doing what's close to her heart," he said.

Common and John Legend closed out the night with another moving tribute, singing their recent collaboration "Glory" from the civil rights film Selma.

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