Those of you watching the Grammy telecast on Sunday night may remember the middle-school-caliber speech Beyonce gave as an introduction to Tina Turner, where she ran down all the icons of the past who she wanted to be like before instructing the audience to get on their feet* for Turner, who she referred to as “the Queen.” Well, Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin–lumped in as one of the “historical women” who didn’t quite measure up to Turner for whatever reason–was not happy with the slight, going so far as to issue a statement: “I am not sure of whose toes I may have stepped on or whose ego I may have bruised between the Grammy writers and Beyoncé, however I dismissed it as a cheap shot for controversy. In addition to that, I thank the Grammys and the voting academy for my 20th Grammy and love to Beyoncé anyway.” I seriously doubt that anyone else saw Beyonce’s coronation of Turner as a “cheap shot” (I saw of it as yet another indication that the show’s writers were clearly scrambling for last minute material), but judge for yourself with the YouTube of the performance–and the cringeworthy text of Beyonce’s intro–after the jump.
“Sarah Vaughn, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan … historical women who have performed on this very stage. When I was a little girl I dreamed of being on this stage. But I knew I needed all the right elements. Like the beat of Donna Summer, the spirit of Mahalia Jackson, the jazz of Ella, or Nancy–band, gimme some! (“jazzy” bit of “Deja Vu” plays) Lena Horne, Anita Baker, Diana Ross, Gladys, Janet, and the beautiful melodies of Whitney. The legacy they have bestowed are simply irreplaceable.
“But there is one legend who has the essence of all of these things. The glamour. The soul. The passion.
The strength. The talent. Ladies and gentlemen, stand on your feet and give it up for the Queen.”
Aretha at Grammys: Not Feeling The R-E-S-P-E-C-T [People]
* B really likes instructing people to stand up–a Destiny’s Child show a few years back was marked by her telling us to “Get up for God.” Perhaps she was a second-grade teacher in a previous life?