Probably the most anticipated moment — in a show billed with a massive slate of anticipated moments — at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards was the promised appearance from Beyoncé. The superstar announced a little over a week ago via Instagram that she was expecting twins, essentially breaking the Internet and fueling baby bump fever for her turn on the Grammy stage.
Bey’s performance, then, clearly could not help but be all about motherhood — a theme that kicked in right away when her mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson, announced her daughter’s appearance “with a mother’s pride.”
The singer executed a royally haughty rendition of the spoken-word excerpts from her album Lemonade, then rolled into “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles” surrounded by a confusing, multiplying troupe of female dancers and heaps of flowers. Adding to the craziness, images of herself spinning around with her first child, Blue Ivy Carter — whose image multiplied into many Blue Ivy Carters — preceded the live action.
After an affectionate introduction by her own mother, Tina Knowles, Beyoncé appeared as a crowned fertility goddess with her pregnant belly highlighted for the camera; at one point, her 5-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, ran around her.
Surrounded by dancers, and with projected images of herself in saffron robes, Beyoncé performed the songs “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles” from her album “Lemonade.” When she accepted the award minutes later for best urban contemporary album, Beyoncé read a prepared statement.
Bey assumed full goddess mode as she moved gracefully through “Love Drought” while backed by an array of dancers. However, she followed this gorgeous extravagance with pure simplicity, sitting down and belting a devastating rendition of “Sandcastles.” The performance closed on an optimistic note, with Beyoncé reciting another Shire line, “If we’re going to heal, let it be glorious/ One thousand girls raise their arms.”
Beyoncé, who recently announced that she is pregnant with twins, was nominated for nine awards, including Record of the Year for “Formation,” Album of the Year for Lemonade and Best Rock Performance for “Don’t Hurt Yourself.” She won Best Music Video for “Formation” and Best Urban Contemporary Album for Lemonade.
The singer has performed at many Grammy ceremonies over the years. Last year, she surprised audiences with a cover of the gospel classic “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” before John Legend and Common’s “Glory.” The year prior, she opened the show with Jay Z for a rendition of their duet “Drunk in Love.” Back in 2004, Beyoncé and Prince performed a medley of Prince’s greatest hits to open the 46th Grammy Awards, and at the 50th Grammy Awards in 2008, she joined Tina Turner onstage for a rendition of “Proud Mary.” The appearance was Turner’s public comeback after years away from the spotlight and live performances.