When Beyonce Lost The Best Rock Performance To David Bowie
Is there anything Queen Bey can’t do? No, is there? Apparently not, because it turns out Beyonce also made waves on the charts with her 2016 hard rock hit ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself,’ which she produced with Jack White. The track that was a part of the iconic ‘Lemonade’ album was highly appreciated not just by the fans but also by the Grammys as she received a nomination for the song in the category that was somewhat out of her normal radar.
I’ll rewind the tape and share how a hard rock track landed in Beyonce’s album and how it ran against David Bowie’s ‘Blackstar’ at the 2017 Grammys. It all started with White and Beyonce admiring each other to sparks flying when they came together in the same room. The instant chemistry and admiration for one another’s work resulted in a collaboration that became an iconic song from Beyonce’s most beloved album.
White shared with NPR how the song came to be. He explained, “You know, I just talked to her, and she said, ‘I wanna be in a band with you.’ I said, ‘Really? Well, I’d love to do something.’ I’ve always loved her voice — I mean, I think she has the kind of soul-singing voice of the days of Betty Davis or Aretha Franklin.”
When he heard the recording of the track, White was baffled by what the pop icon had made of just a lyrical outline. He shared, “She took a sketch of a lyrical outline and turned it into the most bodacious, vicious, incredible song. I don’t even know what you’d classify it as — soul, rock and roll, whatever. ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’ is incredibly intense; I’m amazed at what she did with it.”
What would have made it the cherry on the cake? If the track had won at the 2017 Grammys. It was a big deal that the song was even nominated as Beyonce hadn’t been a part of that category before; however, it showed everyone that the Queen could be the best at everything she does.
On the ceremony night, the award was given to David Bowie’s track ‘Blackstar.’ This is Bowie we’re talking about, so it was a no-brainer, really, but even just the thought of Beyonce receiving the award at her first nomination for Rock/ Hard Rock would have been iconic. Because bear in mind the track had guitar and backing vocals from Jack White and a sample from Led Zeppelin’s ‘When the Levee Breaks.’
However, does losing take away from Beyonce’s lure? Not one bit, as the singer won two awards for her album in other categories that night. But let’s be honest, whether she wins or not, she’s still the Queen. If you have yet to hear the soul, rock, and roll track by some odd chance, give it a listen; the nomination wasn’t in vain!