59th GRAMMY nominees Beyoncé, Mike Will Made-It and others tell the inside story of the Album Of The Year-nominated Lemonade
On the evening of April 23, 2016, Beyoncé turned the entire entertainment industry on its head with the surprise release of Lemonade. With its Best Music Film GRAMMY-nominated companion celebrating African-American culture, and lyrics that had everyone speculating about her relationship with Jay Z and the identity of “Becky with the good hair,” Lemonade successfully quenched her fans’ thirst.
The leading 59th GRAMMY nominee’s sixth studio album is arguably more nuanced than her previous projects. While Beyoncé has tackled women’s empowerment and relationship topics before, Lemonade is more personal, representing a shift for an artist who manages to be omnipresent and mysterious. For the first time, Beyoncé appeared vulnerable, but still Queen Bey — demonstrated with songs celebrating her womanhood and heritage in the midst of racial turmoil.
The album has since become a pop-culture phenomenon — discussed everywhere from daytime talk shows to university classrooms — garnering Beyoncé nine GRAMMY nominations in six Fields, including Rock, R&B and Rap, and upping her career nomination total to 62. Following is the inside story of Lemonade.
James Blake (featured artist/producer): Beyoncé came to the studio and I was sitting at the piano when I met her. She was just lovely. I came up with something to go with an idea she had. I just embellished her melody. I think the idea was to use some of her lyrics, but I didn’t realize that — I misunderstood and did something entirely different from what she wanted. But it didn’t matter, because she really liked it. Blue Ivy was there too, which was nice. She was singing along to the song, which was a huge compliment because kids just don’t have any pretense whatsoever.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that my song came in at the point that it did, and that she harmonizes with me for a brief moment. The first time I heard that, I got chills.
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