Beyoncé had a very good Feb. 8, 2004. She won five out of the six Grammy awards for which she’d been nominated, including Best R&B Song with “Crazy In Love” — and she spent five spirited minutes performing with Prince.
During their performance, which launched the televised portion of the 46th Grammy Awards, Prince and Beyoncé ran through a medley of the former’s songs and a snippet of “Crazy In Love.” To begin, Prince walks down a staircase, lit in his signature color, and starts a soulful version of “Purple Rain.” Beyoncé walks onstage while singing, “Never wanted to be your weekend lover,” and both icons belt into one microphone before jumping into “Baby I’m A Star.” After Beyoncé calls out the “uh oh” hook of her smash hit, Prince adds a little guitar shimmer, and they move into his own “Crazy” tune. All the while, Prince twirls, Beyoncé werks, and both artists look elated to be onstage.
According to Grammys executive producer Ken Erlich, Prince had been asking Beyoncé to work with him in some capacity, and her manager (her father Matthew Knowles) suggested the ceremony as a possible performance venue. Beyoncé turned the idea down at first, electing to focus on her shorter solo performance later on in the night (the Grammys took place after the 2003 release of her debut solo album, Dangerously in Love, but before Destiny’s Child broke up in 2006). After some negotiations, all parties agreed to go for it, and Prince wrote the arrangement within a day.
On stage, Prince and Beyoncé seem to savor the fast-paced spectacle, each song like a zippy lap in a go-kart. After the last note, an amped Prince demands, “Don’t hate us cause we fabulous,” tossing his guitar aside to peacock around Beyoncé. Below, you can watch both artists, typically so private and reined in, enjoy this spectacle in the spotlight.
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