Up until that point, many of the Grammy performances were simple.
Then Beyoncé showed up, and presented a nine-minute ode to womanhood.
For the viewers at home, it was quite the visual spectacle, one in which it was difficult to distinguish between the in-the-flesh performer and filmed footage of her and other women moving about.
The singing didn’t begin for quite some time. Instead, we heard a prerecorded Beyoncé reciting poetry in the mold of her visual album “Lemonade” as she moved about the stage joined by an army of women in shimmery white and gold dresses.
“Do you remember being born?” she asked, dressed as a golden goddess. “Are you thankful for the hips that cracked, the deep velvet of your mother, and her mother, and her mother?”
“Your mother is a woman, and women like her cannot be contained,” she later said.
It required one of the more complicated setups for a live award show: It included dozens of dancers, a live band backstage and thousands of flowers, the Los Angeles Times reported. Beyoncé walked across a table, surrounded by petals and women, to take a seat in a chair that tilted back at a somewhat precarious angle.
But, yes, the singing. Beyoncé sang portions of “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles,” at times while seated.
The pop megastar announced earlier this month, much to the surprise of her fans, that she was pregnant with twins.
On Sunday, Tina Knowles provided the introduction to the performance, speaking about the “devotion and love I see in her for her daughter, and the way she has always expressed love to all those around her.”
She added, “with a mother’s pride, my daughter, Beyoncé.”