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Beyonce and Jay Z Open Grammys With Steamy 'Drunk in Love' Performance

Duo team for Bey's 'Beyonce' track at 56th Annual Grammy Awards

Beyonce performs at the Grammys.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
January 26, 2014 8:20 PM ET

For the opening performance of the 2014 Grammy Awards, Beyoncé and Jay Z tag teamed on “Drunk in Love.” The joint performance opened with Bey sitting on a chair with her back to the audience,  belting out the slow, sexy lyrics – taking a few moments to give a sultry glance to onlookers at home. The stage was dark and smoke surrounded the superstar until she finally got up and started to strut a bit. When Jay Z came out for his verse, the audience erupted. The pair held hands, slow-danced a bit and got the show off to a steamy start. It was a near flawless performance — and the first time they’ve played this song together in public live.

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The two are no stranger to Grammy collaborations. Last year, Jay performed “Suit & Tie” with Justin Timberlake. In 2009 he joined forces with Colplay in 2009 for “Lost!” and in one of the weirder collaborations, he performed a Beatles medley with Paul McCartney and Linkin Park in 2006. Beyoncé has performed solo numerous times and in 2008, she played “Proud Mary” with Tina Turner. Tonight’s performance was the first time they husband-wife power couple have performed together on the Grammys.

Although Beyoncé surprised the world with her new album Beyoncé after the deadline for Grammy nominations for the 2014 awards, she was up for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for her contribution to Jay Z's track "Part II (On the Run)” tonight. That was one of nine nominations for Hova, who got six nods for his own work and three more for his contributions to projects by Justin Timberlake and Kendrick Lamar. Jay Z's Magna Carta . . . Holy Grail was up for Best Rap Album, the single "Holy Grail" (featuring Timberlake) was up for Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Performance, "Tom Ford" got a nod for Best Rap Performance and Jay Z's nearly 11-minute clipPicasso Baby: A Performance Art Film was nominated for Best Music Video.

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"Part II (On the Run)" wasn't Beyoncé's only musical collaboration with Jay Z last year. He rapped on her song "Drunk in Love," and also appeared with her in the video, directed by Hype Williams, which takes place at night on a beach in Florida.

Watch the performance:

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Song Stories

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

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