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.

See the 25 best & worst moments from this year's wild Grammys

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.

The 21 best, worst and weirdest 2014 Grammys fashion moments

"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:

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

More Song Stories entries »