Maze's Frankie Beverly recently spoke about his long-time friendship with Beyoncé and how that even didn't prepare him for the "off the chain" remake of their classic song.
As Blavity reported, the queen of the Beyhive shocked millennial fans and old school heads alike when she released a remake of their 1981 R&B hit "Before I Let Go" on her surprise live album Homecoming. Billboard reports the original song peaked at No. 13 on the R&B charts. However, most Black families know that the song's impact goes far beyond some chart. The song is a staple among African-American communities in celebration of everything from summertime cookouts to graduations and weddings to this day.
The 72-year-old legend who wrote the single for their Live In New Orleans album, told the publication all he knows about the song's recreation, his friendship with Beyoncé that began many moons ago and why he was inspired to write the uptempo breakup song.
For starters, in Mrs. Carter-Knowles fashion, Beverly says he was left in the dark about the momentous occasion until about one to two weeks before it was introduced to the rest of the world.
"She's a great friend of mine but I didn't know she was going to do this," he said. "She kept it quiet until her people called me one day… When they played it, that's when I heard the first draft of it and I was blown away."
As far as Beyoncé's impact goes, Beverly says it's a moment he'll never forget.
"I'm caught off guard, but in a beautiful way… She's such a sweet person too. Then the way she just released it, it's off the chain," he added, speaking of the highly discreet manner Beyoncé and her Parkwood Entertainment team rolled out her Netflix documentary, live album and subsequent merchandise to follow.
"She's done so much, this is one of the high points of my life," the Philadelphia native said who has accumulated 9 gold albums and a significant following of his distinct baritone voice.
"I feel bigger than ever!" he admitted. "I feel like I have a huge smash out there… Other people have done my songs, but the way she did this was in a class of its own… She's done something that has affected my life. I haven't even spoken to a publication like [Billboard] in quite a while. So it's changed things around for me."
The "Happy Feelin's" artist shared that he and the 37-year-old phenom met over 20 years ago in Texas before she became the superstar she is today.
"I think she was in her teens at the time, if that," Beverly said. "I guess she really liked Maze and the song even then, so her mother brought her to our show at the Houston Rodeo. I met her then for the first time but didn't know much about her."
The lead singer, who is currently on tour with his band, also said that the two have worked together several times over the years.
Additionally, he opened up about how the lyrics to the popular uptempo summertime song came about: heartbreak.
"It was about a relationship I was in," said the singer-songwriter-producer. "I was so into the girl, but it just wasn't working out. I was thinking, 'What am I gonna do?' and that thought inspired the song. I was going to try to do all of these things 'before I let go.'"
"It came out of me pretty good, too," he recalls. "Even the music, it was all a gift from God. Today me and the girl are still close, but we don't see each other like that. But it was a real deal love type of thing."
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