Beyoncé was not on the official list of Grammys performers before Sunday’s ceremony, but she surprised the audience inside Los Angeles’ Staples Center for her first public appearance since revealing her pregnancy earlier this month.
After a mix of pre-tape video and technical tricks, Beyoncé performed “Love Drought” from Lemonade amid a sea of dancers. The ethereal set featured Beyoncé dressed like a goddess, complete with a golden sun crown. She then transitioned into the song “Sand Castles,” another ballad off the blockbuster album.
Beyoncé announced she was pregnant with twins on Feb. 1. Though her slot on the bill was unannounced, rumors had been swirling for weeks that she would sing during the broadcast. It was her mother, Tina Knowles, who introduced Beyoncé on Sunday night.
“I’m blessed to have daughters, wonderful daughters, all of whom make me proud with everything they do,” Knowles told the crowd before Beyoncé took the stage. “I am proud of their accomplishments, their self-confidence, and their desire to make a difference. What makes me most proud and why I’m here tonight to introduce Beyoncé is the devotion and love I see in her for her daughter and the way she has always expressed love to all of those around her. I believe she earned nine Grammy nominations for her Lemonade album this year because of all that and more. It’s evident in her powerful words and music. Ladies and gentlemen, with a mother’s pride, my daughter Beyoncé.”
Beyoncé led the nominations going into Sunday’s award show and was up for nine trophies. As of her performance, she had won one statue, for Best Music Video (“Formation”). She’s also up for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Album of the Year.