Meet the R&B Legend Responsible for the Song Behind Beyoncé's #BeforeILetGo Challenge
Frankie Beverly says he has worked with Beyoncé before, but didn't expect this to take off the way it has.
All hail Queen Bey.
When Beyoncé dropped Homecoming on Netflix, which documented her groundbreaking 2018 Coachella performance, she surprised everyone with a remake of an R&B classic at the very end: the 1981 hit “Before I Let Go” by Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly.
It immediately spawned the #BeforeILetGo challenge. At the end of her remake, in true Beyoncé form, she starts to sing instructions to a line dance. For the challenge, people have been uploading videos of themselves dancing to the moves she directs them to do.
1981 was also the year Beyoncé entered the world. Is this a conspiracy?
“I didn't know she was born then. Wow.That's funny. That's funny,” Frankie Beverly laughed, speaking to InsideEdition.com.
Beverly is the founder and lead singer of the group, Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly.
Originally, Beverly formed the band back in 1970 under a different name — Raw Soul — but a meeting with legendary crooner Marvin Gaye would convince Beverly to change the name to Maze.
When the band first released “Before I Let Go,” it peaked at number 13 on the Billboard R&B charts.
For more than five decades, Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly has been taking their gift of song around the world, performing a slew of hits like “We Are One” and “Can’t Get Over You.”
Beverly says he has worked with Queen Bey before. Although his band’s music has been sampled time and time again by several different artists, he says none of them has had the affect of Beyonce's remake.
"I never expected to do all this. The song has been out there for so long, I just thought all of that has been done and people have given me all they can do for all these years," Beverly shared.
Alexis says the idea popped into his head right after he finished watching the Netflix film.
"Our idea in general was to bring people together. Capitalizing on that and helping her on that is definitely what she would want," Alexis told InsideEdition.com.
Beyoncé is notorious for rarely posting on Instagram. But the challenge prompted her to use her Instagram Story for the very first time. Alexis and Barthell’s video was the very first one she posted. They couldn’t believe it.
"Insane in the membrane. Heart dropped," they said.
Until InsideEdition.com told Alexis and Barthell, they had no idea they are also featured in a music video for the song that is featured on Beyoncé's official Vevo account.
However, do not be fooled. Although it looks like Beyoncé in that video, it is actually Miss Shalae, her impersonator.
“I did not know that. Oh my Gosh! This is the best week ever," Alexis said.
To say the challenge took off would be a gross understatement.
At first, choreographer Charles Smith gathered a few dozen women on a New York City basketball court for it. After successfully pulling that off, Smith figured he could go bigger — in Times Square.
There, he managed to get more than 70 women to hit every move of the challenge. Smith says he was inspired by his mom, sister and aunts, who used to rock to Maze’s original record.
“They had a dance back in the day they would do to the original song and I wanted to create that feeling that I felt back in the cookout days. Us as millennials have a cookout song. That was my original goal to make it feel like the first one," Smith told InsideEdition.com.
After practicing a few times, Alexandria Moreland shot her video solo in her backyard. She was more than surprised wtwhen it showed up in Beyoncé's Instagram Story.
As a self-proclaimed member of the Beyhive and graduate of Hampton University, she says both the challenge and the documentary hold a special place in her heart.
"It just brought my back to the entire experience navigating post graduate life especially as a black woman and it’s kind of hard to explain what an HBCU experience really was,” Moreland told InsideEdition.com. “The fact that Beyoncé used her platform to cater to especially that culture— I feel like she told my story," Moreland told InsideEdition.com.
With the challenges continuing to pour in, don’t expect Beverly to do one.
“No, no, no. It's too precious. This is her thing and I'm just part of it because of her," Beverly chuckled.
The whole thing is giving the 72 year-old — who is currently on tour — a seventh wind in his career, exposing his art to even more generations to come.
"I want the people to know how they've moved my life and moved and blessed me so much all these years,” Beverly said. "It's hard to talk about it. I mean you getting me crying stuff. You getting me crying and stuff. This is major stuff. And I thank God for it."
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