Beyoncé fans and Frankie Beverly fans had a moment last week when the Houston singer released a cover of Beverly and Maze’s classic “Before I Let Go” single. The original has become a cultural touchstone, played everywhere from barbecues to family reunions to concerts and more. The generational song got an added boost of life from Beyoncé and Beverly calls it, “one of the high points” of his life.
Speaking with Billboard, Beverly opened up about when he found out the cover was happening and his initial reaction.
“Well, that’s kind of the shocking part of it,” Beverly said. “She’s a great friend of mine, but I didn’t know she was going to do this. I was hearing stuff, but I didn’t even want to approach her about it. She kept it quiet, until her people called me one day maybe a week or two ago. When they played it, that’s when I heard the first draft of it, and I was blown away. It’s a blessing. It’s amazing how she works, she’s very smart. I’m caught off guard, but in a beautiful way. She’s such a sweet person too. She’s a very sweet, religious kind of person. Then the way she just released it, it’s off the chain. She’s done so much, this is one of the high points of my life.”
Beverly spoke about how he met Beyonce for the first time back at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo a number of years ago. “I think she was in her teens at the time, if that. I guess she really liked Maze and the song even then, so her mother brought her to our show at the Houston Rodeo,” he said. “I met her then for the first time but didn’t know much about her. She wasn’t a big hit star then, but we wound up working together a few times since and she’s always been very, very nice to me. This cover was just like she is. She didn’t make a big deal out of doing this song, and that’s just the way she works. I love the way she does her thing.”
As far as explaining why “Before I Let You Go,” a song about a breakup turned into such a masterpiece of a song … well, Frankie had a response for that too.
“It was about a relationship I was in,” Beverly said. “It was just up and down, and by the end of it I wrote a song because I was feeling I needed to get out of it. 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 was a situation I had to get out of, but I was in love. It came out of me pretty good, too. 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 as real deal love type of thing.”