Beyoncé had something special up her sleeve for the Detroit stop on her The Mrs. Carter Show World tour, adding a cover of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" to her show Saturday (July 20).
Although rich in history, the Motor City has fallen on hard economic times, amassing an $18 billion debt, which led to a recent bankruptcy filing, making it the largest U.S. city to ever do so. Thus, Mrs. Carter's powerful rendition of the 1963 classic came right on time. The performance was flanked by images of Eminem, Aretha Franklin, Kid Rock and other Detroit natives who have contributed to the city's deep musical roots.
As one of Cooke's most poignant releases, her song choice was equally fitting given the discussions over race brought forward by the killing of Trayvon Martin. Cooke penned "A Change Is Gonna Come" as a response to segregation and racial inequality felt most strongly in the American South. The song later became a representation of the civil rights movement.
In a previous show, Beyoncé held a moment of silence for the slain high school student.
Similarly, Mr. Carter, aka Jay Z, also used the stage to honor Martin. He and his Legends of the Summer tour partner Justin Timberlake dedicated "Forever Young" to the memory of the Florida teen during their Yankee Stadium show on Friday night (July 19). The following day he and Bey stood by Martin's mother at one of the 100 rallies held nationwide.
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(Photo: Larry Busacca/PW/Getty Images for Parkwood Entertainment)