At one point during Beyoncé’s Lemonade, the mothers of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and Eric Garner look into the camera as they hold photographs of their late sons. “I cried,” Brown’s mother, Lezley McSpadden, says in an interview with SiriusXM Stars of the moment Beyoncé asked her to appear in the video. “I was like, ‘Me? Out of all the people?’ … I felt special.”
In that same interview, McSpadden reveals that she and Beyoncé first met at a Prince concert, where the superstar was “wholeheartedly sympathetic.” “She didn’t come in with a big ego,” she says. “She talked, she cried.” Months later, the two met again on the set of the visual album.
“When I got there, they wanted me to look regal. That’s what she called it,” McSpadden, whose son Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer in 2014, remembers. “I tried to hold it together, but any time I’m talking about my son or looking at a picture, I just think about all that’s gone and how he had so much ahead of him. I appreciate [Beyoncé] for being bold enough to confront things and be sensitive at the same time.”
McSpadden was on the show to promote her just-released memoir, Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil: The Life, Legacy, and Love of My Son Michael Brown. Listen to the full clip below.