Beyonce performs 'Best Thing I Never Had' on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, song writer releases original version

As we announced earlier this week, Beyoncé hit the Late Night stage yesterday to perform her latest single, “Best Thing I Never Had.”

The diva, dressed in white and backed by house band The Roots, flipped the track three ways—first performing it as heard in its piano-driven album version, then funked up a bit for the second verse, before closing out in jazzy fashion on the bridge.

Beyoncé’s vocals, as always, were flawless. Check out her performance with on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon here:

The song’s co-writer Patrick “J. Que” Smith also recently released the original version of “Best Thing I Never Had,” which started off sounding more like an ’80s hip-hop kiss-off, as opposed to the ballad it is now. Smith expressed his gratitude that B and co. picked his song and gave some insight into the classic Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh cut that inspired it.

“I’m both thrilled & grateful that #TeamBey decided to make our song the single,” he wrote on his Tumblr page. “And it sounds awesome! This is what the song sounded like when we first wrote it. I like this version….. The drums, from “The Show,” are what made me write to this song in the first place! Enjoy!” Hear it below:

How do you think she did on Fallon? And what about the original version of it? Let us know in the comments below.

Read more:
Beyoncé’s professional split with her dad sparked by stolen funds? Matthew Knowles takes those claims to court
New video for Beyonce’s ‘Best Thing I Never Had’ features lace teddy, great lighting
Beyoncé reveals album title, talks about splitting with dad manager in new interview

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  • ST

    I’ll admit, I’m not a big fan of the original. It starts off great and then gets kind of cheesy. This definitely has more 80’s to it but in a good way (like Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” is kind of 80’s). I prefer this version but so far, I haven’t really liked any of the singles off her album.

  • Lovin It

    I Kind of love this version then the single. But either way Beyonce’s vocals are Flawless!

    • SS

      Her performance on Jimmy was amazing. I love the little dance she did around the mike at the end, that was so cute.
      I think the Roots deserve more credit here for the different verses — pretty sure Beyonce didn’t come up with those chord changes herself. I’m sure it was the Roots’ arrangement; they are phenomenal.

      • Amanda

        Someone else said she did Countdown with the Roots too–I would love to hear it–the Roots are so great, I knew Beyonce+ the Roots would be great,and it was! I am glad that Jimmy Fallon booked Beyonce,hope she comes back with more songs! The album is terrific overall,and I think that Countdown may be her third single or End of Time…either one is a great uptempo that showcases her live vocals and committment to live instrumentation!

  • Phil

    ‘an 80’s hip-hop kiss off’…..NO. The ‘original’ version of the song’s lyrics may have been inspired by the drums of “The Show” but as a fan of music in general I understand why she & the label didn’t go with that version, since she wanted this album to sound ‘more musical’ (her quote from The View yesterday). It woulda been seen as yet another hip-hop sampling single JUST LIKE “Run The World” ripped off Major Lazer’s “Pon de Floor” (how she credit’s half the production duo, Switch as the producer still baffles me) & look how that worked out for her. I dunno. This album is very underwelming in my opinion, and I dunno, I am super sure that once “End of Time” is released as a pop single, there is gonna be a deluxe re-release version of the album with a new song/s.

    • Ed

      I’m with you on the album, Phil. It’s good but not great, and doesn’t compare to Sasha Fierce or B-Day. Still, she was great on Fallon, and I like the original “The Show” version of the song.

    • PN

      I don’t think she liked the music submitted to her and didn’t wanted it to sound ’80s. You don’t want to overdo it with something inspired by that decade the way that Lady Gaga and a few others do now. I like the arrangement she wanted to put on her album.

      • Amanda

        Good point! I love the current arrangement!

    • Amanda

      Er, Beyonce WORKED with Switch on Run the World,THAT is why she credits him! DUH! I get sick of people always talking foolishly about Beyonce and her writing credit–newsflash–she gives PROPER CREDIT!! And Switch even said how DUMB some people were going to be to say he ripped off himself cause he worked with Beyonce,and I guess you proved him right! Remember–haters never prosper! And “4” is platinum and doing well…

      • Phil

        Where do I EVER once mention her writing credits for “Run The World” ?! I said production duo Major Lazer who dropped their album in 2009, LEARN TO READ. I gave proper credit. I never once mention Bey’s writing! And HELLO, of course Switch is gonna pick up for Bey since he got paid for the sample! If Switch and Bey worked together and ALL they could come up with is ultimately her sampling one of his previously produced and released productions, WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT THEIR SESSIONS?! I hate people with ZERO intelligence.

      • Amanda

        You are the one with ZERO intelligence,and your hating posts show that! She did INDEED work with Switch in full sessions and RTW was the song she and HE most liked from the sessions. And you DID make it seem like she ripped him off when that is SO not the case! Stop posting on Beyonce,you never have your facts correct!

      • Phil

        Ms. Amanda I invite & encourage you to please point out any misinformation to which I have stated. Have U ever heard the Major Lazer song “Pon de Floor” ? And if so, how can you in good conscious even insinuate that he and Beyonce created that beat for “Run The World” ?! Its not original, its a sample since the SAME beat Switch used in their original production 2 years ago. What part of that statement is me making stuff up? I’m trying to reason with you, but you are coming off as a person who think 1 + 1 = 3.

      • Amanda

        Phil–you are incorrect–about everything! Beyonce does NOT have to wait for Kelly to do her thing. That is amply proven! And you are WRONG about Switch…yes I have heard Pon de floor,and that was THEIR mutual decision to use that when Switch and Beyonce worked together in the studio! And Switch even mentioned DUMB people like you on his twitter when Run the World premiered,he even tweeted : Watch how many STUPID people are going to say I was ripped off.IE: Switch predicted dumb haters saying a whole lot of nonsense about that sample being used when HE WANTED it used! And you,PHIL are one of the Ignorant people putting it out that Beyonce ripped off Switch,which she ABSOLUTELY DID NOT–she paid him a LOT and his credit is up there for all to read,and not only that,there were over a thousand articles talking about their collobration before the song even came out! So YES, you ARE making stuff up! Pon de Floor was SAMPLED with the originator’s PERMISSION and active participation,not ripped off. You need to stop posting if everything you post is some hating misinformation. Seriously, get a grip and stop posting incorrect nonsense on Beyonce.

      • Phil

        Amanda obv. you are smart enough to turn on a computer & access the internet, but somewhere along the lines, you must have have failed cognitive skills tests, because I never said Switch wasn’t paid for the sample. My ORIGINAL comment (go back & read it, I’ll wait since you have now proven to be slow on the uptake) was that “Best Thing I Never Had” ‘s original production was nixed since it too sampled an older song, like “Run The World”. The only difference is “The Show” is a hip-hop 80’s classic, whereas “Pon De Floor” was ONLY big in clubs and not the radio, in other words..a lesser known song that was sampled. You completely misread & misinterpretted my comments. Please stop calling me dumb when you are the foolish one. You failed to point out any facts I lied about. I hate to argue, but you are simply daft.

      • Amanda

        Phil–you used the word rip off in that first post about Switch…that implies something not done with Switch’s permission and that is far from the case. And if YOU would access the internet instead of writing FALSE crap,then I would not have to rebut you on these boards. You are a crazed OFF THE POINT Kelly fan,and I am not here for your posts,and neither is anyone else. Stop posting about Kelly in Beyonce topics…

  • PN

    She was very good on Jimmy Fallon’s show in that performance and the Roots played the song so very well! And she did a good interview on the couch with Jimmy.

    • Phil

      Well I am prolly going to come across as poor Kelly Rowland superfan (I swear I’m NOT) but she is on Jay Leno tonight, and this is now the 2nd post EW has made this week to increase traffic to their website, promoting B over Kelly once again when its her album that dropped this week. And yeah, I honestly do feel bad, because according to Mtv.com Kelly was scheduled to grace Vibe’s August/Sept. cover and at the 11th hour lost it due to Amy Winehouse’s passing. She can’t ever cut a break. She gets overlooked here by writers who obv. favor Beyonce, and then another mag ditches her cover story to ride the Amy’s Death Will increase Sales Train. I’m sticking up for the underdog !

      • Amanda

        You ARE coming across as a biased Kelly Rowland fan,cause this post is ON BEYONCE and Kelly has no business being mentioned. Please find a post on Kelly and post on her there. You are off topic. This is about Beyonce,who was flawless on Fallon.

      • Phil

        And the point of these posta are because the PRESS is biased sweetie. Kelly got the shaft by 2 separate publications the week her album dropped. That was the point of me making this comment. Beyonce gets enough press! The entire point is that Kelly is getting none, and the one major Urban magazine (Vibe) that was going to give her a cover story shafted her at the last minute…for a dead white woman!! The irony is almost funny. And I have zero problem bringing it up, because that IS indeed an entertainment story, but everyone writers about Beyonce cause they need to increase web & blog traffic. If you know anything about the industry you’d understand this.

      • Amanda

        The Press is not biased,YOU are. This is an article about BEYONCE,and Kelly has NO business being mentioned. Get it straight. Beyonce was on Fallon,and was flawless. Only a hater and a biased Kelly fan who is OFF TOPIC would bring up Kelly. That is beyond moronic. Please find a post on Kelly to post on,and leave people who want to talk ON TOPIC alone in this thread.
        And is this VIBE? So what does Kelly having lost her Vibe cover have to do with EW covering Beyonce? I fail to gasp the logic,but there is none,is there? Like I said,we are talking about BEYONCE here. Kelly was not on Fallon. And Kelly’s coverage or lack of it has nothing to do with Beyonce. She performed and EW covered it,and we are trying to discuss it. Go to an article on Amy Winehouse and whine THERE about Kelly if that is what you want or go write Vibe. Stop using EW to whine about Kelly in Beyonce’s posts. It is ridiculous.

      • Phil

        Again, Ms. Amanda, I brought up Kelly Rowland because she performed on the Jay Leno Show last night (another late night talk show ..hence me staying on topic).
        You obviously can’t connect points of logic. Me mentioning Kelly NOT getting covered on a late night show, while Ew, along with Billboard, and every other blog writing about Beyonce is to increase web traffic. How can one make a post about Kelly is there are no items written about her? My point again sweetie, is the press is biased. How relevant is it to not only write up a piece about Beyonce perofmring on Fallon earlier in the week, but then review it the following day, along with every other music site & publication in creation. The story no longer becomes exclusive or helps to increase web traffic, that remains my point. The writers at Entertainment Weekly are coming off as short-sighted, and I have and continue to criticize them for thise for YEARS. I create a case & I supply FACTS to back it up. I have been a long time subscriber to the mag and poster here long before the Music Mix Blog was even created. I am respectful of others’ comments, but I also share facts that others may not know. FACTS dear, NOT gossip. I also try & stimulate conversations, that stem from a topic. In this case Beyonce being on a late night talk show Thursday night, while her former group member was on another competitor the next night and gets no mention. You see it as me hating, but did you ever for a minute stop to think that some Destiny’s Child fans that came here to read about Beyonce WASN’T aware that Kelly was on Leno last night & were happy to hear about it? No, because that would mean I’m informing others instead of hating on Beyonce. If you can’t string these cohesive thoughts together, then I pity you.

      • Jackie

        @Phil: you are a crazy Kelly stalker. The reason Kelly doesn’t get her own article on EW? She’s not as big of an artist as Beyonce or Lady Gaga. Let us know when she has the #1 album or even a #1 single for that matter.
        EW doesn’t report on every single artist’s venture to a late night show.

      • Amanda

        Jackie,you see what I see–an OFF TOPIC Kelly fan messing up this thread on Beyonce. Phil needs to go to a Kelly Rowland board and talk about her there. The topic is Beyonce and HER TERRIFIC performance on Jimmy Fallon….and no need to discuss other artists!!

      • tone-tone

        @Phil–Amanda is RIGHT. You are messing up this topic! Be quiet about Kelly! We don’t care!

        Beyonce showed such great versatility the other night on Fallon! I hope she keeps doing the song this way live! She also did Countdown on Fallon,maybe that will be broadcast at a later time? Countdown is awesome!

      • Phil

        @Jackie – Kelly’s “Motivation” has already been #1 on the Billboard Hip-hop & R&B chart for a couple of weeks & is just now being promoted as a pop single. Its also currently ahead of “Best Thing I Never Had” on the Hot 100 at #17 and climbing. I’m not crazy or a stalker. I am just informed, which clearly you have proven by your comment that you are not. I have NOTHING against Beyonce, but she is over exposed and writers feel like they’ve gotta cover every little thing she does. I am a fan of both and would like to see B & Kelly BOTH succeed with their current projects. The only reason I brought the Vibe cover story up is because Vibe is another magazine, like EW. I mention that Kelly lost the cover story because EW is covering B this week, not her, and now the other magazine that was to give Kelly a spotlight took it away, thereby shelving more promotion for her. That was my point, and I am sticking by it, if you & Amanda & whomever else wanna say I am crazy or off topic, thats completely fine, but I was opening up the conversation since I feel if you are a Beyonce fan, you prolly were a Destiny’s Child fan too and cared about Kelly’s career. I’m sorry I am made the assumption there are still many close-minded folks on the internet.

    • Cici

      Ok so beyonce is filthy rich and she havent tried to help any poor why

  • Justin

    Her background singers need to get it together.

    • dim

      They are not the mamas, only one of them is from her original trio. I hope this is not permanent. Her Mama’s were the ish…and these two ladies (I don’t blame the original) need to go.

    • dim

      There is no reason as to why Kelly should be mentioned, other than the fact that Bey gave her shout out sometime later in the week.
      Back to the main topic at hand. Beyonce’s performance was amazing, especially considering the fact that she sounded off. Not out of tune or anything. The song was lowered and she was singing much more restrained than normally. Then the interview you could barely hear her speak. I hope her voice is okay. She did lose it during promotion two or three weeks ago. Maybe she is sick or something.

  • Amanda

    Beyonce sounded great last night and I thought she should have done 2 songs rather than that dumb segment of guessing the musical instruments…really? Beyonce also tried to give an interview but Jimmy Fallon talked over her a lot! He needs work as an interviewer.

  • Life

    Her and Jimmy had great chemistry and as expected her performance was perfect.

    • Amanda

      Agreed. I wish she would have performed one of her uptempos with the Roots! Beyonce has a fine album,and actually her singles so far are some of the weaker songs on the album! I really recommend the album as a terrific one all around. She has some amazing ballads and her uptempos are great..I wish she had done End of Time or Countdown on Fallon! I think the Roots intrepretation would have been epic,they certainly jazzed up BINH..a fine performance!

  • Amanda

    In fact, I would just loved to have seen Beyonce do I Care or Start Over, two of her great ballads on 4 with the Roots! Beyonce was a wonderful musical guest for Fallon,and maybe she needs to come back to do another song or two…here’s hoping!

  • Jay

    OMG phil you are so damn annoying. Why are you crying about kelly likes beyonces fault for anything? Beyonce has worked her ass off all her life to get to where she is…you want her to go away so that kelly can become big? thats the dumbest thing ive ever heard. When kelly works as hard as beyonce then her stuff will shine. Beyonce is amazing and will always be in the spotlight,,,shes owns the spotlight because she worked for it…its time for kelly to work…nothing is goin to be handed to her.whoruntheworld

    • Phil

      jay is annoying comments like yours that annoy me. KELLY IS WORKING. She is the one that dropped her albumthis week. Beyonce’s is a month old and in avid music fans’ minds STALE already. You said it yourself. How can Kelly ‘work’ and get in the spotlight if writers & editors like the aforementioned Vibe coverstory are ripped from her literally AT THE PRESS because they think it would be better for circulation sales by highlighting Amy Winehouse’s death, who true with jazz/pop/ blue eyed soul WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ON A VIBE COVER while alive!? They present it by ‘honoring Amy’ but in fact its a business move that SHAFTS Kelly’s cover story promoting her new release. You just got done saying Kelly’s gotta work…you think her giving them a cover story interview isn’t ‘work’ in promoting “Here I Am”, her first release for a new record label!? If you have any kind of intelligence you’d understand that without me pointing it out. Kelly can’t argue losing the cover story cause then she looks jaded & a hater towards the mag AND Amy. Vibe is an Urban magazine (and rarely features many white folk on the cover)founded by Quincy Jones, whose daughter was linked to Amy’s producer & friend Mark Ronson. Its favoritism masquerading as ‘honoring Amy’ all the while crapping on the hard work and promoting Kelly had done, like you and Amanda have both said she needs to do. How people with common sense can’t understand these things worries me about the sad state of the world. You want to sound intelligent but without seeing the bigger picture you come across as blind sheep.

      • SS

        Phil = Kelly’s manager = wants his 10%.

      • tone-tone

        Phil–your posts are what lack common sense and logic! Shut up about Kelly Rowland! She is not the topic of this article we are trying to comment on! WOW–you are on the crazy train!!

      • Amanda

        What does Vibe have to do with EW?
        Again, you are talking about something that is NOT in this article…your feelings are NOT fact and this is no place for you to talk about Kelly Rowland. We are talking about another artist, BEYONCE, one who works VERY hard and who has the impact to be discussed. Kelly needs to work harder and maybe she will be discussed by EW. Until then shut up about Kelly,Vibe and Amy Winehouse…

  • Cici

    Phil ur dumb so is beyonce

  • Ashley

    I think the demo version sounded pretty good. It had me bopping, but I really like the version on the album. It has such a lush and inviting sound to it. It’s a very nice song. Beyonce’s performance on Fallon was amazing. I liked how the different tempos/styles changed throughout the performance. She’s an amazing singer. I’ve to say that I Was Here, Start Over, Rather Die Young and I Care are amazing ballads that people haven’t heard yet. I think Love On Top or End of Time might be my favorite songs of the year so far. The album is fantastic overall.

  • alex

    SHE DID NOT LOOK PREGO AT ALL!!!!!!!!

    • LadyJ

      OMFG!!!! That’s exactly what I said. I don’t see any signs of pregnancy. And she issupposed to be 5 months! WTF!! Her and her fake camel hump need to go sit down somewhere. The true public is not as easily fooled like her dunb stans.

      • LadyJ

        OOPS! I meant DUMB! LOL!

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