Ave Maria (Beyoncé song)
"Ave Maria" is a song by American singer Beyoncé from her third studio album I Am... Sasha Fierce (2008). Amanda Ghost, Ian Dench and Makeba Riddick wrote the song in collaboration with its producers Knowles and production duo Stargate. As stated by Ghost, "Ave Maria" was inspired by Knowles' and her own respective marriages. The song is a re-write of Franz Schubert's "Ave Maria". It is instrumentally complete with a piano and strings. Throughout the pop-R&B ballad, Knowles sings in a lower register with an operatic soprano. Lyrically, it speaks about being surrounded by friends but still feeling alone.
Critical reception towards the song was mixed. Many contemporary critics praised its balladry and Knowles' vocals while others dubbed it as merely a normal take on the original. Following the release of I Am... Sasha Fierce, "Ave Maria" debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number 150 on November 29, 2008, based on downloads alone. The song was a part Knowles' set list during her I Am... Tour (2009–10) where she sang it dressed in a wedding dress and veil. "Ave Maria" was subsequently included on her live album, I Am... World Tour (2010). Knowles also performed the song as a tribute to Michael Jackson during the 2009 BET Awards.