Simba may be “the lion king,” but here in the real world, Beyoncé is queen. The superstar released a new single “Spirit” on Tuesday night – the day thatpremiered in Hollywood. The song is part of an upcoming “Lion King” album produced by Beyoncé herself.
Queen Bey shared a promo image teasing the new song last week, but fans had to wait until Tuesday night for its reveal. “Spirit” is not from the original animated “Lion King.” The song is part of “The Lion King: The Gift,” a whole new album “featuring global artists and steeped in the sounds of Africa,” the official Lion King Twitter announced.
The album will be released on July 19, when the film officially premieres nation wide. It is separate from the film’s soundtrack.
Beyoncé,attended the Hollywood premiere with her husband, Jay-Z and her 7-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy. Her former Destiny’s Child bandmates, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, also attended the premiere, as well as the
Last month, Disney released a snippet of Beyoncé’s duet with Donald Glover, who plays Simba. “Can You Feel The Love Tonight,” was teased in a commercial for the film that aired on TV. Disney has teased a few other songs from the film, like the iconic “Circle of Life,” but “Spirit” is the first full song fans get to hear.
As in the 1994 animated film, Simba’s sidekicks, Timon and Pumbaa will sing “Hakuna Matata.” But now, the song will be sung by Seth Rogan (Pumbaa) and Billy Eichner (Timon).
In a promo about the upcoming film, director Jon Favreau gives a behind the scenes look at the production of the songs. “It’s a privilege to be counted among these actors,” Favreau said. “And then the music – there was such a rich tradition surrounding the songs that Hans (Zimmer) and Elton (John) and Tim Rice, and now Pharrell, worked on.”
“It’s also nice to have actors who are both the performers and the singers,” Favreau said. “You have Beyoncé and Donald, they present something totally new and exciting. These are real musicians bringing their real voices to this.”
Joining Beyoncé and Glover in the musical animal kingdom are Chiwetel Ejiofor as the villainous Scar, John Oliver as the rule-following Zazu and James Earl Jones returns as Simba’s father, Mufasa.
The full soundtrack should be available ahead of the film’s premiere, the official Lion King Twitter shared.