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Beyoncé releases new song Spirit as Disney confirms she will produce and curate new Lion King album

Beyoncé has unveiled a new single titled Spirit, which is the first track from a Lion King-inspired album she has produced and curated.

The singer, who voices Nala in the CGI reboot of Disney’s animated classic, has worked with “global recording artists” to create The Lion King: The Gift, a record “stepped in the sounds of Africa,” Disney confirmed yesterday.

She wrote lead track Spirit with Ilya Salmanzadeh and Labrinth. The studio confirmed that the new song will feature during an important scene for Nala.

The 37-year-old described her latest endeavour as “sonic cinema” and “a new experience in storytelling” and said that she had wanted to ensure that the album had “authenticity and heart.”

Mini-me: The singer was joined by her daughter Blue Ivy at The Lion King’s premiere (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

“I wanted to do more than find a collection of songs that were inspired by the film,” she said in a statement.

“It is a mixture of genres and collaboration that isn’t one sound. It is influenced by everything from R&B, pop, hip hop and Afro Beat.

“I wanted to put everyone on their own journey to link the storyline. Each song was written to reflect the film’s storytelling that gives the listener a chance to imagine their own imagery, while listening to a new contemporary interpretation.

“It was important that the music was not only performed by the most interesting and talented artists but also produced by the best African producers. Authenticity and heart were important to me.” 

The spin-off record will be released on July 19 to coincide with the film’s arrival in cinemas. A soundtrack album is also set to feature new versions of the film’s much-loved tracks.

Beyonce dazzles at Lion King premiere in Los Angeles

The film boasts a star-studded cast, with Donald Glover voicing Simba and Chiwetel Ejiofor playing Scar.

Billy Eichner and Seth Rogan will play Timon and Pumbaa, while James Earl Jones will reprise the role of Mufasa, making him the only actor from the 1994 cartoon to feature in the reboot.

The stars celebrated the film’s impending release at the premiere in Los Angeles last night, where Beyoncé was joined by daughter Blue Ivy and her Destiny’s Child bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.

The Lion King is released in UK cinemas on July 19.


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