Listen to Beyoncé's New Song 'Spirit' from 'The Lion King' Soundtrack

Normally, when Donald Glover is cast in a movie, he’s the only actor who also happens to be a Grammy-winning recording artist. But when it comes to Disney’s remake of The Lion King, that isn’t the case. Global music superstar and 23-time Grammy winner Beyoncé Knowles-Carter has a role in The Lion King remake as the adult voice of Simba’s best friend, Nala. But you don’t get Beyoncé in your movie and just utilize her voice for acting, especially when you’re Disney and you’ve got money to throw around. Disney had Beyoncé create an original song for The Lion King soundtrack called “Spirit,” and you can listen to it right now.

But that’s not all. This song is not only in the movie, it’s the first track from an entire album inspired by The Lion King with songs featuring Beyoncé and other global recording artists creating more original music steeped in the sounds of Africa.

Listen to The Lion King Beyonce song below, and find out about this new album too.

“Spirit” was released globally last night after the premiere of The Lion King in Los Angeles, and that’s also when news of the new album, titled The Lion King: The Gift, was also announced for release alongside the film on July 19.

Beyoncé wrote and produced “Spirit” along with IIya Salmanzadeh and Timothy McKenzie, Disney is clearly going for that Oscar for Best Original Song. With this caliber of talent behind it, the song is already a top contender for the award…but let’s not forget that Frozen 2 is coming out later this year (though that trophy would still go to Disney). Plus, you never know whether or not J.J. Abrams will ask Adele to sing a theme song for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (which would also give the Oscar to Disney).

The Lion King: The Gift is a passion project for Beyoncé, who wanted to curate an eclectic mix of songs for an album that celebrates the music of Africa and enhances the film’s story. She said in Disney’s press release:

“This is sonic cinema. This is a new experience of storytelling.  I wanted to do more than find a collection of songs that were inspired by the film. 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 album will feature even more recordings by Beyoncé as well as “a beautiful, multi-genre symphony, steeped in African influences from various corners of the Continent, with unexpected collaborations, pulsating rhythms and crisp production that celebrate the African diaspora.” However, the list of artists and tracks on this album have not yet been revealed. We’ll likely find out more as the film’s release date gets closer.

The Lion King arrives in theaters on July 19, 2019.

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