Beyoncé Knowles-Carter has taken the throne as queen of the pride with the release of her new single “Spirit.”
“Spirit” landed Tuesday night as the lead single from the Beyoncé-curated-and-produced companion album for Disney’s upcoming photorealistic remake of its popular 1994 feature The Lion King, subtitled The Gift.
The gospel-inspired song begins with harmonious chants before the superstar belts its powerful lyrics that compliment the film’s tale of a young lion prince, Simba (Donald Glover), who flees his beloved kingdom after the death of his father, Mufasa (James Earl Jones, who also voiced the character in the original film), while his evil uncle, Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor), plots to take control.
“Rise up to the light in the sky. watch the light lift your heart up. Burn your flame through the night,” the 37-year-old sings in the lead-up to the song’s soaring chorus. “Woah, spirit. Watch the heavens open. Spirit, can you hear it calling?”
In addition to “Spirit,” The Gift will feature songs from artists around the world performing songs inspired by the sounds of Africa, while the film’s soundtrack will still feature songs sung by the movie’s main cast, including Knowles-Carter as Nala, Simba’s love interest, Glover, and more.
Director Jon Favreau’s The Lion King — which held its star-studded red carpet premiere Tuesday night in Hollywood — stampedes into theaters July 19.