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Beyoncé Announces New Album 'The Lion King: The Gift,' Releases New Single 'Spirit'

By Maya Eaglin | NPR
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Disney and Beyoncé fans got a surprise last night, ahead of the release of a live-action Lion King reboot, with the release of a new single from the film and pop star, called "Spirit." The song comes from a new album, titled The Lion King: The Gift, that will accompany the film's release next week and was announced just after the film's world premiere last night.

According to a statement, the album was produced and curated by Beyoncé, who says of the project: "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." The new song opens with a call-and-response, and carries both melodic and lyrical themes from the original 1994 movie; talking winds, gathering stars and opening heavens.

"Spirit, can you hear it calling? / Yeah / Your destiny is coming close, stand up and fight / So go into that far off land / And be one with the great I am, I am," she calls.

Aside from global star Beyoncé playing the character Nala, the film features James Earl Jones (Mufasa), Keegan Michael-Key (Kamari), Donald Glover (Simba) and more.

To promote it, Glover appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live yesterday in a lion onesie — and confessed he had trouble singing in the same room as Beyoncé.

"I requested not to be," Glover laughed, "I did not want to be looking into Beyoncé's eyes while doing this."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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