“Spirit” is the first single off both the soundtrack and its companion record, The Lion King: The Gift. The soundtrack will mostly feature classics like “Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata,” along with a new track by Elton John and Tim Rice, who wrote the songs from the animated 1994 original. The Gift, though, is a little different: produced by Beyoncé herself, it will feature all-new songs by the cast members.
Both albums will be available to stream on July 19, a day after the film hit theaters on July 18.
Director and producer Jon Favreau previously hinted at the song in an interview with Fandango. “There’s a new song that [Beyoncé] performed and wrote in the spirit of the production along with working with Lebo M., who’s part of it with Hans Zimmer,” he said. “They were all collaborating with her and helping to bring this new piece of music into a film where there’s already a very established musical personality to the piece.”
Though the single’s out now, there are definitely more surprises in store for the Bey Hive. One stand-out is the iconic duet between Nala and Simba (Donald Glover). “Hearing her sing ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight?’ was definitely extremely memorable,” Favreau said. “To hear [Beyoncé and Glover] together singing this classic song with so much personality and emotion...we felt really confident that people are going to be excited when they heard this.”