After confirming its title and release date earlier this week, Rihanna has released her first single in six years, ‘Lift Me Up’, as part of the official soundtrack for the upcoming Marvel film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
The song, co-written by Rihanna, Nigerian singer Tems, Swedish composer and producer Ludwig Göransson and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, was written as a tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman. The actor starred in the titular role in the original Black Panther film in 2018, as well Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, prior to his death in 2020 following a battle with cancer. Listen below:
In a statement released earlier this week ahead of its arrival, Tems said that after speaking with Coogler about his direction for both the film and song, she “wanted to write something that portrays a warm embrace from all the people that I’ve lost in my life”.
“I tried to imagine what it would feel like if I could sing to them now and express how much I miss them,” Tems explained. “Rihanna has been an inspiration to me so hearing her convey this song is a great honor.”
‘Lift Me Up’ marks Rihanna’s single as a lead artist since her 2016 album ‘Anti’ arrived. Since then, the Barbadian pop star has featured on a slew of other artists’ tracks. In 2016, she teamed up with Calvin Harris for the standalone single ‘This Is What You Came For’ and appeared on Drake‘s ‘Views’ cut ‘Too Good’.
The following year, she featured on Future‘s ‘Selfish’, ‘Wild Thoughts’ with DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller, Kendrick Lamar‘s ‘Loyalty’ and ‘Lemon’ with N.E.R.D. Her most recent collaboration came in 2020, when she joined forces with PARTYNEXTDOOR for ‘Believe It’.
The Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack is set to arrive next Friday (November 4). The film’s original score, composed and produced by Göransson, will arrive a week later on November 11, the same day the film hits cinemas in the UK.
Last month, Rihanna confirmed that she will headline next year’s Super Bowl halftime show which is set to take place at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona in February 2023. It will likely mark her first public performance since she appeared at the 2018 Grammy Awards to deliver ‘Wild Thoughts’ with Khaled and Tiller.
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