The upcoming release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever just got more exciting. Following the news that Rihanna is set to appear at the 2023 Super Bowl halftime show, the singer and cosmetics mogul has shared “Lift Me Up,” performed for the Marvel sequel. It’s the first music she has released since a feature on PARTYNEXTDOOR’s “Believe It” in 2020.
Written by Tems, Ludwig Göransson, Rihanna, and the film’s director Ryan Coogler, “Lift Me Up” was created as a tribute to Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, who died in 2020 after a private battle with cancer. The ballad was recorded across five different countries, and composer/producer Göransson previously spent extensive time in Senegal and South Africa to research his Black Panther score.
“After speaking with Ryan and hearing his direction for the film and the song, I 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 says in a press release. “Rihanna has been an inspiration to me so hearing her convey this song is a great honor.”
Of course, this isn’t Rihanna’s first brush with a sci-fi blockbuster. She previously contributed the song “Sledgehammer” for the credits of Star Trek Beyond and had a small role as a shapeshifting alien in Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets.
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The New York Times’ Kyle Buchanan reported from the premiere of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever that “Lift Me Up” is followed by a second Rihanna track as the credits roll. “Born Again” was produced by The-Dream, and that title might be noteworthy to eagle-eyed Marvel fans.
Like its predecessor, the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be accompanied by both the original score and an album of music from and inspired by the movie. Back in 2019, Göransson won an Oscar and a Grammy for the Black Panther score, and “King’s Dead” by Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future, and James Blake won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever arrives in theaters on November 11.