Beyoncé surprises at ‘The Lion King’ premiere with new song, ‘Spirit’

HOLLYWOOD – She’s got “Spirit,” all right.

Beyoncé, who voices Nala in Disney’s remake of the 1994 animated hit “The Lion King,” was dripping in glam in an Alexander McQueen ensemble at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre for the new movie’s premiere Tuesday night. But her appearance in the crystal embroidered tuxedo dress, along with coordinating daughter Blue Ivy, 7, wasn’t the superstar’s only surprise of the evening.

She also debuted a new song 

The single, “Spirit,” is available to stream now and is featured in “The Lion King” reboot during a pivotal scene with an adult Simba and Nala. The track will also be featured on the album “The Lion King: The Gift,” for which Beyoncé is serving as the executive producer, in addition to singing with other artists on the project.

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Beyonce, right, and her daughter Blue Ivy Carter arrive at the world premiere of "The Lion King" on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo: Chris Pizzello, Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

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The collection is a companion to the main “Lion King” soundtrack, which consists mostly of songs from the animated film, along with a new number from Elton John and Tim Rice, who wrote the songs for the original. That song, “Never Too Late,” can be heard in the movie’s end credits.

The cast of "The Lion King": Hans Zimmer, Chance The Rapper, Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen, Shahadi Wright Joseph, JD McCrary, Jon Favreau, Donald Glover, Beyonce Knowles-Carter, Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Kani, Alfre Woodard, Keegan-Michael Key, Florence Kasumba, and Eric Andre. (Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images for Disney)

At the premiere Tuesday night, director Jonathan Favreau brought cast members including Seth Rogen (Pumbaa), Billy Eichner (Timon), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Scar), John Kani (Rafiki) and Alfre Woodard (Sarabi) onto the Dolby stage. He knew it was best to save adult Nala and adult Simba’s introductions for last: Beyoncé and Donald Glover got the most sizable applause, which extended into a standing ovation ahead of the screening. 

And the cheers continued. When the characters’ voices were first featured in the movie, the audience hollered, and when Beyoncé’s name flashed onscreen at the conclusion of the film, fans roared.

“The Lion King” premieres on July 18, and both soundtrack albums will be released on July 19. 

Contributing: The Associated Press

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