Beyonce Releases Surprise Single For 'Lion King'-Inspired Album: Listen

The time has come — Beyoncé has finally released the first single off her forthcoming Lion King-inspired album.

At the stroke of midnight on Wednesday (July 10), Queen Bey dropped the track entitled "Spirit," which is co-written by IIya Salmanzadeh and Timothy McKenzie alongside Bey. The song is expected to play during an emotional scene in the live-action remake involving Beyoncé's character Nala.

"This is sonic cinema," the 37-year-old singer said in a statement. "This is a new experience of storytelling. I wanted to do more than find a collection of songs that were inspired by the film. It is a mixture of genres and collaboration that isn’t one sound. It is influenced by everything from R&B, pop, hip hop and Afro Beat."

"I wanted to put everyone on their own journey to link the storyline. 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," she continued. "It was important that the music was not only performed by the most interesting and talented artists but also produced by the best African producers. Authenticity and heart were important to me."

"Spirit" will be featured on a Beyoncé-curated album, The Lion King: The Gift, made exclusively for the film and is set to drop on July 19, Lion King's release date. Ahead of the song's release, Disney tweeted that the Bey-produced album features "global artists" and is "steeped in the sounds of Africa."

The official Lion King soundtrack will be released on July 11 and includes "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" featuring Beyoncé and Donald Glover, who plays Simba.

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