Navy, the music drought is finally over. Well, almost. Rihanna has steadily kept fans fed with her Fenty Beauty empire for years now. How about in terms of music? Not so much. Sure, the star has given us small glimpses of sonic hope over the years, but it’s been nearly six years since she released a full album (Anti in 2016) and two years since she’s appeared on any new music releases (“Believe It” with PARTYNEXTDOOR).
However, fans will hear Rihanna’s vocals soon. On Oct. 28, the singer will release a new track titled “Lift Me Up” for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack. No, this isn’t a dream.
On Oct. 26, Rihanna confirmed the release on Twitter with a video teaser that appeared to include a snippet of the single.
According to a press release, “Lift Me Up” was written as a tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, who played King T’Challa (a.k.a Black Panther) in the Marvel films. He died in August 2020 after a four-year battle with colon cancer.
Alongside Rihanna, Ludwig Göransson, Tems, and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler also appear on the track’s writing credits. In the same press release, Tems — who covered Bob Marley’s reggae classic, “No Woman No Cry,” in the film’s trailer — shared that “Lift Me Up” will be an emotional reflection on grief.
“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,” she said in a statement. “I tried to imagine what it would feel like if I could sing to them now and express how much I miss them.”
She also gave Rihanna her well-deserved flowers and noted how honored she was to work with her. “Rihanna has been an inspiration to me so hearing her convey this song is a great honor,” Tems said.
Rihanna’s new song announcement comes shortly after Marvel Studios teased her single on Oct. 24. In a simple tweet, the franchise posted an ominously silent clip alongside a caption comprised of just the looking-eyes emoji. In the clip, the film’s glimmering logo pans across the screen before the first letter ‘R’ in ‘forever’ pulls forward. The rest of the letters disappear and the anticipated release date of Oct. 28 appears below the single letter ‘R.’
The Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack will be released on November 4. Then, Göransson will drop his original score for the film on Nov. 11, which is the same day the film opens in theaters.
By the sound of what seems to be Rihanna’s ghostly harmonies in the 15-second clip she posted, it appears “Lift Me Up” maybe be quite a poignant song.