×

Beyoncé Releases Music Video for ‘Spirit,’ Her ‘Lion King’ Soundtrack Contribution

Beyoncé fans are stampeding across the web veldt to get a look at her just-released music video for “Spirit,” the original song she co-wrote and sang for the “Lion King” soundtrack. The track is also included on the companion album she executive-produced and will release Friday, “The Gift.”

Clips from the computer-animated film are interspersed with shots of the singer in a succession of spectacular, revealing gowns, often engaged in choreography with a troupe of dancers. Her daughter, 7-year-old Blue Ivy, makes a cameo.

Beyoncé didn’t have to go all the way to Africa to find locations for the video, but neither did she rely on the movie’s all-digital magic. At least some of it was shot in or around the Grand Canyon just last week. The Arizona Republic reported that the request came in on July 8 for a shoot that happened only two days later, at Havasu Falls, one of the most coveted sites in the canyon. The newspaper said the Havasupai tribe granted permission for the singer and her crew to helicopter in for the five hours of shooting at the lagoon-like setting. TMZ obtained footage of filming taking place.

Ironically, perhaps, reported the Republic, the person taking the call from the location manager for the video — the  director of the Arizona state agency that facilitates shooting on location — was Mathew Earl Jones, younger brother of James Earl Jones, who voices Mufasa in the movie. Apparently Matthew is a less jealous brother to James than Scar is to Mufasa; he helped facilitate the request.

Nearly everything related to Beyoncé’s music for “The Lion King” and its two albums has been held under wraps till the last possible minute. The existence of the song “Hero” wasn’t revealed until the night of the premiere a week ago, when it literally was no longer possible to keep her musical contribution under wraps. That she had assembled “The Gift,” a “Black Panther”-style “inspired by” collection, was also unknown even to most industry insiders till that night. It was only Tuesday morning, less than three days out from the release of “The Gift,” that she posted a track and artist list for the album on her website.

The revelation of the track list and release of the new video were hardly the only big Beyoncé news of the day. Tuesday morning found her “Homecoming” Netflix film nominated for six Emmy awards, four of which are nominations for Beyoncé herself.

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Woodstock Festival of Arts and Music

    As Woodstock Turns 50, the Fest's 10 Most Sacred Music Moments (Watch)

    Cars were left abandoned along the New York Interstate. Electrical and speaker systems fuzzed and popped. Amps blew then went silent. The rain was endless as the mud sank deep and rank. Young children ran naked and dazed through crowds of strangers. Food was scarce. Water, unclean. Looking back, Woodstock seems a more apocalyptic, than [...]

  • 'ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band

    Film Review: 'ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band From Texas'

    Settling in to watch “ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas,” you may have a burning question that applies to almost no other rock documentary, and that is: Who, exactly, are these guys? The ones behind the beards? If you’re old enough, of course, you probably know that ZZ Top started out, in 1969, [...]

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST

    Jay-Z to Acquire Ownership Stake in NFL Team (Report)

    Jay-Z will soon acquire a “significant ownership interest” in an NFL team, TMZ reported on Friday. The team was not disclosed, but a source told the site the deal will happen in the “near future,” adding that the billionaire rapper “wants to continue to be a change agent for the NFL.” Jay-Z’s company, Roc Nation, [...]

  • Blake Shelton, Trace AdkinsCMA Music Festival

    Blake Shelton Takes a Shot at 'Old Town Road' in New Single

    Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins have just released a duet, “Hell Right,” that seems to have a beef with “Old Town Road.” But is it a light-hearted, maybe even affectionate slam — or should anyone read culture-war significance into the two country stars expressing a preference for Hank Williams Jr. over Lil Nas X, the breakout [...]

  • Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven

    Department of Justice Backs Led Zeppelin in ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Copyright Case

    The U.S. Department of Justice has weighed in on the next big music copyright case on the horizon following the Katy Perry “Dark Horse” decision, and taken Led Zeppelin’s side in the long-running copyright dispute that pits the writers of the group’s anthem “Stairway to Heaven” against the publishers of the earlier song “Taurus” by [...]

  • Teddy Riley Walk of Fame

    From Blackstreet to Hollywood Blvd. as Teddy Riley Receives a Star on the Walk of Fame

    Many musical artists are responsible for hits, whether recording and writing for themselves or producing smashes for others. Teddy Riley’s got the success, having fashioned platinum-plated R&B works for, and with, Bobby Brown, Michael Jackson, Keith Sweat, Doug E. Fresh and more since the mid-’80s, not to mention the music of his own slick soul [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content