Beyonce’s ‘Lion King’-Inspired Album, And Africa As An Emerging Market
By Kristin Westcott Grant
“The Lion King” is an iconic story and set of songs with unparalleled enduring resonance. From “Hakuna Matata” to “Circle Of Life” to “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” by Elton John and Tim Rice, the music from the original 1994 animated film made big cross industry waves. “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” sold 11 million copies world-wide and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 67th Academy Awards in March 1995. The song also won Elton John the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal performance in 1994. Fast-forward, over two decades and Jon Favreau’s hyper-realistic CGI adaptation of “The Lion King,” has positioned itself to make similar waves, having sold a record-breaking $543.6 Million in global ticket sales, as of last weekend.
Recording artist Beyonce is not only the voice of Nala but unveiled a Lion King-inspired album entitled“The Gift” on July 19. To date, the album has seen over 60 million audio and video streams in the U.S. alone, according to Nielsen. A music video for the song “Spirit,” which is featured on the film’s playlist soundtrack, debuted earlier Tuesday July 16th, and has received over 23 Million YouTube views to date, globally. A second music video was released July 19 featuring “Spirit” and a song entitled, “Bigger,” which has earned over 5 million views on YouTube. Beyonce called the soundtrack “a love letter to Africa,” in an interview with Robin Roberts after the “Spirit” video premiere on Tuesday.
Photo courtesy of israel palacio.