Rihanna has re-entered the music ring on the soundtrack for the highly-anticipated Marvel sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” which opens on Nov. 11.
The song, “Lift Me Up,” was written as a tribute to the life and legacy of Chadwick Boseman by Tems, Oscar winner Ludwig Göransson, Rihanna and Ryan Coogler.
“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. I tried to imagine what it would feel like if I could sing to them now and express how much I miss them,” said Tems. “Rihanna has been an inspiration to me so hearing her convey this song is a great honor.”
Rihanna’s last full-length release, “Anti,” dropped in 2016; since then, the new mother has expanded her repertoire as a successful businesswoman, becoming a billionaire thanks to her cosmetics brand Fenty Beauty and lingerie line Savage x Fenty.
Kendrick Lamar and SZA’s “All The Stars” which played during the movie’s ending credits. “All The Stars” went on to win an Oscar for best original song, in addition to numerous Grammys. The first “Black Panther” soundtrack featured music by Schoolboy Q, Vince Staples, Jorja Smith, Travis Scott, the Weeknd and Khalid, while its original score was composed by Ludwig Göransson.
Early tracking, released by NRG, has the superhero sequel debuting at $175 million — if that figure is accurate, it will be the second biggest debut of 2022, just below the $187.4 million logged by “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” The original “Black Panther” opened to $202 million in 2018, ultimately grossing $700.4 million domestically and $1.3 billion globally.
The news continues Rihanna’s apparent and highly-anticipated return to music. In September, it was announced that she would be headlining the Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show at the State Farm Stadium in Arizona on Feb. 12 of next year. The move came as a surprise to many as the singer has taken an extensive songwriting hiatus, but she has vaguely commented about two different albums in the years since (and has been photographed coming in and out of recording studios), with one being described as dancehall-adjacent. Details on a full-length, solo Rihanna studio album remain scarce.
More imminently, Rihanna is prepping for her third annual Savage X Fenty fashion show which will feature Anitta, Burna Boy, Don Toliver, and Maxwell as performing artists. The event will be premiering exclusively via Amazon Prime on Nov. 9. with other bold-faced names such as Ángela Aguilar, Avani Gregg, Bella Poarch, Cara Delevingne and more set to make appearances.
A snippet of "Lift Me Up" can be heard here.