Beyoncé's 'Black Is King' Released on Disney Plus

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Beyonce Black Is King Disney Plus
Disney+

Beyoncé's Black Is King has arrived! 

On Friday morning, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter -- giver of such gifts as LemonadeHomecoming and more -- released the new, masterful visual album on Disney+. The film features cameos by Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong'o, JAY-Z, Kelly Rowland, Pharrell Williams, Tina Knowles Lawson and others. 

With its lush visuals, Black Is King enhances the music of The Lion King: The Gift. The film celebrates the Black experience, African cultures and roots, Black resilience and the importance of the Black family, specifically today's young kings and queens. 

Black Is King
Disney+

Beyoncé first announced the visual album in late June with a surprise first-look trailer. The star describes the film as a "labor of love," sharing on Instagram that she'd worked the better part of a year to complete the project. Black Is King comes more than a year after the initial release of Beyoncé's album The Lion King: The Gift, yet the sparkling celebration of Black roots and culture is right on time due to renewed focus on racial injustice and oppression following demonstrations against systemic racism led by the Black Lives Matter movement.

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I typically keep comments short and sweet, but I just watched the trailer with my family and I’m excited. 🎶please don’t get me hype🎶🤪 “Black Is King” is a labor of love. It is my passion project that I have been filming, researching and editing day and night for the past year. I’ve given it my all and now it’s yours. It was originally filmed as a companion piece to “The Lion King: The Gift” soundtrack and meant to celebrate the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry. I could never have imagined that a year later, all the hard work that went into this production would serve a greater purpose. The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey. We are all in search of safety and light. Many of us want change. I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history of generational wealth and richness of soul that are not told in our history books. With this visual album, I wanted to present elements of Black history and African tradition, with a modern twist and a universal message, and what it truly means to find your self-identity and build a legacy. I spent a lot of time exploring and absorbing the lessons of past generations and the rich history of different African customs. While working on this film, there were moments where I’ve felt overwhelmed, like many others on my creative team, but it was important to create a film that instills pride and knowledge. I only hope that from watching, you leave feeling inspired to continue building a legacy that impacts the world in an immeasurable way. I pray that everyone sees the beauty and resilience of our people. This is a story of how the people left MOST BROKEN have EXTRAORDINARY gifts.❤️✊🏾 Thank you to Blitz, Emmanuel, Ibra, Jenn, Pierre, Dikayl, Kwasi and all the brilliant creatives. Thank you to all at Disney for giving this Black woman the opportunity to tell this story. This experience has been an affirmation of a grander purpose. My only goal is that you watch it with your family and that it gives you pride. Love y’all, B

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On Thursday evening, mere hours before the full film landed on Disney+, Beyoncé, Shatta Wale and Major Lazer released the full video for their song "Already" on YouTube. Beyoncé also released The Lion King: The Gift deluxe edition to streaming services on Thursday, which features the freshly released single "Black Parade" and MeLo-X's remix of "Find Your Way Back."

During a rare interview with Good Morning America, Beyoncé touched on the significance of the music in The Lion King: The Gift, calling the soundtrack "a love letter to Africa." 

Read more about the journey to the visual album and how to watch Black Is King below. Black Is King is now streaming on Disney+.

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