Rihanna confirms new single ‘Lift Me Up’ arriving this week

The star's first solo material in almost seven years is a tribute to Chadwick Boseman

Rihanna has shared confirmation that her new song, ‘Lift Me Up’, will be arriving on Friday.

The singer posted a 14-second clip on her social media accounts, revealing a capital “R” – stylised in the same font as the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailers and promo art – between her name and the song title.

A brief snippet of the song – written as a tribute to late Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, who died in 2020 – can also be heard, consisting primarily of hummed vocals and a string backing. The video ends with the date “10.28.22”, confirming its release in two days’ time.

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‘Lift Me Up’ was co-written by Rihanna, Nigerian singer Tems, Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson, and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler. The song was recorded in five countries and was produced by Göransson.

“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,” Tems explained. “Rihanna has been an inspiration to me so hearing her convey this song is a great honor.”

The original score for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, composed and produced by Göransson, will be available on November 11 via Hollywood Records.

Last Tuesday (October 18), it was reported that Rihanna had recorded two songs for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack. One of these is said to be the film’s end credits song; the first Black Panther film, which arrived in 2018 and scored four stars from NME, closed out with the Kendrick Lamar and SZA joint ‘All The Stars’.

Lamar served as the executive producer of the first film’s soundtrack, which also featured the likes of Schoolboy Q2 ChainzThe Weeknd, and Travis Scott. Lamar’s song ‘Alright’ featured in the first trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, while a prologue EP released in July features tracks from Tems, Amaarae and Santa Fe Klan. Last year, it was reported that Doja Cat and Stormzy were in talks to feature on the sequel’s soundtrack album.

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Rihanna’s Black Panther songs will mark her first solo material in nearly seven years. Aside from a guest spot on PartyNextDoor’s 2020 single ‘Believe It’, the singer was last heard on her 2016 album ‘Anti’. She’s consistently teased new music over the past six years, though, and next February, she’ll return to the stage to headline the halftime show at the 2023 Super Bowl.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is primed to hit UK cinemas on November 11. It comes after the passing of original Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman, who died following a battle with colon cancer in 2020. Though some fans have expressed a desire for Marvel Studios to re-cast the role, head honcho Kevin Feige recently said it was “much too soon” to do so.

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