There are still four long weeks before The Lion King’s July 19 release, but one aspect of the wait is over: We now know exactly what it sounds like when Beyoncé duets with her costar Donald Glover. Today brings the first clip of their rendition of the film’s classic Elton John–penned ballad “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”
Beyoncé is in full vocal powerhouse mode on the track, which plays a pivotal role in one of her and Glover’s scenes. You might recall from the 1994 original that the song is the backdrop for Nala and Simba’s tearful reunion when they’re all grown up. The song also shows a side of Glover’s voice that fans rarely get to hear, as it’s much more stripped down than any of his effects-laden singing as Childish Gambino.
Beyoncé’s work on the film may be done, but she’s still channeling Nala. At the beginning of the month, she stepped into character to attend the Wearable Art Gala and give her first video interview in what feels like a million years. (In reality, it’s been six years since the last one.)
As for how Beyoncé got involved in The Lion King remake, the director Jon Favreau recently opened up about it, telling Entertainment Weekly, “I’ve seen her live and she’s a unique talent, to say the least. And when I finally spoke to her after reaching out, although her persona onstage is bigger than life, she’s very down to earth and is very much dedicated to her family and having a life that is human-scale.”
Favreau has a theory that Bey signed on mostly because of Blue Ivy, Sir, and Rumi. “I think that part of it is that she’s got young kids, part of it is that it’s a story that feels good for this phase of her life and her career—it’s a very positive story, it’s a classic that a lot of people feel very emotionally invested in—and I think she just really likes the original very much,” he said. “At the end of the day, she’s also an actor and it’s a great bunch of people to work with and a project that I think she felt was going to be special.” With her involved, and Donald Glover, how could it not be?