The Lion King: The Gift

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Lion King: The Gift
The Lion King The Gift.png
Soundtrack album by
Beyoncé and various artists
ReleasedJuly 19, 2019
StudioNRG, Africa
Beyoncé chronology
Homecoming: The Live Album
The Lion King: The Gift
Singles from The Lion King: The Gift
  1. "Spirit"
    Released: July 10, 2019
  2. "Brown Skin Girl"
    Released: July 23, 2019[2]
  3. "Mood 4 Eva"
    Released: September 11, 2019

The Lion King: The Gift is a soundtrack album by American singer Beyoncé for the 2019 photorealistic animated remake of The Lion King.[3][4][5] It was released on July 19 by Parkwood under exclusive license to Columbia.[1] The album was produced and curated by Beyoncé and includes appearances from Jay-Z, Childish Gambino, Pharrell Williams, Kendrick Lamar, Tierra Whack, 070 Shake, Blue Ivy Carter and Jessie Reyez, as well as African artists such as Wizkid, Shatta Wale, Burna Boy, Mr Eazi, Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Yemi Alade, Busiswa and Salatiel, among others.[6][7]


On July 9, 2019, it was revealed that Beyoncé produced and curated an album titled The Lion King: The Gift, which features new songs inspired by the film, as well as "Spirit" from the soundtrack.[8]

Beyoncé called the album "sonic cinema" and said that the film "is a new experience of storytelling", and that the album "is influenced by everything from R&B, pop, hip hop and Afrobeat".[8] Beyoncé also said that "[she] wanted to put everyone on their own journey to link the storyline" and that the songs were inspired by the remake's storyline, which "gives the listener a chance to imagine their own imagery, while listening to a new contemporary interpretation".[8] The songs were also produced by African producers, which Beyoncé said was because "authenticity and heart were important to [her]", since the film is set in Africa.[8]

The tracklist was revealed through Beyoncé's official website on July 16, 2019.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[11]
Consequence of SoundB-[12]
Entertainment WeeklyB-[13]
The Guardian3/5 stars[14]
NME3/5 stars[16]
New York Times(positive)[17]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[19]
The Telegraph4/5 stars[20]

Describing it as an album "that ably displays [Beyoncé’s] excellent taste, rather than a great Beyoncé album per se," Alexis Petridis of The Guardian writes that The Lion King: The Gift "feels like an alternative soundtrack" to the original score, and that opening tracks "Bigger" and "Find Your Way Back" "seem like riffs on Circle of Life" from the 1994 film.[21]

"Beyoncé's Lion King album is the event the movie wishes it could be," writes Carl Wilson of Slate Magazine, arguing that The Gift "works best if you forget the remake even exists" and encouraging listeners to "take it more as a (mildly) new perspective on Beyoncé" since thematically the album "transliterates the leonine royal-family drama and 'circle of life' worldview of [the movie] into the recent main leitmotif of Beyoncé's own work."[22]

"An ambitious companion album that says more than the movie does about family and tradition and responsibility and Africa", writes Mikael Wood of Los Angeles Times. "No one takes possession of a cultural space like Beyoncé. We saw it happen in 2016 when she easily outshone Coldplay during its own Super Bowl halftime performance. We saw it happen last year when she remade the world’s most prestigious music festival as Beychella. Now we’re seeing it again with Disney’s new version of “The Lion King".[23]

Writing for Variety, A. D. Amorosi says the album’s "warm production washes and anthemic musicality may not have the same avant-garde sway or weird rhythmic kink of its immediate aforementioned predecessors [Beyoncé's Lemonade and Homecoming: The Live Album and The Carters' Everything Is Love] but what The Lion King: The Gift misses in messiness, it makes up for in flavor, heart and grandeur without treacle."[24]

Writing for The Telegraph, Neil McCormick says, "The Gift is a quixotic compilation of tracks".[25]

Bernadette Giacomazzo of HipHopDX also praised the album, saying that the album "trips the black fantastic" and that many songs were capable of standing independent of the film. Drawing comparisons to the Black Panther soundtrack "down to the Kendrick Lamar appearance," Giacomazzo says that the album is "one of the first Beyoncé albums — such as it were — in which Mrs. Carter’s creativity serves as a vector to another creative vision, rather than as the creative vision itself. Overall, it works and is another jewel in her crown — one that she, overall, can be proud to call hers. Long live the Queen."[26]

Commercial performance[edit]

The Lion King: The Gift debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 with 54,000 album-equivalent units, of which 11,000 were pure album sales.[27]

It became Beyoncé's second top 10 debut of 2019 (following Homecoming: The Live Album) and third top 10 album of 2019 (after Lemonade re-entered the Billboard 200 chart following its wide streaming release). It is also the ninth top 10 album of Beyoncé's solo career.[28]

On the Billboard genre charts, The Lion King: The Gift debuted at number one on several charts including Top R&B Albums, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, Top Soundtrack Albums and Top World Albums. It became Beyoncé's seventh number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart as a solo artist.[29][30]


African musicians and producers who worked on The Lion King: The Gift, amongst others, have spoken about the impact that the album will have on African music in the United States. Ghanian producer GuiltyBeatz said "Now that Beyoncé released a whole album [of African music], this will open the gateway" for those sounds to enter the American market; Nigerian singer Yemi Alade added that the album will be "another awakening".[31] Nigerian producer P2J described how the album is "going to change the face of music", adding that "Brown Skin Girl" is "one of the first songs in my career that I thought was going to be very special... It's a big moment for Africa."[32] South African artist DJ Lag said that the album has "opened doors" for him and that the sound of The Lion King: The Gift is "going to be the next big thing."[33] Bloomberg's Anthony Osae-Brown stated that with The Lion King: The Gift, Beyoncé is taking the "Nigeria music scene global".[34] Director of Urban Music at YouTube Tuma Basa called the release of The Lion King: The Gift "a tipping-point moment", while Nigerian producer E-Kelly said that it "is gonna create a new awareness" and "open a big crack" for Afrobeats to enter American mainstream music.[35]

The track "Brown Skin Girl" inspired a viral trend called "#brownskingirlchallenge", where black women and girls post pictures and videos of themselves in celebration of their skin,[36][37] as well as people encouraging their young family members to be proud of their skin.[38][39] Celebrities including Ava DuVernay, Rep. Barbara Lee, Gabrielle Union and Lupita Nyong'o participated in the trend.[40] Several thinkpieces and articles were also produced in response to "Brown Skin Girl".[41][42][43]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from Beyoncé's official website[44] and Tidal.[45]

1."Balance (Mufasa Interlude)" (performed by James Earl Jones)Jeff Nathanson
2."Bigger" (performed by Beyoncé)
  • Beyoncé
  • Dixie
3."The Stars (Mufasa Interlude)" (performed by James Earl Jones)Nathanson
  • Beyoncé
  • Dixie
4."Find Your Way Back (Circle of Life)" (performed by Beyoncé)
  • Beyoncé
  • Bubele Boii
  • Magwenzi
  • Dixie[b]
  • Guilty Beatz[b]
5."Uncle Scar (Scar Interlude)" (performed by Chiwetel Ejiofor)Nathanson
  • Beyoncé
  • Dixie
6."Don't Jealous Me" (performed by Tekno, Yemi Alade and Mr Eazi)
  • Beyoncé
  • P2J
  • Dixie[b]
7."Danger (Young Simba & Young Nala Interlude)" (performed by JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph)Nathanson
  • Beyoncé
  • Dixie
8."Ja Ara E" (performed by Burna Boy)
  • Beyoncé
  • P2J
  • Dixie[b]
9."Run Away (Scar & Young Simba Interlude)" (performed by JD McCrary and Chiwetel Ejiofor)Nathanson
  • Beyoncé
  • Dixie
10."Nile" (performed by Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar)
  • Beyoncé
  • Sounwave
  • Johnny Kosich
  • Carter
  • Keanu Beats
11."New Lesson (Timon, Pumbaa & Young Simba Interlude)" (performed by Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen and JD McCrary)Nathanson
  • Beyoncé
  • Dixie
12."Mood 4 Eva" (performed by Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Childish Gambino featuring Oumou Sangaré)4:32
13."Reunited (Nala & Simba Interlude)" (performed by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Donald Glover)Nathanson
  • Beyoncé
  • Dixie
14."Water" (performed by Salatiel, Pharrell and Beyoncé)
  • Beyoncé
  • P2J
15."Brown Skin Girl" (performed by Beyoncé, Saint Jhn and Wizkid featuring Blue Ivy Carter)
  • Beyoncé
  • P2J
  • Dixie[b]
16."Come Home (Nala Interlude)" (performed by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter)Nathanson
  • Beyoncé
  • Dixie
17."Keys to the Kingdom" (performed by Tiwa Savage and Mr Eazi)
  • Beyoncé
  • Kim Krysiuk
  • Rickie Tice
  • A. King
  • Tiwatope Savage
  • Dixie
  • Gerald White
  • Irosogie
  • Rich King
  • Ajibade
  • Ronald Banful
  • Isong
18."Follow Me (Rafiki Interlude)" (performed by Donald Glover and John Kani)Nathanson
  • Beyoncé
  • Dixie
19."Already" (performed by Beyoncé, Shatta Wale and Major Lazer)
  • Beyoncé
  • Diplo
  • Picard Brothers
  • Guilty Beatz[a]
20."Remember (Mufasa Interlude)" (performed by James Earl Jones)Nathanson
  • Beyoncé
  • Dixie
21."Otherside" (performed by Beyoncé)
  • Beyoncé
  • Nicky Davey
  • Dixie[b]
22."War (Nala Interlude)" (performed by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter)Nathanson
  • Beyoncé
  • Dixie
23."My Power" (performed by Tierra Whack, Beyoncé, Moonchild Sanelly and Nija)
  • Beyoncé
  • Busiswa Gqulu
  • Alade
  • Sanelisiwe Twisha
  • Charles
  • Andrews
  • Coney
  • Lwazi Gwala
  • Beyoncé
  • DJ Lag
  • Moses Boyd
24."Surrender (Simba & Scar Interlude)" (performed by Donald Glover and Chiwetel Ejiofor)Nathanson
  • Beyoncé
  • Dixie
25."Scar" (performed by 070 Shake and Jessie Reyez)
26."I'm Home (Mufasa, Sarabi & Simba Interlude)" (performed by James Earl Jones, Alfre Woodard and Donald Glover)Nathanson
  • Beyoncé
  • Dixie
27."Spirit" (performed by Beyoncé)
Total length:54:00


  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[b] signifies a additional producer
  • ^[c] signifies an uncredited additional producer
  • All song titles are stylized in all caps
  • All interlude titles are stylized in all lowercase
  • "Bigger" features vocals by Raye
  • "Spirit" features background vocals by Labrinth, Ilya, Jamal Moore, Maurice Smith, J Rome, Derrick Charles, DeP, George Young, Vernon Burris, TJ Wilkins, Andre Washington, Mabvuto Carpenter, Jason Morales, Johnny Gilmore, Stevie Notes, Marcus Eldridge, Edward Lawson, and Steve Epting
  • "My Power" features uncredited vocals by Busiswa

Sample credits[edit]

  • "Find Your Way Back" contains elements of "Maradona", written by Sarz and performed by Niniola.
  • "Mood 4 Eva" contains elements of "Diaraby Nene" written and performed by Oumou Sangare; contains an interpolation of "Sweet Green Fields" written by Jimmy Seals; contains an interpolation of "(Think) About It" written by James Brown.


Credits adapted from Beyoncé's official website[46] and Tidal.[47]


  • String section (tracks 1, 2)
    • Adrienne Woods, Bianca McClure, Chelsea Stevens, Crystal Alforque, Jonathan Richards, Marta Honer, Rhea Hosanny, Stephanie Matthews, Stephanie Yu, Tahirah Whittington
  • Pino Palladino - bass (track 15)
  • Courtney Leonard - bass (track 17)
  • Rod Castro - guitar (track 2, 16, 17)
  • Ari PenSmith - keyboards (track 25)
  • Derek Dixie - drums (track 27)
  • Ilya - drums, keyboards, percussion (track 27)
  • Labrinth - drums, keyboards, percussion (track 27)
  • Jeremy Lertola - percussion (track 27)
  • Jeff Lorber - piano (track 27)
  • David Fleming - strings (track 27)


  • Beyoncé – executive producer
  • Teresa LaBarbera - A&R executive
  • Stven "Steve-O" Carless - A&R executive
  • Jon Platt - A&R executive
  • Kwasi Fordjour - A&R; creative director
  • Mariel Gomerez - A&R
  • Ricky Lawson - A&R
  • Derek Dixie - music director


Chart (2019) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[48] 12
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[49] 37
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[50] 12
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[51] 36
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[52] 4
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[53] 9
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[54] 3
French Albums (SNEP)[55] 28
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[56] 48
Italian Albums (FIMI)[57] 39
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[58] 16
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[59] 11
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[60] 88
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[61] 22
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[62] 20
US Billboard 200[27] 2
US Soundtrack Albums (Billboard)[63] 1
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[64] 1


  1. ^ a b "Beyoncé Produces And Performs On Multi-Artist Album "The Lion King: The Gift"". PR Newswire. July 9, 2019. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  2. ^ "Top 40/R Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on July 23, 2019. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  3. ^ Giorgis, Hannah (July 19, 2019). "The Blind Spot of Beyoncé's Lion King Soundtrack". The Atlantic. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  4. ^ Nolfi, Joey (July 19, 2019). "Listen to Beyoncé's Lion King: The Gift album featuring Jay-Z, Pharrell, more". EW. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  5. ^ McCarthy, Kelly (July 16, 2019). "Beyoncé explains how she created a new music genre for 'The Lion King' album". Good Morning America. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  6. ^ "Stream Beyoncé's 'The Lion King: The Gift' Album f/ JAY-Z, Kendrick, Childish Gambino, and More". Complex. July 19, 2019. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  7. ^ Eaglin, Maya (July 19, 2019). "Beyoncé Enlists Hip-Hop A-List And Global Artists For 'The Lion King: The Gift'". NPR. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d Strauss, Matthew (July 9, 2019). "Beyoncé Releasing New Song "Spirit" Tonight, Curates Lion King Album". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  9. ^ "The Lion King: The Gift". Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  10. ^ "The Lion King: The Gift by Beyoncé Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  11. ^ Yeung, Neil Z. (April 17, 2019). "The Lion King: The Gift - Beyoncé | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  12. ^ Graves, Wren. "Beyoncé, Disney, and a Pack of Guests Struggle to Find Balance on The Lion King: The Gift". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  13. ^ Josephs, Brian. "Beyoncé's The Lion King: The Gift tries to do a bit too much". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  14. ^ Petridis, Alexis. "Beyoncé: The Lion King: The Gift review – superstar shows impeccable taste". The Guardian. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  15. ^ Giacomazzo, Bernadette. "Review: Beyoncé's "The Lion King: The Gift" Album Pads Her Legacy". HipHopDX. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  16. ^ Balram, Dhruva. "Beyoncé – 'Lion King: The Gift' review". NME. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  17. ^ Pareles, Jon. "Beyoncé Reimagines 'The Lion King' as Global 21st-Century Pope". The New York Times. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  18. ^ Kim, Michelle. "Various Artists The Lion King: The Gift". Pitchfork. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  19. ^ |url='The Lion King: The Gift' is Beyonce’s Love Letter to Blackness|work=[[Rolling Stone]|first=Danny|last=Schwartz |accessdate=July 24, 2019}}
  20. ^ {{cite web|url=é, The Lion King: The Gift, review – All hail the lion queen|work=[[The Daily Telegraph|The Telegraph]|first=Neil|last=McCormick|accessdate=July 24, 2019}}
  21. ^ Petridis, Alexis (July 19, 2019). "Beyoncé: The Lion King: The Gift review – superstar shows impeccable taste". The Guardian. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  22. ^ Beyonce’s The Lion King: The Gift review: New album is way better than the new movie
  23. ^
  24. ^ Beyoncé Salutes Family and Africa in ‘Lion King: The Gift’ – Variety
  25. ^ Beyoncé, The Lion King: The Gift, review – All hail the lion queen
  26. ^, HipHopDX- (2019-07-25). "Review: Beyoncé's "The Lion King: The Gift" Album Pads Her Legacy". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  27. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (July 28, 2019). "Ed Sheeran's 'No. 6' Spends Second Week at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart, Beyoncé & Nas Bow in Top 10". Billboard. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  28. ^ Caulfield, Keith (July 28, 2019). "Beyoncé Nets Third Top 10 Album of 2019 As 'The Lion King: The Gift' Debuts at No. 2 on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  29. ^ Caulfield, Keith (July 30, 2019). "A Trio of 'Lion King' Albums Crowd Top 10 on Soundtracks Chart, Led by Beyoncé's 'Gift'". Billboard. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  30. ^ Anderson, Trevor (July 31, 2019). "'The Lion King: The Gift' Gives Beyoncé Seventh No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart". Billboard. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  31. ^ Leight, Elias; Leight, Elias (2019-07-19). "Inside Beyoncé's Bold Bet to Get Americans to Listen to African Music". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  32. ^ "How Afrobeats Is Influencing American Pop Music, According to Producer P2J". Complex. Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  33. ^ "DJ Lag Talks Being Recruited by Beyonce for 'Lion King: The Gift' Album & Taking South African Music Worldwide". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  34. ^ "Bloomberg - Are you a robot?". Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  35. ^ Leight, Elias; Leight, Elias (2019-07-16). "Beyoncé's 'Lion King: The Gift' Suggests a New Direction — and a New Challenge". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  36. ^ "Beyoncé & Blue Ivy Spark #BrownSkinGirlChallenge With 'Lion King'-Inspired Song". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  37. ^ Carter, Terry. "Thank You To Beyoncé And Blue Ivy For The Viral #BrownSkinGirl Challenge". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  38. ^ "The Jackson Family on Instagram: "My beautiful brown skin girl; I'll never trade you for anybody else😍❤️ #Affirmation #SelfLove #Motherhood #GirlMom #Beyonce #BrownSkinGirl"". Instagram. Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  39. ^ This 6-year-old boy singing "Brown Skin... - Because of Them We Can by Eunique Jones | Facebook, retrieved 2019-08-11
  40. ^ Hastings, Christobel (2019-07-23). "#BrownSkinGirlChallenge: All the best celebrity responses". Stylist. Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  41. ^ Amanda Mitchell (2019-07-29). "Why Oprah is Rejoicing Thanks to Beyonce and Blue Ivy's Song "Brown Skin Girl"". Oprah Magazine. Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  42. ^ Nast, Condé. "Beyoncé's "Brown Skin Girl" Is Not for Every Brown-Skinned Girl". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  43. ^ Cubit, Brea (2019-07-21). "Why Beyoncé's "Brown Skin Girl" Made Me Burst Into Tears". POPSUGAR Entertainment UK. Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  44. ^ "Beyoncé: THE LION KING: THE GIFT (2019)". Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  45. ^ "The Lion King: The Gift / Beyoncé". Tidal. Retrieved August 3, 2019.
  46. ^ "Beyoncé: THE LION KING THE GIFT (2019)". Retrieved September 12, 2019.
  47. ^ "The Lion King: The Gift / Beyoncé". Tidal. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  48. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. July 29, 2019. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  49. ^ " – Beyoncé – The Lion King: The Gift" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  50. ^ " – Beyoncé – The Lion King: The Gift" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  51. ^ " – Beyoncé – The Lion King: The Gift" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  52. ^ "Beyonce Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  53. ^ "Hitlisten.NU – Album Top-40 Uge 29, 2019". Hitlisten. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  54. ^ " – Beyoncé – The Lion King: The Gift" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  55. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums Fusionnes – SNEP (Week 30, 2019)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  56. ^ " – Beyoncé – The Lion King: The Gift" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  57. ^ "Album – Classifica settimanale WK 30 (dal 19.07.2019 al 25.07.2019)" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  58. ^ "NZ Top 40 Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. July 29, 2019. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  59. ^ "VG-lista – Topp 40 Album uke 30, 2019". VG-lista. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  60. ^ "Top 100 Albumes – Semana 30: del 19.7.2019 al 25.7.2019" (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  61. ^ "Veckolista Album, vecka 30". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  62. ^ " – Beyoncé – The Lion King: The Gift". Hung Medien. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  63. ^ "Beyonce Chart History (Soundtrack Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  64. ^ [{{{url}}} "{{{title}}}"] Check |url= value (help). Retrieved July 31, 2019.