The singer, who voices the character of Nala in the remake of the 1994 animated movie of the same name, was one of the many cast members who attended Tuesday’s event at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. But she was the one everyone hoped to see.
Other stars, including Donald Glover, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, as well as director Jon Favreau and others involved with the film were on hand, too, and several of them said they were looking forward to meeting the singer and actress.
Knowles arrived wearing a dramatic number from Alexander McQueen after her fellow actors had walked the red carpet, and her 7-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, was by her side in a similar look. Jay-Z and their twins Rumi and Sir, 2, didn’t make an appearance.
Both Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, the two women who were once part of Destiny’s Child along with Beyoncé, attended. Williams noted that she’s “proud” of her friend.
Some of the others who showed up to the event: comedian Tiffany Haddish, who was undoubtedly gathering material for future Beyoncé stories; Chance the Rapper, with his baby daughter; Jamie Foxx; Tracy Morgan; singer Meghan Trainor; actress Raven-Symoné; singer LeAnn Rimes and actor Eddie Cibrian; and the just announced star of the live-action The Little Mermaid, Halle Bailey, and her sister, Chloe x Halle member Chloe Bailey. Zooey and Emily Deschanel, whose father Caleb Deschanel was The Lion King’s cinematographer, appeared with both him and their actress mother, Mary Jo Deschanel.
Beyoncé whipped up excitement across the internet just last week after she shared a cast photo that showed her profile next to one of Nala.
Then, just before celebrities began arriving at the premiere, official social media channels for the movie posted the news that Beyoncé had produced and curated an album of songs “featuring global recording artists and steeped in the sounds of Africa,” titled The Lion King: The Gift, that will come out the same day as the movie. A single from the album called “Spirit” and performed by the singer was scheduled to be released Tuesday night.
The Lion King arrives in theaters on July 19.
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