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Update, July 31st, 2020, 9:42 a.m. ET: It's here! Beyoncé dropped her new visual album, Black Is King, at midnight, and we are ready to watch on repeat. The singer's 85-minute film/album is a The Lion King-inspired celebration of the Black experience, and you can watch right now on Disney+.
Disney+ is a subscription streaming service, so if you aren't signed up yet, a Beyoncé visual album drop seems like the perfect opportunity to do so. As a sneak peek just a bit before the midnight drop, Beyoncé also released the music video for "Already," featuring Shatta Wale and Major Lazer to her YouTube channel, so you can get a feel of what you're in for in the full-length album.
Because she is Queen Bey, after all, she directed and executive produced the album, as well as, duh, sang all the songs. Black Is King was filmed across the globe—in New York, L.A., South Africa, West Africa, London, and Belgium—over the course of one year. According to Disney+, "From all those places came an extraordinary cast of actors and dancers that influenced the visual album's rich tableau and vibrant choreography."
Watch Black Is King for yourself right now on Disney+.
Update, July 20th, 2020, 1:34 p.m. ET: Close to a month after the announcement of her new visual album, Beyoncé has dropped the first full trailer for Black Is King. To the surprise of approximately no one, it's absolutely stunning.
Disney fans will immediately recognize quotes and visuals that mirror The Lion King—which makes sense because Bey has previously announced that the film "reimagines the lessons of The Lion King for today's young kings and queens in search of their crowns."
Lupita Nyong’o pops up in the Black Is King trailer, and, according to Variety, Destiny's Child alum Kelly Rowland; Beyoncé's husband, Jay-Z; her mom, Tina Knowles-Lawson; Naomi Campbell; and Pharrell Williams will all make cameos in the film, too. Don't forget, Bey's earlier visual album, Lemonade, featured appearances from Serena Williams, Zendaya, Winnie Harlow, and many others.
Watch Beyoncé's full Black Is King trailer below:
It's only a short wait until you can watch the full visual album on July 31st on Disney+.
Original post, June 29th, 2020: Beyoncé is taking the story of The Lion King and bringing it to a new generation in her own way. On July 31st, Beyoncé will drop a brand-new Lemonade-esque visual album, Black Is King, on Disney+. According to the press release, Black Is King “reimagines the lessons of The Lion King for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns.”
“The voyages of Black families, throughout time, are honored in a tale about a young king’s transcendent journey through betrayal, love, and self-identity,” the Black Is King press release continues. “His ancestors help guide him toward his destiny, and with his father’s teachings and guidance from his childhood love, he earns the virtues needed to reclaim his home and throne.”
The music in Black Is King is based on the soundtrack from The Lion King: The Gift, to which Beyoncé lent her vocals. And it intends to be "a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience."
Check out the Black Is King teaser trailer, released June 28th, below:
Similar to her 2016 visual album Lemonade, Beyoncé will tell a story through her songs, pairing each track with powerful imagery meant to linger in your mind every time you listen. As Lemonade spoke to women claiming or reclaiming their independence and power, Black Is King will affirm a “grand purpose” to Black youth by highlighting the "beauty and tradition of Black excellence" via “lush visuals that celebrate Black resilience and culture.”
But it's far from just about the past. Beyoncé's new visual album looks to build a new future. It's a story about "how the people left most broken have an extraordinary gift and a purposeful future."
Disney+ subscribers will be able to watch the Black Is King visual album on July 31st.