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Beyonce says her 'Lion King' album is 'love letter' to Africa

By
Annie Martin

July 16 (UPI) -- The Lion King star Beyoncé says her new album is a "love letter" to Africa.

The 37-year-old singer and actress discussed her album The Lion King: The Gift in a preview of The Lion King: Can You Feel the Love Tonight, an ABC News special about the film airing Tuesday evening.

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Beyoncé voices the lion Nala in the new Disney movie, which opens in theaters Friday. She recorded several songs for the film, including the new song "Spirit,"which appears on the movie's soundtrack, released July 11.

Beyoncé also produced and curated The Lion King: The Gift, which features songs inspired by the film. The album will debut Friday.

"The soundtrack is a love letter to Africa," Beyoncé said of the album. "I wanted to make sure we found the best talent from Africa, and not just use some of the sound and did my interpretation of it. I wanted it to be authentic to what is beautiful about the music in Africa."

Billboard said The Lion King: The Gift includes "Spirit" and 13 other tracks, including collaborations with Beyoncé's husband, Jay Z, daughter Blue Ivy, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino and Pharrell.

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Beyoncé previously said the album will feature a mixture of genres.

"It is influenced by everything from R&B, pop, hip hop and Afro Beat. I wanted to put everyone on their own journey to link the storyline," the singer said.

"It was important that the music was not only performed by the most interesting and talented artists but also produced by the best African producers. Authenticity and heart were important to me," she added.

The Lion King is a remake of the 1994 animated film of the same name. The new version also features the voices of Donald Glover, John Kani, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Seth Rogan and Billy Eichner.

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