Rihanna has released her first solo single in six years, a song taken from the soundtrack of the impending Black Panther sequel.
Lift Me Up was released on Friday after the singer prodded her return to music on social media earlier this week.
The song will show up in Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which is set to be released in November.
Director Ryan Coogler said Rihanna’s contribution in the project was to honour the late actor Chadwick Boseman.
“Honestly, I think it was Chad,” he said. “A lot of improbable things needed to happen for it to come through and Rihanna was very clear that she did that for him.”
Boseman featured in the first Black Panther film and furthermore showed up in Da 5 Bloods, 21 Bridges and the James Brown biopic Get On Up.
He passed on in 2020, four years in the wake of being diagnosed with colon cancer. Last year, Boseman was posthumously nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Coogler added: “We knew [Rihanna] was at a point in her life as well where she was focusing on different things – focused on business, motherhood, which is a big theme in our film. We were holding out hope that maybe it could work out and boy did it for this song.”
Lift Me Up has been co-written by Rihanna, Coogler and Nigerian singer-songwriter Tems, who has recently worked with Drake, Justin Bieber, Future, Wizkid, Beyonce and Khalid.
The song is produced and co-written by Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson, who scored the first Black Panther film as well as Creed, Venom and Tenet.
It is downtempo yet elevating, and sees Rihanna’s distinctive vocals projected over a smooth accompaniment of delicate keys and strings. The singer is joined by a subtle backing choir as the atmospheric song works to its climax.
She sings: “Lift me up, hold me down, keep me close, safe and sound / Hold me when you go to sleep, keep me in the warmth of your love when you depart, keep me safe and sound.”
Fans warmly welcomed the release of the single via social media, with many joking by means of a series of memes that the song was making them suspend, yet others depicted it as a “disappointing” comeback and “definitely a movie soundtrack song”.
Lift Me Up is the first solo single from Rihanna since the release of her album Anti in 2016.
From that point forward, she has teamed up with different artists like PartyNextDoor and N.E.R.D., and showed up on the tremendously successful Wild Thoughts close by DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller.
Be that as it may, the vocalist has generally remained silent on the music front in recent years, as she focused on extending her fashion, lingerie, skincare and cosmetics brand Fenty, as well as recently having a baby boy with rapper A$AP Rocky.
She likewise showed up inverse Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett in 2018’s film Ocean’s 8, an all-female reboot of the Ocean’s 11 franchise.
Rihanna will feature the renowned half-time show at February’s Super Bowl in Arizona, her first live performance in over five years.
Her contribution in Wakanda Forever will expand fans’ expectation for the sequel of Black Panther, which was a tremendous box office achievement and scored a best picture nomination at the Oscars.
The film, released on 11 November, will see stars including Letitia Wright and Lupita Nyong’o reprise their roles as the kingdom of Wakanda battles to protect itself from attacking forces following Ruler T’Challa’s death.