What to Know About Beyoncé’s New Visual Album, ‘Black Is King’

A new Beyoncé album is on its way.

The superstar surprised fans on Sunday when she revealed the trailer for her upcoming visual album, “Black Is King,” which is being released exclusively on Disney’s streaming service, Disney+.

The visual album is based on Beyoncé’s “The Lion King: The Gift” album released last year in conjunction with the live action movie, which cast Beyoncé as its adult Nala. Beyoncé posted the trailer on Instagram, pairing it with a lengthy comment that read in part: “’Black Is King’ is a labor of love. It is my passion project that I have been filming, researching and editing day and night for the past year. I’ve given it my all and now it’s yours.”

“Black Is King” is the first visual album Beyoncé has released since her Grammy-winning “Lemonade” album from 2016. It is also her first directorial endeavor since releasing the Netflix documentary “Homecoming” — which showed her headlining set at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music Arts Festival — in 2019.

From the release date to the other artists participating in the album, here is everything you need to know about Beyoncé’s new release, “Black Is King.”

When is ‘Black Is King’ being released?

“Black Is King” will make its debut on the Disney+ streaming service on July 31 to mark the one-year anniversary of the live-action reboot’s premiere.

What music will ‘Black Is King’ include?

“Black Is King” includes the songs released in Beyoncé’s album “The Lion King: The Gift,” which she released in conjunction with last year’s film. Beyoncé described the album as a love letter to Africa, celebrating the continent’s rich traditions and regions.

Why is Beyoncé releasing ‘Black Is King?’

Beyoncé stated on Instagram the visual album is “meant to celebrate the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry.” She also wrote she’s been working on “Black Is King” for over a year now and it was first meant to be a companion piece to “The Lion King: The Gift.”

She wrote how the film’s release was also impacted by the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in response to the recent police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and other unarmed Black people across the country.

“I could never have imagined that a year later, all the hard work that went into this production would serve a greater purpose,” she wrote. “The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey. We are all in search of safety and light. Many of us want change. I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history of generational wealth and richness of soul that are not told in our history books.”

What other artists are featured in ‘Black Is King?’

“The Lion King: The Gift” also features musicians such as Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, 070 Shake, Tierra Whack, Jay-Z, Blue Ivy Carter and Jessie Reyez, as well as African artists like Wizkid, Shatta Wale, Burna Boy, Mr Eazi, Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Yemi Alade, Busiswa and Salatiel.

Watch the trailer here:

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I typically keep comments short and sweet, but I just watched the trailer with my family and I’m excited. 🎶please don’t get me hype🎶🤪 “Black Is King” is a labor of love. It is my passion project that I have been filming, researching and editing day and night for the past year. I’ve given it my all and now it’s yours. It was originally filmed as a companion piece to “The Lion King: The Gift” soundtrack and meant to celebrate the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry. I could never have imagined that a year later, all the hard work that went into this production would serve a greater purpose. The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey. We are all in search of safety and light. Many of us want change. I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history of generational wealth and richness of soul that are not told in our history books. With this visual album, I wanted to present elements of Black history and African tradition, with a modern twist and a universal message, and what it truly means to find your self-identity and build a legacy. I spent a lot of time exploring and absorbing the lessons of past generations and the rich history of different African customs. While working on this film, there were moments where I’ve felt overwhelmed, like many others on my creative team, but it was important to create a film that instills pride and knowledge. I only hope that from watching, you leave feeling inspired to continue building a legacy that impacts the world in an immeasurable way. I pray that everyone sees the beauty and resilience of our people. This is a story of how the people left MOST BROKEN have EXTRAORDINARY gifts.❤️✊🏾 Thank you to Blitz, Emmanuel, Ibra, Jenn, Pierre, Dikayl, Kwasi and all the brilliant creatives. Thank you to all at Disney for giving this Black woman the opportunity to tell this story. This experience has been an affirmation of a grander purpose. My only goal is that you watch it with your family and that it gives you pride. Love y’all, B

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