Rihanna’s Wakanda Forever Song Is a Tribute to Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman

Rihanna marks her return to music with a single for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever this Friday, October 28, and the track will serve as a special tribute to the first film’s late star, Chadwick Boseman.

Lift Me Up is Rihanna’s first musical debut since 2016, and is described as “a tribute to the extraordinary life and legacy of Chadwick Boseman.” The song — written with Nigerian singer-songwriter Tems, producer Ludwig Göransson, and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler — will be released on Rihanna’s Westbury Road label in partnership with Roc Nation, Def Jam Recordings, and Hollywood Records.

While there’s no full version of the track available for now, Rihanna shared a brief clip of Lift Me Up on Twitter. It’s a soft, dark hum only a few seconds long, and reminiscent of some of the more poignant melodies used in trailers prior.

In August 2020, Chadwick Boseman died at the age of 43 from cancer. Boseman starred in the original film as Black Panther (T’Challa) and planned to return as the superhero in Black Panther 2. Before his death, Coogler said the sequel was “very much rooted in T’Challa’s perspective,” but was rewritten to honor Boseman and his role.

The Lift Me Up announcement confirms speculation from earlier this month when New York Times journalist Kyle Buchanan shared rumors of Rihanna’s involvement with the soundtrack and also noted her contribution was for the end-credits song.

Lift Me Up will be available this Friday with options to pre-save on Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will release in theaters on November 10, 2022. In the lead-up to the film’s debut, Marvel Entertainment has also shared other details, like the official plot summary, and a featurette with the cast explaining the film’s emotional ties .

Andrea Shearon is a freelance news writer at IGN covering games and entertainment. Find her on Twitter (@Maajora) chatting about FFXIV and other RPGs.

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