Beyonce has 23 Grammys, but she may be coming for Oscar next. She co-wrote the original song “Spirit” for the live-action version of “The Lion King”; the song dropped on July 10 in advance of the film’s opening on July 19. Do you think it’ll cross that off her EGOT bucket list? It would be a moment of redemption after she was disqualified for her songwriting contribution to “Dreamgirls” 13 years ago. Listen to “Spirit” above.
Written by Ilya Salmanzadeh and Labrinth along with Beyonce, the song will be featured in the film as well as on “The Lion King: The Gift,” a compilation album produced and curated by Beyonce that will include the work of African artists and producers. Salmanzadeh has numerous songwriting credits for a variety of artists, including Ellie Goulding (“Love Me Like You Do”), Taylor Swift (“End Game”) and Ariana Grande (“No Tears Left to Cry,” “God is a Woman”). Labrinth, meanwhile, recently released “LSD,” a collaboration album with Sia and Diplo.
If “Spirit” gets Beyonce to the Oscars it wouldn’t be her first brush with academy glory, though it would be her first nomination. She co-wrote the song “Listen” from “Dreamgirls” (2006), a film she also starred in. It was nominated for eight Oscars overall, including Best Original Song for three new tunes including “Listen,” but her co-writers Henry Krieger, Anne Preven and Scott Cutler were the only ones the academy recognized.
It’s not like the Oscars are shy about rewarding A-list music superstars, though. Just look at past winners Eminem (“Lose Yourself” from “8 Mile”), Annie Lennox (“Into the West” from “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”), Melissa Etheridge (“I Need to Wake Up” from “An Inconvenient Truth”) and most recently Lady Gaga (“Shallow” from “A Star is Born”), to name a few.
And let’s not forget that Elton John won the Oscar for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from the original animated version “The Lion King” So if voters get another opportunity to hop on the Queen Bey bandwagon, they might jump at the chance. Does “Spirit” sound like an Oscar contender to you? Listen to it up top, and vote in our poll below.