Earlier this month, we learned that the Disney corporation was about to make Beyoncé the highest-paid star next to Daisy Duck (don’t tell me they don’t pay top dollar for her avian beauty). Beyoncé was reportedly looking at a $100 million contract with Disney to be a major brand partner, and it was rumored that her first project might have something to do with the Black Panther sequel, which might possibly be followed by two film projects. It was all very mysterious! Well, we’ve now learned that her first project will be another visual album, a la 2013’s Beyoncé and 2016’s Lemonade, called Black is King, coming to Disney+ next month.
Variety reports that Black is King was written, directed, and executive produced by Beyoncé herself. It is scheduled to drop on Disney+ on July 31st, a little over a year after the premiere of the live-action adaptation of The Lion King. Which isn’t just a coincidence, but excellent branding on Disney and Beyoncé’s part, because Black is King was inspired by The Lion King. Last year, Beyoncé put out an entire album inspired by The Lion King titled The Lion King: The Gift. Black is King is based on the music from The Lion King: The Gift. Disney and Parkwood Entertainment, Beyoncé’s company, released a statement about her latest visual album:
Beyoncé’s visual album reimagines lessons of The Lion King for “today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns.” The film was in production for one year with a cast and crew that represent “diversity and connectivity.”
Black Is King pays tribute to voyages of Black families throughout time. The visual album tells the story of a young king’s “transcendent journey through betrayal, love and self-identity.” His ancestors help guide him toward his destiny, and with his father’s teachings and guidance from his childhood love, he earns the virtues needed to reclaim his home and throne.
Okay, so it’s kind of like The Lion King, but with humans. I like it! But mostly because Scar scared me too much, and I really don’t want any more nightmares about that evil lion. Here’s the teaser trailer for Black is King, which features striking visuals, expensive costumes, overhead camera work, underneath camera work, and Beyoncé, Beyoncé, Beyoncé!
Sunday was a big day for Beyoncé. Not only did she finally reveal what Disney paid her so much money for, but she also won the Humanitarian Award at the 2020 BET Awards. And it was presented virtually by former first lady Michelle Obama. BET explains that Beyoncé got the award for her philanthropic efforts, like her BeyGOOD initiative, which she launched in 2013, the outreach work she did in 2017 in response to Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Beyoncé teamed up with her mom Tina Knowles Lawson for the #IDIDMYPART initiative, which helped Black and brown communities in Houston receive testing for the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, I think we can all agree that perhaps her most humanitarian move was to not officially send the Beyhive after Lisa Kudrow for confusing her with Kim Kardashian.
.@MichelleObama, Ms. Tina @knowles_lawson, @SybrinaFulton, @tylerperry and more pay tribute to Beyoncé as she accepts the 2020 BET Humanitarian Award for her philanthropic efforts. 👑#BETAwards pic.twitter.com/ny0xYt0Mn1
— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@BeyLegion) June 29, 2020