Over six years after the release of her album ‘Anti’, Rihanna returned to music on Friday with the release of ‘Lift Me Up’, an emotional ballad in the ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ soundtrack.
The track, co-written by Rihanna, Tems, Ludwig Göransson, and ‘Black Panther’ director Ryan Coogler, was written as a tribute to the late Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, who died from colon cancer in 2020 at age 43.
Packed with emotional lyrics, accompanied by a piano and minimal strings, the track allows Rihanna’s impressive vocals to shine through.
‘Lift me up/Hold me down/Keep me close /Safe and sound,’ she sings as the song opens.
‘Burning in a hopeless dream/Hold me when you go to sleep.’
An instrumental version was also released on Friday.
Talking about Rihanna’s involvement in the film’s soundtrack, Tems said in a statement, “Rihanna has been an inspiration to me so hearing her convey this song is a great honour.”
Director Ryan also shared his excitement about the singer’s involvement in the film. “We knew she was at a point in her life as well, where she was functioning on different things. She was functioning on business, motherhood, she’s a big name in our film,” he said to The Hollywood Reporter and added, “So we were holding on to hope that it could work out and boy! Did it! I can’t wait for people to hear it.”
The release of the song garnered all sorts of reactions from fans. Many took to Twitter to share their honest reaction to the song while others celebrated the singer’s return to music.
“The maturity in Rihanna’s voice whew LORD,” a fan wrote.
Another went as far as predicting an Oscar nomination for the soundtrack. “just finished listening to rihanna’s future oscar winning song lift me up,” the tweet read.
3 seconds into lift me up by rihanna https://t.co/T106lq4rIs
— your ultimate ️lug (@GimK_) 1666930633000
the maturity in rihanna’s voice whew LORD.
— amorphous (@loneamorphous) 1666930480000
BURNING IN A HOPELESS DREAM HOLD ME WHEN YOU GO TO SLEEP #Rihanna https://t.co/KnojWYNSzF
— Stella (@stellaspeaks1) 1666929792000
Oh I’m finna cry in the theaters when the Black Panther end credits start rolling and I hear Rihanna voice
— HOOD VOGUE is tired of poverty (@keyon) 1666929811000
Lift me upHold me downKeep me closeSafe and sound#LiftMeUp #Rihanna https://t.co/t0f92ZQ9wP
— Universal Music Brasil (@umusicbrasil) 1666929836000
just finished listening to rihanna’s future oscar winning song lift me up https://t.co/WDOwWNHPkr
— wiLL (@willfulchaos) 1666930205000
lift me up by rihanna feels like a warm hug https://t.co/COOXsmzxB2
— the other ~other~ boleyn girl (@brittannia_a) 1666931897000
RIHANNA VOCALS ON LIFT ME UP https://t.co/THUBGTFzJl
— (@gabgonebad) 1666930311000
me after streaming Lift Me Up by Rihanna… I miss him so much https://t.co/9AfpLkYPJd
— WRITE A RAP (@WriteARapSis) 1666932371000
when lift me up by rihanna started playing #LiftMeUp https://t.co/oRwOr3h0jX
— َ (@typagirI) 1666931901000
Rihanna is also scheduled to drop her new album.
‘Wakanda Forever’ which also Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, hits screens on November 11.