Tickets are on sale today for “The Lion King,” the Jon Favreau-helmed feature film that brings treasured characters to the big screen in a whole new way. The film—like the original 1994 version—features unforgettable music by an award-winning team, including Oscar® and GRAMMY®-winning superstar Elton John and Oscar and GRAMMY-winning lyricist Tim Rice, who’ve written an uplifting new song, “Never Too Late,” performed by John, that features an African choir and will appear in the film’s end credits and also on the Walt Disney Records original motion picture soundtrack. The digital soundtrack is set for release at 8 a.m. PDT on July 11, and the physical album is now available for pre-order and set for release on July 19, the same day “The Lion King” opens in U.S. theaters.
“Just hearing that music strikes you deeply,” Favreau said. “Even if you don’t know the film or stage show, there is a spiritual strength in it. But if you know the film, and if you grew up with this music—now it can suddenly and immediately evoke the story itself, as well as all the connected memories and emotions that you have from your own past experience with ‘The Lion King,’ or from the time of your life that you were in, or your childhood, or the life events it’s connected to.”
Added Mitchell Leib, president of music & soundtracks for The Walt Disney Studios, “The incredible musical talents who came together to contribute to this project are unparalleled. Jon Favreau’s deep love and instinct for musical collaboration inspired Hans Zimmer, Lebo M, Pharrell Williams, Elton John, Tim Rice, Beyoncé, Donald Glover and the entire music team to an awesome level of generosity, spirit and commitment, resulting in a powerful journey of song, production and performance.”
“The Lion King” original motion picture soundtrack features new recordings of the original songs written by Elton John and Tim Rice, score by Oscar® and GRAMMY®-winning composer Hans Zimmer, plus African vocal and choir arrangements by GRAMMY-winning South African producer and composer Lebo M (Rhythm of the Pride Lands). Oscar-nominated and GRAMMY-winning singer, songwriter and producer Pharrell Williams (“Hidden Figures”/producer, “Happy”), produced five songs on the soundtrack.
In revisiting the score for “The Lion King,” Zimmer realized the original themes and music were the “emotional spine of the story.” He brought back many who worked on the original film, including Lebo M, orchestrator Bruce Fowler, conductor Nick Glennie-Smith, arranger Mark Mancina, plus several singers from the choir including Carmen Twillie (who performed “Circle of Life” in the 1994 movie).
Zimmer wanted to approach the score differently for the new film and enlisted the Re-Collective Orchestra (led by founders Matt Jones and Stephanie Matthews), along with the Hollywood Studio Symphony (comprised of Los Angeles-based session players), and his band. The goal was to rehearse and record the score like a live concert performance.
“The Lion King” original motion picture soundtrack track list follows.
“Circle of Life”/“Nants’ Ingonyama” – Performed by Lindiwe Mkhize; African vocals performed by Lebo M; written and composed by Elton John and Tim Rice; “Nants’ Ingonyama” written by Lebohang Morake and Hans Zimmer; produced by Hans Zimmer; vocals produced by Stephen Lipson
“Life’s Not Fair” – Hans Zimmer
“Rafiki’s Fireflies” – Hans Zimmer
“I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” – Performed by JD McCrary, Shahadi Wright Joseph and John Oliver; written by Elton John and Tim Rice; produced by Pharrell Williams; co-produced by Stephen Lipson
“Elephant Graveyard” – Hans Zimmer
“Be Prepared” (2019 Version) – Performed by Chiwetel Ejiofor; written by Elton John and Tim Rice; produced by Hans Zimmer and David Fleming
“Stampede” – Hans Zimmer
“Scar Takes the Throne” – Hans Zimmer
“Hakuna Matata” – Performed by Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen, JD McCrary and Donald Glover; written by Elton John and Tim Rice; produced by Pharrell Williams; co-produced by Stephen Lipson
“Simba is Alive!” – Hans Zimmer
“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” – Performed by Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen; written by Luigi Creatore, Hugo Peretti, George David Weiss and Solomon Linda; produced by Pharrell Williams
“Can You Feel the Love Tonight” – Performed by Beyoncé, Donald Glover, Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen; written by Elton John and Tim Rice; produced by Pharrell Williams; co-produced by Stephen Lipson
“Reflections of Mufasa” – Hans Zimmer
“Battle for Pride Rock” – Hans Zimmer
“Remember” – Hans Zimmer
“Never Too Late” – Performed by Elton John; African vocal and choir arrangements created and produced by Lebo M; written by Elton John and Tim Rice; produced by Greg Kurstin; additional production by Elton John and Matt Still
“He Lives in You” – Performed by Lebo M; written by Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin and Lebohang Morake; produced by Lebo M and Mark Mancina
“Mbube” – Performed by Lebo M; African vocal and choir arrangements created and produced by Lebo M; written by Solomon Linda; produced by Pharrell Williams