Rihanna stunned millions of fans across the globe in the last month by announcing she’d be hosting her own Super Bowl LVII halftime show this February. This is a radical change from her position as a hardliner just two years earlier when she revealed to the magazine Vogue in 2019 that she’d declined the show to be a “sellout” after the NFL blackballed the quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Following the Super Bowl announcement, speculation about her album and tour to be announced in 2023 was ramped up. This morning, Rihanna fans get their wishes. The Grammy-winning artist has released her first single in over six years, the song “Lift Me” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the latest Marvel blockbuster that opens on November 11th.
The track was composed by Rihanna, Nigerian breakout singer Terms the Grammy-winning music composer Ludwig Goransson (who won an Oscar for his effort on the original Black Panther soundtrack), and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler in homage to the late Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman who expired in the year 2020 following a long fight with cancer of the colon. Boseman’s T’Challa character hasn’t been confirmed to be a part of the forthcoming sequel, so the song is a tribute to his memory in the most sincere way. “Lift me up/Hold me down/Keep me safe as well,” Rihanna sings in the chorus. “Burning in a hopeless dream/Hold me while you sleep/Keep me warm in your embrace when you leave/Keep me safe, secure as well.”
To her part, Terms was thrilled to be a part of Black Panther in this way and to leave listeners with a poignant message. “I wanted to write something that conveys an embrace of all the people I’ve lost throughout my life,” she said in the declaration. “I thought about what it will be like singing to them today and letting them know how much I love the people they were. Rihanna inspires me, and listening to her sing this song is an amazing pleasure.”