Beyonce to release visual album Black Is King on Disney+ in July

Beyoncé's new visual album reimagines the lessons of The Lion King for today’s youth.

Beyoncé will release a new visual album titled Black Is King in July.

The visual, which was written, directed and executive produced by the star, will premiere on Disney+ on July 31.

Black Is King will celebrate Black resilience and culture. According to a press release, the album is based on the music of The Lion King: The Gift, the Beyoncé-curated soundtrack for the Lion King remake released last July. Watch a trailer for the album below: 

"This visual album from Beyoncé reimagines the lessons of The Lion King for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns," the statement reads.

The press release explains the album honours the "voyages of Black families, throughout time", and tells the story of a "young king's journey through betrayal, love and self-identity.

"These timeless lessons are revealed and reflected through Black voices of today, now sitting in their own power. Black Is King is an affirmation of a grand purpose, with lush visuals that celebrate Black resilience and culture. The film highlights the beauty of tradition and Black excellence."

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The news comes a week after Beyoncé surprise-released a new song titled Black Parade. It's not yet known whether the song will feature on the new collection.

In a lengthy post on her Instagram, Bey said the album was a labour of love that she had been working on for the past year, adding: "I could never have imagined that a year later, all the hard work that went into this production would serve a greater purpose."

View this post on Instagram

I typically keep comments short and sweet, but I just watched the trailer with my family and I’m excited. 🎶please don’t get me hype🎶🤪 “Black Is King” is a labor of love. It is my passion project that I have been filming, researching and editing day and night for the past year. I’ve given it my all and now it’s yours. It was originally filmed as a companion piece to “The Lion King: The Gift” soundtrack and meant to celebrate the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry. I could never have imagined that a year later, all the hard work that went into this production would serve a greater purpose. The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey. We are all in search of safety and light. Many of us want change. I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history of generational wealth and richness of soul that are not told in our history books. With this visual album, I wanted to present elements of Black history and African tradition, with a modern twist and a universal message, and what it truly means to find your self-identity and build a legacy. I spent a lot of time exploring and absorbing the lessons of past generations and the rich history of different African customs. While working on this film, there were moments where I’ve felt overwhelmed, like many others on my creative team, but it was important to create a film that instills pride and knowledge. I only hope that from watching, you leave feeling inspired to continue building a legacy that impacts the world in an immeasurable way. I pray that everyone sees the beauty and resilience of our people. This is a story of how the people left MOST BROKEN have EXTRAORDINARY gifts.❤️✊🏾 Thank you to Blitz, Emmanuel, Ibra, Jenn, Pierre, Dikayl, Kwasi and all the brilliant creatives. Thank you to all at Disney for giving this Black woman the opportunity to tell this story. This experience has been an affirmation of a grander purpose. My only goal is that you watch it with your family and that it gives you pride. Love y’all, B

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Jun 28, 2020 at 8:06pm PDT

Meanwhile, Beyonce gave a powerful speech last night (June 28) as she accepted an honour for her humanitarian work at the BET Awards.

Dedicating her award to protesters around America, the star urged black communities to vote in the upcoming US elections.

"You're proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain," she said. "I'm encouraging you to continue to take action, continue to change and dismantle a racist and unequal system.

"We have to vote like our life depends on it, because it does."

Article image: Disney/Travis Matthews/Parkwood Entertainment