Elton John unveils new song for The Lion King soundtrack

Elton John's new song Never Too Late features backing vocals from an African choir.

Elton John has written a new song for the soundtrack of Disney's The Lion King remake.

The tune, titled Never Too Late, was penned by the British rocker and Grammy Award-winning lyricist Tim Rice, who previously created the musical numbers for the 1994 original together. Described as an "uplifting" song, Never Too Late has been performed by John with backing vocals from an African choir and is set to appear during the film's end credits.

The soundtrack also features new versions of memorable songs from the animated film, such as a I Just Can't Wait to Be King, Circle of Life, and Can You Feel the Love Tonight, which have been given a new lease of life from performers like Beyonce, Donald Glover, Brown Lindiwe Mkhize, Lebo M. and John Oliver.

"Just hearing that music strikes you deeply," director Jon Favreau said in a statement. "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."

A veil of secrecy still hangs over the 14th track on the album, with many fans speculating this is the song Beyonce, who voices Nala in the film, has reportedly written for the movie.

Favreau recently revealed Beyonce "performed and wrote" the new song "in the spirit of the production" and teamed up with composer Hans Zimmer to "bring this new piece of music into a film where there's already a very established musical personality to the piece".

The digital soundtrack is to be released on 11 July, while the physical album is set to hit shelves on 19 July, the same day The Lion King opens in U.S. cinemas.

And should Never Too Late be a hit, it's possible John will have two songs nominated in the Best Original Song category at the Oscars, as he and his longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin also created (I'm Gonna) Love Me Again for the soundtrack of his biographical movie Rocketman.

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