The day that Rihanna‘s fans have been waiting for has finally arrived. On Friday (October 28), Rihanna, 34, made her eagerly anticipated return to music with the release of “lift me up,” the lead single from the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack. Coming weeks after the NFL announced Rihanna to headline the Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show, “Lift Me Up” is the first new Rihanna track in more than six years. The deeply emotional and moving song had a spiritual feel, inspired by church music with piano and harp elements.
“Burning in a hopeless dream/Keep me when you go to sleep/Keep me in the warmth of your love/When you depart, keep me safe/Safe and sound,” she sings in the first verse of the song, produced by Oscar winner Ludwig Göransson. “Lift me up/Hold me down/Keep me close/Safe and sound,” she then sings in the chorus of the down-tempo track.
“Lift Me Up” was written as a tribute “to the extraordinary life and legacy of Chadwick Boseman“by ThemsGoransson, Rihanna, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director Ryan Cooler, according to the press release sent out to announce the new song. The song was recorded in five countries and was produced by Göransson. “After speaking with Ryan and hearing his direction for the film and the song, I wanted to write something that represented a warm embrace of all the people I’ve lost in my life,” said Tems. “I tried to think how it would feel if I could sing to them now and express how much I miss them. Rihanna has been an inspiration to me, so it’s a great honor to hear her perform this song.”
lift me up
— Rihanna (@rihanna) October 26, 2022
Rihanna’s last single as a lead artist came in 2016. That year she dropped her eighth studio album, Anti and she has “Sledgehammer,” a single for the Star Trek Beyond soundtrack. Rih released a handful of promotional singles in 2017 and worked with a few artists over the next year or so. She lent her voice to NERDs “Lemon,” Future’s “Selfish,” on DJ Khaled for “Wild Thoughts” (feat Bryson Tiller), and on PartyNextDoor’s 2020 song “Believe It.”
The announcement of “Lift Me Up” resulted in Rihanna being the top Twitter trend for hours as fans were ecstatic that they finally got new music. To say fans want a new album is an understatement. The span of six years between Anti and is now the longest Rihanna’s NAVY has gone between albums, as she would normally release a new LP every two years. The hype has turned rude in some cases. “If one of your mothers asks me about the album one more time when I’m trying to save the world […] … in sight,” she said in April 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, her music career took a setback to survive the coronavirus pandemic, her growing fashion and beauty empire, as well as her newborn son. But during her pregnancy, Rih gave fans a hint that the album is come.
“I look at my next project completely differently than I wanted to bring it out before. I think this way suits me better, much better,” she said Vogue in 2022. “It’s authentic, it’ll be fun for me, and it takes a lot of the pressure off.”