John Legend and Ariana Grande to Team Up for ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Theme Song
Because we tend to think of him more commonly as “slick neo-soul songbird” or “La La Land’s chief threat to the integrity of jazz” or “husband of Chrissy Teigen,” it can be easy to forget that John Legend’s got an Oscar under his belt. The musician and composer took the golden statuette for Best Original Song with his tune “Glory” from Ava DuVernay’s thunderous Martin Luther King biopic Selma, and ever since, he’s been Hollywood’s go-to guy for poppin’ fresh (is that still what the kids are saying?) theme music. And today, a new announcement from Disney reported by Deadline lines up Legend’s next big gig.
The award-winner will soon lend his angelic pipes to the Mouse House for the upcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast remake, recording a new version of the ageless theme tune with fun-size pop starlet Ariana Grande. The original song came from Disney’s reliable songwriting team of lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken in 1991 and was sung by Angela Lansbury during the film in her role of Mrs. Potts. The theme was then released as a single to accompany the film, with vocals from Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson. The majestic, orchestral song conquered the Billboard charts and earned the film an Oscar for Best Original Song — which means that though Legend could scoop another Grammy off this gig, its status as a pre-existing song bars it from next year’s Oscars.
Though Legend’s name may not be as excellent as Bryson’s, he’s surely up to the task, and Grande’s more than demonstrated that she’s get the high notes to make this work. It’s a smart move from Disney, all-around; instead of penning a new “Let It Go,” why not re-up on its greatest predecessor? Beauty and the Beast hits theaters March 17.