Beyoncé stars in Making the Gift special about her Lion King themed album

Beyonce and Nala
Beyoncé and Nala, the character she voices in Disney’s The Lion King movie. Pic. credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

After tonight’s two-hour season premiere of Dancing with the Stars, ABC will present the hour-long documentary, Beyoncé Presents: Making The Gift, in which the 23-time Grammy Award-winning singer will bring viewers along with her to Africa for the creation of her album, The Lion King: The Gift. The “making of” special promises to show a lot of behind-the-scenes footage of creating the special music.

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, who voiced the role of the adult Nala character in this year’s reimagining of Walt Disney Pictures’ animated classic film, The Lion King, released her album on July 19 from Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records. She has said that she considers it her love letter to Africa. One of the songs from the album, Spirit, was also featured in the movie.

Written, directed and produced by Knowles-Carter, the TV special will give a special insight into the production and creative direction she took in making the music. While inspired by The Lion King, the album isn’t a collection of reworked songs from the original film.

Beyoncé collaborated with a variety of other artists and the album features many African influences.  The album is sort of a family affair as it features Beyoncé’s husband Jay-Z and daughter Blue Ivy Carter. It also features many of the people who also voiced roles in the movie.

Those who lent their voices to the project include James Earl Jones, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tekno, Lord Afrixana, Mr. Eazi, Yemi Alade, JD McCrary, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Burna Boy, Kendrick Lamar, Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen, Childish Gambino, Donald Glover, SAINt JHN, Tiwa Savage, John Kani, Shatta Wale, Major Lazer, Nija, Busiswa, Yemi Alade, Tierra Whack, Moonchild Sanelly, DJ Lag, 070 Shake, Jessie Reyez and Alfre Woodard.

“This creativity is informed by her travels throughout the continent, from the tranquility of the pyramids of Egypt to the bustling and joyous atmospheres of Nigeria and South Africa. The narrative, steeped in love and appreciation, highlights the beauty of the people and the vibrant sounds of a pulsating continent,” says ABC in a recent press release for the TV special.

Beyoncé Presents: Making The Gift airs Monday, Sept. 16 at 10/9c on ABC.

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