When is Beyoncé's visual album Black Is King released, what is it about and where can I watch it?

29 July 2020, 15:58

Black Is King will be released on Disney Plus on July 31
Black Is King will be released on Disney Plus on July 31. Picture: Disney Plus
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

Beyoncé's latest visual album Black Is King drops very soon on Disney Plus.

Beyoncé teased the release of a new visual album last month, and now Black Is King will be dropping on Disney Plus in a matter of days.

The new project comes four years after Beyoncé released the immensely successful visual album, Lemonade.

Inspired by Disney's live-action remake of The Lion King, Black Is King has been written, directed and produced by Beyoncé, and has been described by the superstar as a "labour of love".

From release date, to meaning and celebrity cameos, here's everything you need to know:

What is Black Is King about?

Black Is King is a new film and visual album by Beyoncé, who wrote, directed and executively produced the new project.

Available only on Disney Plus, Black Is King is said to be a celebration of the “breadth and beauty of Black ancestry".

The film is linked to Beyoncé's last album, The Gift, which was a soundtrack to Disney's live-action remake of The Lion King, in which the singer and actress voiced Nala.

Black Is King is said to be inspired by the "timeless lessons" of The Lion King, and tells the story of a “young King’s transcendent journey” and how his ancestors "guide him towards his destiny".

Black Is King was written, directed and produced by Beyoncé
Black Is King was written, directed and produced by Beyoncé. Picture: Disney Plus

When is Black Is King released and how can I watch it?

Black Is King will be available to watch only on Disney Plus from July 31.

Who stars in Black Is King?

Beyoncé's Black Is King has already teased some big cameos in the trailer.

So far, we know that husband Jay-Z makes an appearance, alongside their three children, Blue Ivy, Rumi and Sir.

Beyoncé's mother, Tina Knowles, also appears in the visual album, alongside former Destiny's Child bandmate Kelly Rowland, supermodel Naomi Campbell and actress Lupita Nyong'o.

Beyoncé said the visual album has been a 'labour of love'
Beyoncé said the visual album has been a 'labour of love'. Picture: Disney Plus

What has Beyoncé said about Black Is King?

On June 29, when the trailer for Black Is King dropped, Beyoncé took to Instagram to announce the new film and visual album to her fans.

Writing on her social media page, she told fans that Black Is King is a "labour of love".

She went on to explain: "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."

Beyoncé added in the post that the events of 2020 – the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement – have "made the film’s vision and message even more relevant".

The hitmaker said that with this visual album she wanted to "present elements of Black history and African tradition", but "with a modern twist and a universal message" and "what it truly means to find your self-identity and build a legacy."

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

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Where can I watch the Black is King trailer?

Sign up to Disney Plus. Black is King streaming from Friday 31st July, only on Disney Plus.

Watch the trailer for Black Is King here: