Rihanna made her return to music “for Chadwick Boseman”

Rihanna has said that she wanted to return to music to honour the late Chadwick Boseman

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The pop star, who released ‘Lift Me Up’ last week, was enlisted for a soundtrack contribution to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the upcoming 2022 sequel to Black Panther (2018) which saw Boseman star as T’Challa, the king of Wakanda.

Director Ryan Coogler said at a recent press event [via ScreenRant] that Rihanna wanted to contribute to the soundtrack “for Chad”.


Coogler said: “Look, Rihanna has given us a whole career and a whole catalog of music. And now she’s given us makeup and clothing, and I think the world would understand if she hung up her mic. I completely understand because I love her music so much, but I feel like she’s given all that you could ask for.

“But the truth is we were looking for a great artist who could tell the story of the film, embrace the themes of the film, and present them to the audience in a different packaging. That’s what Kendrick [Lamar] did so beautifully with the first film, and this film is different. It made sense that it would be a woman, and it made sense that it would be someone who could speak to not necessarily the words but the feeling of motherhood, because that’s a major theme in this film.”

Coogler continued: “And I think it timed up that she was in that kind of space in her life, and she was open. It was really the trailer, I think, when she saw the performances that everybody was putting down. That was what kind of put her over the edge and [made her] say, ‘Hey, I want to see this film. I want to see if I can figure this out.’

“The truth is, once she played us the record, she said straight up, ‘I did this for Chad.’ It was him, man. And sitting here thinking about it, it’s hitting me right now… Chad brought us all together, you know what I mean? He just keeps on and keeps on giving. I’m just really thankful that Rihanna was the latest gift to join the family, and I can’t wait for folks to see how it’s used in the film.”

Tems, who co-wrote ‘Lift Me Up’, said in a recent statement: “After speaking with Ryan [Coogler] and hearing his direction for the film and the song, I wanted to write something that portrays a warm embrace from all the people that I’ve lost in my life.


“I tried to imagine what it would feel like if I could sing to them now and express how much I miss them. Rihanna has been an inspiration to me so hearing her convey this song is a great honour.”

Rihanna. Credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

‘Lift Me Up’ marks Rihanna’s first single as a lead artist since her 2016 album ‘Anti‘. The song was also co-written by Coogler and Swedish composer and producer, Ludwig Göransson.

Boseman died at the age of 43 in 2020 from cancer. He starred in other Marvel films including Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019) prior to his death.