Oscar and Grammy winner John Legend is teaming up with best-selling pop singer and Hairspray Live! alum Ariana Grande to perform the title song for the soundtrack to Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast.
Written by lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken for the 1991 animated film, “Beauty and the Beast” won the 1992 Oscar for Best Original Song. It also won a Grammy and numerous other accolades. Originally sung by Angela Lansbury for the film, it was translated into a pop duet by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson; released as the film’s only single in November 1991, it hit the Billboard top 10.
The new recording by Legend and Grande will be featured in the new film as well as on the soundtrack. Produced by Ron Fair, who has produced six Grammy-winning songs, the project reunites Fair with Mitchell Leib, Disney’s president of Music & Soundtracks. The duo’s previous collaborations include the Pretty Woman soundtrack.
“Ron was the first and only choice to make this particular record,” Leib said in a statement. “No one is a better vocal producer, and he also has a great understanding of the filmmaking dynamic.”
Said Fair: “Stepping into the shoes of an Oscar- and Grammy Award-winning classic is not small potatoes. But with today’s two greatest singers – John Legend and Ariana Grande – we are bringing the song back with a new school/old school fresh treatment that shows the soulfulness and power of what a great melody and lyric can inspire.”
Video director Dave Meyers will direct the new recording’s official music video.
Menken has provided the new film’s score, which includes new recordings of the original songs he wrote with Ashman, along with three new songs written by Menken and Tim Rice.
Starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as Belle and the Beast, Beauty and the Beast co-stars Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson. Directed by Bill Condon from a script by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos, it’s set to hit theaters March 17.