|"Lift Me Up"|
|Single by Rihanna|
|from the album Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Music From and Inspired By|
|Released||October 28, 2022|
|Rihanna singles chronology|
"Lift Me Up" is a song recorded by Barbadian singer Rihanna. It was released on October 28, 2022, by Westbury Road and Roc Nation, as the lead single from the soundtrack album of the 2022 superhero film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The song marks Rihanna's first solo music output since her 2016 studio album, Anti. An R&B ballad, "Life Me Up" was written and produced by Ludwig Göransson, with additional writing from Rihanna, Ryan Coogler, and Temilade Openiyi, and background vocals from Tems.
The song polarized music critics; some praised Rihanna's voice while others labeled the lyrics and production generic. Commercially, "Lift Me Up" reached number one in Switzerland, number two on the US Billboard Hot 100, and the top-ten in 12 other countries.
In 2017, Rihanna took an extended hiatus from music after the release of her eighth studio album Anti (2016) and several collaborations, including "Wild Thoughts" with DJ Khaled, "Lemon" with N.E.R.D., "Loyalty" with Kendrick Lamar, and her latest collaboration, "Believe It", with PartyNextDoor. Following the birth of the singer's first child on May 13, 2022, Rihanna said she was working on new record material.
On October 18, 2022, it was confirmed that the singer has recorded two songs for the soundtrack of the Marvel Studios film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the sequel to Black Panther (2018). In addition to "Lift Me Up", Rihanna recorded the track "Born Again". On October 26, Rihanna announced her first solo single release since "Love on the Brain" (2016), with "Lift Me Up", which would be appearing on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Music From and Inspired By, the soundtrack album to the eponymous 2022 film.
According to Clash, "Lift Me Up" is an "emotive" R&B ballad that "speaks from the heart". Produced by Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson, who composed the movie's score, the song acts as a tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, who played T'Challa, the titular protagonist in Black Panther; Boseman died on August 28, 2020. The song was written by Rihanna, Göransson, Ryan Coogler and Tems. The latter spoke about the meaning and creative process of the song:
After speaking with Ryan 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 honor.— Tems
The song is performed in the key of A major with a tempo of 89 beats per minute in common time. It follows a chord progression of A–Bm–E, and Rihanna's vocals span from G♯3 to E5 in the song.
Spencer Kornhaber of The Atlantic described the song as "gorgeous" and stated that it "is built around her vocals and reasserts her ownership of her now-ubiquitous sound." Harper's Bazaar's Bianca Betancourt thought Rihanna might earn her first nomination of Best Original Song at the Academy Awards for "Lift Me Up". Dylan Green of Pitchfork described the singer's voice as "matured, with a burnished, mahogany sheen" capable of keeping "the ballad afloat, selling every crescendo and note of anguish", however also described it as a "generic entry for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack". The Guardian's Shaad D'Souza was not particularly impressed with the song's lyrical content, writing that it is "light and frankly anonymous, a far cry from Anti's bright, world-weary, highly emotional lyrics" believing that it is not Rihanna's true comeback record. However, the journalist appreciated the production and sounds, describing them as "a soft, swaying ballad built around a lovely arpeggiating harp and serene strings", although "there is little of the heft and power of Tems songs such as 'Free Mind' or 'Damages'." Ed Potton of The Times rated the track 2 stars out of five, and wrote that even though it is "flawlessly sung over subtle strings by Rihanna", it is "forgettable" and "bland", adding that it "sounds like the result of a committee meeting — well meant, inoffensive, entirely devoid of individuality."
The song received a nomination for Best Original Song in a Feature Film at the 13th Hollywood Music in Media Awards, which will be held on November 16, 2022.
In the United States, "Lift Me Up" debuted with nearly eight million streams, 10,000 digital downloads on October 28, 2022, recording another 6.9 million streams and 6,000 digital downloads over the next two days, according to Luminate Data. The single ended up debuting at number two on the country's Billboard Hot 100 chart, blocked from the top spot by Taylor Swift's "Anti-Hero" (2022). It garnered 48.1 million radio audience, 26.2 million streams, and 23,000 digital downloads in its opening first week, and marked Rihanna's first top-10 entry since "Wild Thoughts" (2017). "Lift Me Up" is Rihanna's 32nd song to debut within the top 10 of the Hot 100, as well as her highest debut, surpassing the 2010 Eminem collaboration "Love the Way You Lie". "Lift Me Up" further debuted at number three on the Digital Songs Sales chart—Rihanna's 36th top-ten song on the chart. Simultaneously, the song started at number six on the Radio Songs chart, becoming only the fourth top-ten debut since the chart's establishment in 1998. The single topped the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot R&B Songs charts, marking Rihanna's eighth and sixth number-one songs on the charts, respectively.
In the United Kingdom, "Lift Me Up" debuted at number three on the Official Singles Chart, marking that week's highest entry on the chart. Simultaneously, it became Rihanna's first top-5 single in five years and her highest-placing solo single in the UK in a decade, following "Diamonds" (2012). Furthermore, it became Rihanna's 31st top-10 and 50th top-40 song in the UK. The song debuted at number three on the Irish Singles Chart as well. In Australia, "Lift Me Up" debuted at number five on the ARIA Singles Chart.
The song's music video was released on October 28, 2022, via Rihanna's official YouTube channel. The video is directed by Autumn Durald Arkapaw and it depicts Rihanna on an empty beach interspersed with short scenes from the film.
Credits adopted from Tidal.
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||11|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||13|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)||8|
|Canada (Canadian Hot 100)||3|
|Canada CHR/Top 40 (Billboard)||25|
|Canada Hot AC (Billboard)||32|
|Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)||24|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||9|
|Global 200 (Billboard)||3|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||21|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||12|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||3|
|Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)||50|
|Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)||4|
|South Korea BGM (Circle)||87|
|South Korea Download (Circle)||193|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||1|
|UK Singles (OCC)||3|
|US Billboard Hot 100||2|
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||17|
|US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)||18|
|US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)||1|
|US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)||20|
|US R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay (Billboard)||12|
|US Rhythmic (Billboard)||16|
|Various||October 28, 2022||
|United States||October 31, 2022||
|November 1, 2022|||
A moving salute to the life and legacy of Chadwick Boseman, it serves as a reminder of just how emphatic a vocalist Rihanna truly is – an exquisite vocal turn, it's an emotive R&B ballad that speaks from the heart.