Black Is King reigns.
After a full 12 months in the making, Beyoncé's highly anticipated visual album for Disney+ has officially debuted to the masses. The musical film, described on the platform as a "celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience," has been, as the the Grammy-winning co-writer, co-director and co-executive producer called it, "a labor of love."
"It is my passion project that I have been filming, researching and editing day and night for the past year," Beyoncé wrote on Instagram. "I've given it my all and now it's yours."
As evidenced by the stunning imagery and star-studded cast, the film was no simple feat. "I worked with a diverse group of very gifted directors, and actors and creatives from all over the world to reimagine the story of The Lion King," the performer explained in a video. "The narrative unfolds through music videos, fashion, dance beautiful natural settings and raw, new talent. But, it all started in my backyard, so from my house to Johannesburg to Ghana to London to Belgium to the Grand Canyon, it was truly a journey to bring this film to life."
Beyoncé elaborated, "My hope for this film is that it shifts the global perception of the word Black, which has always meant inspiration and love and strength and beauty to me. But Black Is King means Black is regal and rich in history, in purpose and in lineage."
To represent all of those elements in the film, Beyoncé enlisted not only "raw, new talent," but also very familiar faces: her children, Blue Ivy, Rumi and Sir, as well as her husband Jay-Z, mother Tina Knowles, longtime friend and Destiny's Child alum Kelly Rowland, and many more celebrated Hollywood stars to bring the film's story to life.
And, as the songstress mentioned, there was no shortage of standout style, picturesque scenery, powerful messaging—and even nods to the triple threat's own life.
For a breakdown of the film's major moments, keep scrolling!
Black Is King is streaming now on Disney+.
—Additional reporting by Taylor Bryant