If you were one of the folks worried about Will Smith's rendition of the iconic "Friend Like Me" song in Disney's live-action remake of Aladdin, you may want to look away. While Smith will perform the song on his own in the movie (which has honestly sounded better and better with each new trailer and TV spot), he won't be alone on the soundtrack. Disney announced on Thursday morning that Smith would be joined by none other than DJ Khaled on the version of the song that will play during the end credits of the movie, as well as on the album.
The announcement came via a press release that offered the first details from the Aladdin soundtrack. Disney explained that Smith and DJ Khaled would perform a "re-invented" version of "Friend Like Me" for the credits, and it would be released as a single from the film at some point. Khaled also produced the song.
It was also announced on Thursday that the single version of "A Whole New World" would be performed by ZAYN and Zhavia Ward. The single was released at the time of the announcement, along with a full music video, which you can watch at the top of the page.
“The selection of artists, producer and tonal direction was critical for the success of updating a classic song like this,” said Mitchell Leib, president of Music & Soundtracks for the Walt Disney Studios. “ZAYN’s vocals are like no other and his artistic imprint immediately brought a contemporary and diverse presence. Additionally, ZAYN could have chosen any artist in the world to collaborate with on the duet, but he personally selected Zhavia for her unique perspective, powerful vocal abilities and to platform a talented new artist, ensuring that the audience could discover this song, again, for the first time.”
Legendary Disney composer and songwriter Alan Menken is composing the score for Aladdin, and he co-wrote the film's new song, "Speechless," alongside Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Also in the film are classic songs "Arabian Nights," "One Jump Ahead," "Friend Like Me," "Prince Ali," and "A Whole New World."
Disney's Aladdin hits theaters on May 24th.
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