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Ariana Grande, John Legend to Perform Title Track for ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Variety logo Variety 1/11/2017 Dave McNary
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Ariana Grande and John Legend will perform a duet on the title track for Disney’s live-action movie “Beauty and the Beast,” starring Emma Watson.

The song will also be featured in the film, which opens March 17 amid high expectations.

The ballad was originally performed by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson in the 1991 animated film. Alan Menken wrote the music and Howard Ashman wrote the lyrics for the song, which received an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Grammy Award.

The new rendition of the song is produced by Ron Fair, who was brought in to produce by Disney’s soundtracks chief Mitchell Leib, who also brought Grande and Legend to the project. Leib and Fair have collaborated on film music dating back to the highly-successful “Pretty Woman” soundtrack.

“Ron was the first and only choice to make this particular record,”  said Leib. “No one is a better vocal producer and he also has a great understanding of the filmmaking dynamic.”

The music video will be directed by Dave Meyers, who won a Grammy in 2005 for Best Music Video and 11 MTV Video Music Awards.

Menken also provides the film score for the movie, with new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Ashman. The soundtrack includes three new songs written by Menken and Tim Rice. The soundtrack will be released by Walt Disney Records on March 10.

Grande has been nomimated for four Grammys. Legend has won 10 Grammys and an Academy Award for the song “Glory” in the movie “Selma.” He stars in “La La Land.”

Disney has had a history of using pop stars to record its songs: Christina Aguilera and 98 Degrees recorded tracks for Mulan in 1998, and Elton John famously sang on the hit 1994 “Lion King” soundtrack.

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