Ariana Grande and John Legend have released their take on the Beauty and the Beast theme song, “Beauty and the Beast,” and an accompanying video. The music video uses scenes from Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of the animated classic starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast.
The music video shows Grande performing in an exuberant red ballgown with Legend singing along on the piano. Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson won a Grammy for their performance of the song, which was released alongside the 1991 animated movie, Entertainment Weekly reports. In the 1991 film itself, however, Angela Landsbury performed the classic song.
Those who plan to see Beauty and the Beast when it hits theaters on March 17 won’t hear Grande and Legend performing the song, however. In the live-action movie, Emma Thompson, who voices Mrs. Potts, will perform the tune instead.
The music video is directed by Dave Meyers, E! Online reports. Much of the video centers on the famous ballroom scene between Belle and the Beast, featuring, of course, Emma Watson in Belle’s famed yellow ballgown. Ron Fair produced the track and says crafting a remake of the well-known song was no easy task.
“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.”
The live-action remake of the Disney classic is no stranger to hype and controversy before even hitting theaters. Emma Watson recently invited controversy when she appeared in Vanity Fair with part of her breasts exposed, leading many to call the actress a hypocrite. In a photo inside the magazine shot by Tim Walker, she appeared in a bolero jacket with nothing underneath. Watson has long been a champion of many feminist causes, such as the HeForShe campaign, which asks men to stand for feminism and women’s rights.
Watson snapped back at critics of her photoshoot, however, saying her breasts have nothing to do with her feminism. In an interview with Reuters, she claimed those who her criticized her photos don’t understand what feminism is.
“Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with.”
But Watson is not the only one to court controversy to Beauty and the Beast. An Alabama theater chose to cancel screenings of the movie due to the fact that it depicts a gay character. CNN reports that in a since-removed Facebook post, Henagar Drive-In Theatre, which acquired new owners in December, announced it would be pulling all screenings of the Disney film. The Facebook post claims the movie, which is rated PG, would not be appropriate for children to watch.
“If I can’t sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it. We are first and foremost Christians.”
Josh Gad will play LeFou, the sidekick to villain Gaston. LeFou, according to Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon, will be Disney’s first openly gay character. Condon has talked about the film depicting an “exclusively gay moment,” but he has not specified beyond that what the movie will depict.
The Ariana Grande and John Legend’s version of “Beauty and the Beast” will be available on the movie’s soundtrack, out on March 10. Celine Dion will contribute a new song, “How Does a Moment Last Forever,” and other artists such as Josh Groban will feature as well. The Beauty and the Beast themselves, Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, will also join Legend and Grande on the soundtrack.
[Featured Image by Jordan Strauss/AP Images]