Rihanna has released the official music video for her new single Lift Me Up.
The 34-year-old Barbadian singer made her triumphant return to the music scene on Friday with the release of the track, which was recorded for the upcoming film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
She last released solo music in 2016 with her eighth studio album Anti.
The emotional video sees shots of the singer on a beach, with waves crashing in the background, interspersed with footage from the film, which is due to be released on November 11.
Rihanna sings as the sun goes down and ash from a nearby bonfire floats in the air.
Clips from the film include shots of Queen Ramonda, played by Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright as Shuri, dressed in tribal regalia, and a tearful Danai Gurira, who plays the fierce warrior Okoye.
Announcing the video’s release on social media, Rihanna shared a short clip with the caption “Wakanda ForeveRRRR!!!”.
Lift Me Up features a stripped back melody, with delicate strings that underplay the singer’s soulful vocals.
“Lift me up, hold me down, keep me close, safe and sound,” she sings.
“Hold me when you go to sleep, keep me in the warmth of your love when you depart, keep me safe and sound.”
The song swells with melancholy and the singer is accompanied by a subtle backing choir.
Lift Me Up – From Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, was released with an accompanying instrumental track.
The film’s director Ryan Coogler previously told the PA news agency that Rihanna had been “very clear” that her attachment to the project had been in honour of its late star Chadwick Boseman.
“Honestly, I think it was Chad,” the 36-year-old told PA, speaking on the red carpet of the film’s world premiere in Los Angeles.
“A lot of improbable things needed to happen for it to come through and Rihanna was very clear that she did that for him.”
Rihanna, real name Robyn Rihanna Fenty, moved to the US in 2005 to pursue a career in music.
She signed with Jay-Z’s Def Jam Recordings and released her debut album, Music Of The Sun that same year.
The single reached number two in the UK charts, while the album sold more than two million copies around the world.
To date she has released seven more studio albums; A Girl like Me (2006), Good Girl Gone Bad (2007), Rated R (2009), Loud (2010), Talk That Talk (2011), Unapologetic (2012) and Anti (2016).
Her status as a pop superstar was cemented with the release of her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad, which reached number one in the UK album charts thanks to the singles Don’t Stop The Music, Shut Up And Drive, and Umbrella.
Rated R, the first album released after her controversial relationship with Chris Brown, marked a musical departure for the singer, moving away from her pop-heavy previous efforts, and featured the singles Rude Boy and Te Amo.
Last month the singer, who welcomed her first child with rapper boyfriend ASAP Rocky earlier this year, also said she will be performing at the next Super Bowl halftime show.
The performance will be the star’s first major live performance in many years.
Speaking to American news outlet TMZ shortly after the news of the performance was announced, Rihanna reportedly said: “I’m nervous, but I’m excited.”
In the years since the release of Grammy-nominated Anti, the singer has been focusing on her philanthropic efforts, acting roles and her businesses, which include makeup and skin care brand Fenty Beauty as well as her lingerie line, Savage X Fenty.
In 2019, Rihanna declined to perform in the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show out of solidarity with former US football player Colin Kaepernick.