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Nigerian Singer Tiwa Savage Explains How She Almost Missed the Chance to be on Beyoncé’s ‘The Lion King: The Gift’

Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage said she nearly missed a once-in-a-lifetime chance to appear on 2019’s “The Lion King: The Gift,” a soundtrack created by Beyoncé for Disney’s live-action remake of “The Lion King.”

With an African theme, the soundtrack features several American and African artists, including Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, Nigerian singers Wizkid, and Burna Boy, as well as Savage, who appears on the song “Keys to the Kingdom.”

Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage said she thought that Beyoncé’s request to have her on “The Lion King” soundtrack was fake. (Photo: @tiwasavage/Instagram)

In an interview with Hot 97 on Tuesday, Aug. 25, Savage said that she found out about Beyoncé wanting her on the soundtrack over email but thought the message was a hoax.

“It wasn’t a phone call, it was an email, and when my manager called and she was like, ‘They’re doing this project,’ I was like,’Yeah, no.’ We literally ignored it for, like, a couple of days,” she told Ebro Darden.

“I mean, who gets an email to say Beyoncé wants to put you on a project?” Savage continued. “Like, I said ‘No, of course I’m not gonna fall for that.’ Then for some reason, she delve into it and then we started hearing whispers of other artists got the same email, and I was just like, ‘Yo, we need to call Motown to make sure this is real.’ And they called us back and was like, yo, it’s real. Literally, I was on the plane the next day to L.A. for 22 hours.”

Savage was born in the city of Ikeja in Lagos State, Nigeria, and moved to the United Kingdom at 11 years old. In 2006, she appeared on the UK’s version of “X-Factor,” before graduating from the University of Kent & Berkeley Music School one year later. In 2012 she signed a deal with Mavin Records, releasing her debut album “Once Upon a Time” shortly afterward.

The singer-songwriter’s next LP, “Celia,” is due out Aug. 28, and earlier this week she released its single “Temptation,” featuring Sam Smith.

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