LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 17: Darius Rucker performs onstage during the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Festival on September 17, 2021 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Darius Rucker Shares Stunning Cover of Rihanna's Oscar-Nominated Song 'Lift Me Up'


Singer-songwriter Darius Rucker has debuted a touching cover of pop star Rihanna's Oscar-nominated theme song from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, "Lift Me Up".

The track, which spotlight's Rucker's warm baritone vocals, is the perfect companion to Rihanna's original, which she co-wrote with filmmaker Ryan Coogler, Nigerian singer Tems, and composer Ludwig Göransson. It was originally written as a musical tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, who starred as T'Challa, the titular Marvel hero Black Panther. After the original debuted, it quickly ascended the charts to become one of Rihanna's biggest recent hits.

According to Rucker, he fell in love with the song after initially hearing the song at the end of Wakanda Forever. 


"I've been a huge fan of comics since I was a kid, and I love all of the Marvel movies, so I couldn't wait to see Wakanda Forever when it came out a few months ago," he said. "I was so moved by this song playing at the end of the movie and I felt inspired to try my hand at singing it. I hope y'all love this version we created as much as I do."

The powerful cover wouldn't be out of place in Rucker's catalog, and could be a great addition to his upcoming album Carolyn's Boy. The album, named in honor of his late mother, will share much of the same emotionally charged music that "Lift Me Up" seems to match sonically.

And while typically Rucker hasn't done that many covers of similar songs, his version of "Lift Me Up" will likely have you wondering if this country mainstay might have a place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the future with his own contributions. It's about time heroes like Black Panther and the rest of the pantheon of heroes have a song with soul, emotion, and a little country twang -- especially if they're done as well as this one.

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