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Rihanna’s triumphant return to music after a six-year hiatus has inspired one artist to cover one of her latest singles. Darius Rucker from the Hootie and The Blowfish put his own twist on Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up.” The solemn record is from the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack. The song was written by Rihanna with Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler, composer Ludwig Göransson, and Nigerian singer Tems as a tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman. Boseman played T’Challa in the 2018 original and died in 2020  after a private battle with colon cancer. Rucker told The Music Universe that when he heard the song at the end of the film he wanted to give it a shot at covering it.

“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,” explains Rucker. “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 release of his cover of “Lift Me Up” follows the singer finalizing his forthcoming album, Carolyn’s Boy. “I wanted to name the record Carolyn’s Boy because Mom never got to see any of my success,” he explained via his official website. “She died before any of this happened, so it’s just another homage to the greatest woman I’ve ever known.”

Listen to Rucker’s version of “Lift Me Up” below:

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