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Can You Feel The Love Tonight by Elton John
Album: The Lion King SoundtrackReleased: 1994Charted:
This was featured in the Disney movie The Lion King when the main character, Simba the Lion, falls in love with his childhood friend Nala, to the dismay of his friends Timon and Pumba. This version was performed by the voice actors in the film (including Nathan Lane, who voiced Timon); the Elton John version plays over the end credits of the film.
Working on The Lion King
was a welcome opportunity for Elton, who had a say in how the songs he wrote for the film were used. He contributed most of the songs on the soundtrack, including "Circle Of Life
," which was also hit (Elton says that "Circle" is a better song and more deserving of the Academy Award).
Just a few years out of rehab, the soundtrack provided a career resurgence for Elton and led to more work writing for musicals - he would later write for Aida
and Billy Elliot
Elton wrote the music, Tim Rice wrote the lyrics. Rice made a name for himself putting lyrics to showtunes by Andrew Lloyd Webber. They wrote songs for Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ, Superstar, and Evita. Like Elton, Tim Rice has been knighted.
Elton had the Academy Award for Best Original Song locked up tight in 1995 with this song, along with two of his other Lion King contributions - "Circle of Life" and "Hakuna Matata" - nominated along with "Look What Love Has Done" by Patty Smyth (from the movie Junior) and "Make Up Your Mind" by Randy Newman (from The Paper).
"Can You Feel The Love Tonight" was the winner, and Elton performed the song at the ceremony. After the ceremony, Elton hosted his lavish after-party for the third year; the event was a benefit for his AIDS foundation.
This is performed as part of the Lion King Broadway show - a lavish, wildly successful production based on the movie. It is also featured in the Lion King show at the Animal Kingdom park at Disney World.
A #1 Adult Contemporary hit, this was the most played song on US radio and TV in 1994.
Kiki Dee, Rick Astley, and Gary Barlow sang backup. Kiki Dee sang a duet with Elton on the '70s hit "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," Astley had a series of hits in the early '90s, and Barlow was a member of the group Take That.
This won the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal, marking just the third Grammy win for Elton.