By ITV News assistant news editor Christopher Olaniyan
Rihanna’s highly anticipated return to music is finally here.
The pop star's fans, known as The Navy, have waited over six long years for a fresh track from their favourite artist.
Following weeks of rumours, the singer has teased that her first single in six years, “Lift Me Up,” will be released on Friday, 28 October, as part of the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack.
The Barbadian popstar's last studio album was 'Anti' in 2016.
On Wednesday, Rihanna brought an end to the wait - teasing fans with what appeared to be confirmation of a new song and release date slated for shortly before the latest film in the Marvel Black Panther franchise premieres.
Claims have been reported that the song is a tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, who played the Black Panther in the first film, before dying of colon cancer in 2020.
Rihanna has spent the past six years launching her inclusive fashion and make-up brands; Fenty beauty and Savage x Fenty.
Recently, the 34-year-old musician and entrepreneur gave birth to her first child with rapper A$AP Rocky.
The success of Rihanna's brands alongside her chart-topping career have rendered the star not only a billionaire - but the richest female musician on the planet, according to Forbes.
Rihanna's focus on her fashion and beauty enterprises had led to speculation she could be beginning to scale back her music career.
But in 2021, Rihanna promised paparazzi that new music was coming "soon, soon, soon".
Now, it appears, that time has finally come.
Rihanna excited fans with a cryptic silver 'R' on Twitter, along with the words "lift me up" and the date “10.28.22," with the sound of her hums playing in the background.
Hopeful fans took Marvel Studios' retweet to be confirmation of Rihanna's Black Panther soundtrack feature, and the name of the new track and the date the song will be released in full.
Earlier this month, NFL and Rihanna confirmed that she would headline the prestigious Super Bowl halftime show in 2023, in the star’s first major live performance in years.
Immediately, breaking the internet with her announcement, the musician posted a picture on her Instagram of her hand holding an NFL-branded football.
The singer had famously rejected NFL’s request to headline Superbowl’s halftime show in 2020, in a show of support for activist and footballer, Colin Kaepernick.
He had faced backlash for kneeling during the national anthem during NFL’s preseason game.
Taking the knee, often in support of the Black Lives Matter movement or to demonstrate opposition to racism, has become widespread in sport across the world since Kaepernick's symbolic gesture.
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