The Lion King Turns 20: Lyricist Tim Rice Talks About Writing 5 Iconic Songs

  • Vulture
The Lion King Turns 20: Lyricist Tim Rice Talks About Writing 5 Iconic Songs
Broadway lyricist Tim Rice, whose credits include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Chess, and Aida, is more than just a wordsmith — he’s also an adept juggler. When the songwriter hunkered down to pen tunes for 1994's The Lion King, he also found himself recruited for Aladdin, taking over after the sudden passing of lyricist Howard Ashman. Rice had never written for an animated movie before. “I had two shots at it,” he says with a relieved laugh “Both worked, I'm glad to say.”With composer Alan Menken tied up on Aladdin, Rice searched for a second collaborator who could give The Lion King a “rock presence.” Elton John made perfect sense: Rice had penned “Legal Boys” for the musician’s 1982 album Jump Up!, he admired John's composing talents, and they were both British (“I was biased,” Rice jokes). When John agreed to join him,
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