‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ Was the First ‘The Lion King’ Song Created by Elton John and Tim Rice

The songwriting pair of Elton John and Tim Rice created several songs for The Lion King. That includes “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” — the first song created for the Disney film which wasn’t even meant to be sung by Simba and Nala.

Elton John and Tim Rice are two songwriters behind Disney’s ‘The Lion King’

Elton John attends 'The Lion King' European Premiere
Elton John attends ‘The Lion King’ European Premiere | Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty Images

John is a Grammy Award-winning composer, sometimes creating music for feature films. John and Rice are the songwriting pair behind several original songs. They’re also two of the musicians behind Disney’s The Lion King. This animated classic tells the story of a lion cub, Simba, as he discovers his place among his pride. 

Together, these artists created “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” and one version of “Circle of Life,” while Hans Zimmer is credited as the songwriter for instrumentals in The Lion King’s soundtrack.

The first song Elton John and Tim Rice wrote for ‘The Lion King’ was ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ 

According to Country 104.7, the songwriting duo created “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” before any other song for The Lion King. It’s during this song that Nala and Simba rekindle their relationship. Initially, this song was supposed to be performed by Timon and Pumbaa, an idea that was quickly scrapped thanks to John.

“Oh, we recorded the whole song,” Sabella said during an interview with Cinemablend. “Yes. It didn’t show up because Elton John said–and it’s on film so I can say it–he said, ‘I don’t want a big, stinky warthog singing my love song!’” 

“I love it. Because, first of all, I’m not singing it anymore,” he continued. “We found out why. There’s two reactions you want to get from an audience, or the composer: I love ya, or I hate ya. ‘You’re not singing my song,’ you know? And I got ’em.”

Since its release, this track has earned over 145 million Spotify plays, making it one of the most popular songs from The Lion King. The original version of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King snagged the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. 

‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ appeared in other Disney projects inspired by ‘The Lion King’ 

As a fan favorite Disney track, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” was also added to Disney’s stage adaptation of The Lion King. The Festival of the Lion King in Disney’s Animal Kingdom also features the John/Rice original. 

In the 2019 reboot, Beyoncé and Donald Glover voiced Nala and Simba respectively. As a result, these musicians appeared to sing the iconic Lion King track, with appeared on the film’s original soundtrack.

The photo-real adaptation of The Lion King also featured John on the song “Never Too Late,” used in the ending credits. Beyoncé also performed a new song for the 2019 adaptation — “Spirit.”

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