The ballad was previously performed by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson, and went on to receive the Academy Award for Best Song and Best Score in 1991. Angela Lansbury sang the song in the voice of her character, Mrs. Potts, in the film.
The new rendition of the classic song is produced by Ron Fair. He was brought in to produce by Disney’s president of music & soundtracks Mitchell Leib, who also brought Grande and Legend to the project. Leib and Fair collaborated on the “Pretty Woman” soundtrack, among others.
“Ron was the first and only choice to make this particular record,” Leib said in a statement. “No one is a better vocal producer and he also has a great understanding of the filmmaking dynamic.”
Fair also discovered Christina Aguilera and championed the Black Eyed Peas to 27 million sold albums. His recordings have won six Grammy Awards and have been nominated 18 times.
“Stepping into the shoes of an Oscar and Grammy Award-winning classic is not small potatoes. But with today’s two greatest plutonium singers — John Legend and Ariana Grande — we are bringing the song back with a new school-old school fresh treatment that shows the soulfulness and power of what a great melody and lyric can inspire,” Fair said.
The accompanying music video will be directed by Dave Meyers, who has previously collaborated with artists like P!nk, Janet Jackson, Ice Cube and Britney Spears.
The original motion picture soundtrack for “Beauty and the Beast” will be released on March 10, one week before the film starring Luke Evans, Emma Watson, Josh Gad, Dan Stevens, Ewan McGregor and Stanley Tucci hits theaters.