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Black Is King initial release details: How to watch Beyonce's new visual album on Disney Plus right now

The new visual album is said to celebrate Black culture and is based on Beyoncé's album, The Lion King: The Gift.

Katie Teague Writer II
Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she's not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
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Katie Teague
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Stream Black Is King starting July 31 on Disney Plus.

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Disney Plus subscribers get to enjoy a special gift from Beyoncé: her newest visual album, Black Is King, which went live exclusively on the streaming service on Friday and has already earned much acclaim.

Mrs. Carter executive produced, wrote, and directed the project, which celebrates Black excellence and culture and brings extended life to her lauded album The Lion King: The Gift (see all listening options for that below, in case you missed it).

"With this visual album, I wanted to present elements of Black history and African tradition, with a modern twist and a universal message, and what it truly means to find your self-identity and build a legacy," she wrote in an Instagram post.

Black Is King follows the stories of Black families throughout time and tells "a tale about a young king's transcendent journey through betrayal, love and self-identity," Disney described in a press release. The young king's loved ones help guide him to reclaim his home and throne. The visual album features appearances from Lupita Nyong'o, Kelly Rowland, Naomi Campbell, Pharrell and more. Members of Beyoncé's family, like her daughter, Blue Ivy, and her mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson, were also in the film.

The film has sparked controversy among members of the African community over its portrayal of African cultures. In the Black is King trailer (embedded below), the characters are seen wearing animal skins and face paint.

Read more: 30 best movies to watch on Disney Plus 

Is your interest piqued? Here's how you can watch Black Is King now that it's live on Disney Plus. 

Can I watch Black Is King on Disney Plus for free?

To watch Black Is King, you'll need to have one of the Disney Plus subscriptions below. Note that you can cancel anytime.

While Disney Plus no longer has a free trial option, some Verizon and US Mobile subscribers may be eligible for a free Disney Plus account as part of their wireless or internet services. 

For everyone else, there are three ways to subscribe:

If you don't see Black Is King highlighted at the top of Disney Plus, you can search by selecting the magnifying glass icon and typing the movie's name.

Disney Plus

Watch Black Is King on your smart TV or phone.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Can I download Black Is King to watch offline?

Disney Plus lets you download all its shows and movies to watch offline.

Where can I listen to Beyoncé's album The Lion King: The Gift?

Before you watch the movie, you may be interested in listening to The Lion King: The Gift album. Vanity Fair reports Black Is King will pick up where The Gift left off, so listening to the album could help make the transition to the movie easier. Here's where you can listen.

This story updates often.

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