Two new cuts from R&B artists R. Kelly and a third from Alicia Keys will anchor the Interscope soundtrack to “Ali,” Columbia Pictures’ upcoming bio-pic of boxer Muhammad Ali, starring Will Smith. All songs were written for the film; Kelly’s “The World’s Greatest” is the leadoff track and first single, while Keys’ bluntly titled “Fight” will follow.
“The World’s Greatest” was shipped to U.S. radio last week, and a video directed by Bille Woodrfuff (Toni Braxton, Backstreet Boys) has been shot, according to an Interscope spokesperson. The song is said to be a tribute to the more humanitarian aspects of the athlete.
Kelly is no stranger to soundtracks, having contributed material to “Space Jam,” “Batman & Robin” and “Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps,” among others. One of his first major singles was the “Space Jam” ballad “I Believe I Can Fly,” which hit No. 2 on The Billboard Hot 100 in January 1997.
The “Ali” soundtrack also features a new tune from Everlast, a former boxer himself, plus previously released material from Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Bilal, and Angie Stone. The film, written and directed by Michael Mann (“The Insider”), will be released in U.S. theaters on Dec. 25. Jamie Fox and Jon Voight also star.
Here is the complete track list for “Ali”:
“The World’s Greatest,” R. Kelly
“Fight,” Alicia Keys
“Hold On,” R. Kelly
“A Change Is Gonna Come,” Al Green
“Ain’t No Way,” Aretha Franklin
“20 Dollars,” Angie Stone
“For Your Precious Love,” Truth Hurts
“Bring It on Home to Me,” David Elliot
“E-Ali the Greatest,” Everlast
“Mistreated,” Shawn Kane
“Tomorrow,” Salief Keita
“All Along the Watchtower,” The Watchtower Four
“Odessa,” Martin Tillman
“See the Sea,” Lisa Gerrard and Pieter Bourke