Beyoncé has been in a handful of movies — however, one of her favorite songs ever is from a Leonardo DiCaprio film. Interestingly, the writer of the track was terrified while composing the song. Here’s a look at the history of the song, the pre-Titanic DiCaprio movie that made it famous, and Queen B‘s version of the track.
The most famous romantic tragedy Leonardo DiCaprio made before ‘Titanic’
DiCaprio became a heartthrob actor because of his role in Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 film Romeo + Juliet, where he played Romeo Montague. Unlike most film versions of the play, Luhrmann’s was set in contemporary times. Likewise, the film uses lots of music written hundreds of years after Shakespeare’s time, including The Cardigans’ “Lovefool” and a haunting cover of Prince’s “When Doves Cry.”
Another song used in the film is a ballad called “I’m Kissing You” by Des’ree. Des’ree sings the song in the film when Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time at a party. The track is lush and romantic, with a subtle beat that really emphasizes Des’ree’s powerful vocal performance.
In an interview with The Guardian, Des’ree said crafting the song was not fun for her. “I was terrified when Baz asked me to write the love theme,” she said. “People tell me all the time that they walked up the aisle to it.” Des’ree said part of the reasons the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack works is because it’s so eclectic. It’s certainly a varied album, as it includes everything from R&B to bubblegum pop to house music.
How Beyoncé brought new life to ‘I’m Kissing You’
“I’m Kissing You” did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. However, it clearly resonated if people regularly use it as a wedding theme. An even greater testament to its continued popularity is that Beyoncé covered it years after the release of Romeo + Juliet.
In 2006, Beyoncé released her album B’Day. The album included one of her most famous songs ever — “Irreplaceable” — in addition to her famous Shakira duet “Beautiful Liar.” A deluxe version of the album features a cover of “I’m Kissing You” under the title “Still in Love (Kissing You).” Her version is faithful to the original.
According to MTV News, Queen B really likes the original track. “It was one of my all-time favorite songs,” she said. “It gives you this emotion — I don’t care who you are, you just feel it. So I just did it for myself — a lot of songs, I do like that — and I let people hear it and they were like, ‘You are crazy, you have to put it on the album.’ So I did. It was a last-minute decision.”
Queen B’s version of “I’m Kissing You” is faithful to the original and packs a similar emotional punch. Like the original, Beyoncé’s cover did not hit the Billboard Hot 100. “I’m Kissing You” is one of the great movie ballads of the 1990s — whether performed by Des’ree or Beyoncé.
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