In addition to co-starring in Hands of Stone, the Roberto Duran biopic arriving Aug. 26, Usher has co-written the film’s title song “Champions” with Rubén Blades, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson. Both Usher and Blades appear on the mid-tempo anthem, which will be featured on the film’s forthcoming Sony Classical soundtrack.
“When we created ‘Champions,’ I wanted it to represent two icons standing toe-to-toe fighting for their countries,” explains Usher, who portrays boxer Sugar Ray Leonard in the film. “There’s such a relationship that happens within that ring… between Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran. And I wanted to capture that. I wanted Rubén Blades’ interpretation of it to be as pure so he wrote his part and the dialect to go between Spanish and English. I wanted it to be as authentic as possible to offer some hope.”
Produced by The Weinstein Company, Hands of Stone also stars Robert De Niro, Edgar Ramirez as Duran, Ana de Armas, Ellen Barkin and John Turturro.
Watch the exclusive lyric video below, which includes additional commentary from Usher: