Diana Ross duets with Tame Impala for Minions film

By Mark Savage
BBC Music Correspondent

  • Published
Diana RossImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Ross scored her first UK hit 58 years ago as part of The Supremes

Diana Ross has teamed up with psych-rock band Tame Impala to record a song for the forthcoming Minions movie.

Called Turn Up The Sunshine, the track is a laid-back, feel-good summer anthem whose funky horn stabs recall The Commodores' Brick House.

Ross even raps in the verses - "There's light at the end of the tunnel if you stay on track" - before cutting loose on a soaring soul chorus.

The single comes in advance of the star's set at Glastonbury this June.

The 78-year-old will play the festival's coveted "legends' slot" on Sunday 26 June, following in the footsteps of Dolly Parton, Kylie Minogue and Lionel Richie.

She's expected to play a selection of her 68 UK top 40 singles, from Motown hits like Baby Love and You Keep Me Hanging On to solo classics Upside Down and I'm Coming Out.

The collaboration with Australian band Tame Impala was produced by Jack Antonoff, who helmed Taylor Swift's Grammy Award-winning Folklore as well as albums by Lorde, St Vincent and Lana Del Rey.

Antonoff also worked on Ross's 2021 album Thank You, and Turn Up The Sunshine is believed to have originated during those sessions.

It features some of the swirling, abstract soundscapes that have turned Tame Impala into global festival headliners - including a sample of a baby, which could possibly be frontman Kevin Parker's newborn daughter, Peach.

Image caption,
Posters announcing the project had fans fooled into thinking it was an entire album of new material

Prior to the single's announcement, rumours circulated that Ross and Parker had created an entire album together after mysterious posters featuring their names appeared around London.

However, their song is (currently) a one-off, destined for the soundtrack of the family animation Minions: The Rise of Gru.

Set in the 1970s, the film is a prequel to the Despicable Me series, telling the story of how the world's greatest supervillain, Gru, voiced by actor Steve Carell, first met his banana-obsessed henchmen, the Minions.

The film will also feature a number of 60s and 70s hits covered by current indie and alternative acts.

Image source, Illumination
Image caption,
The Minions and Despicable Me films are the world's biggest animation franchise, in terms of box office takings

St Vincent will put a new spin on Lipps Inc's 1979 hit Funkytown, and Phoebe Bridgers is re-recording The Carpenters' 1972 single Goodbye To Love.

Tierra Whack is covering Santana's Black Magic Woman, H.E.R. is taking on Sly & The Family Stone's Dance To The Music, and Caroline Polachek will re-interpret Nancy Sinatra's Bang Bang.

To cap it all, the Minions themselves are covering Simon & Garfunkel's Cecilia.

"This sun-soaked 70's inspired soundtrack is guaranteed to have you Gru-ving all summer long," said Decca records in an ill-advised press release.

The Minions franchise has a history of producing hits. Pharrell Williams' Happy featured in 2013's Despicable Me before becoming the UK's best-selling song of 2014.

Ross and Tame Impala's single will be released on Friday, with the film and its soundtrack following on 1 July.

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