Hercules is one of those Disney animated films that lives on the edges of pop culture. Past the glory days of the 90s Disney renaissance, the re-telling of Greek mythology is rightly beloved by some for its incredible Gospel-inspired songs, and we think it’s about to get a lot more fans thanks to Ariana Grande.
The singer showed off her rendition of one of the best tunes from the film, “Zero to Hero” live on stage during Disney Parks’ annual Christmas parade. Set against the backdrop of Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World, and backed by a frankly incredible Gospel choir, the singer dazzled viewers with her range and versatility.
The song, which features tongue-twisting lyrics as well as a wide octave range, is no easy piece of music. Ariana was purely mind-blowing in the live version, spitting out lyrical dexterity at a level that would make Lin-Manuel Miranda sit up and take notice.
Grande’s having a big year with Disney; her live performance is in service of a recorded version on the new album, We Love Disney , which features incredibly recordings of Disney classics by huge modern artists. In addition to Grande’s contribution, Ne-Yo’s version of Aladdin‘s “Friend Like Me,” and Jason DeRulo singing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” from The Lion King are stand-out tracks.
Ariana, dressed in a fabulous Minnie Mouse-inspired outfit (complete with ears, of course) rocked the House of Mouse with her live performance from the album, but she didn’t stop there: the singer also performed her latest single, “Focus,” as well. If you still can’t get enough of the holidays, she also has an EP of totally original holiday music called Christmas & Chill, released on December 17th!
In a very cool side story, rumor has it that the singer ran quite a bit late to the show taping- which may have opened doors to a new star. As producers scrambled to find ways to keep the crowd occupied, they asked for anyone else who wanted to perform. A college student named Rhett Wheeler happened to be nearby, searching for a big break- and he may have gotten one! A clip of him singing to crowds freaking out went viral fast- maybe next year, he’ll be performing with Ariana instead of filling in! Check out his performance below:
(Image via YouTube)