Director Blitz Bazawule brings forth a fresh adaptation of The Color Purple, enriched with poignant and uplifting musical compositions that enhance the retelling of Celie's enduring narrative. Subjected to abuse by her father, husband, and the oppressive structures of the American South in the early 1900s, Celie grapples with a harrowing quality of life until her inner resilience and the bonds of sisterhood pave the way to freedom.
Despite the unsettling backdrop of The Color Purple, its musical rendition serves as a compelling vehicle, fully immersing the audience in Celie's narrative. Today we’re counting down our picks for 10 best songs from The Color Purple 2023 in this post.
1. 10 best songs from The Color Purple 2023 - Mysterious Ways
Performed by Tamela Mann, David Alan Grier, Halle & The Color Purple Ensemble - This musical piece unfolds with members of Celie's community, offering a glimpse into the ambiance of a quaint southern town and its inhabitants. The townsfolk, featuring Reverend Samuel Avery (David Alan Grier) and the First Lady (Tamela Mann), engage in a lively street performance. In the midst of this exuberance, we see the pregnant Celie navigating the bustling scene alongside her sister.
2. She Be Mine
Performed by Phylicia Pearl Mpasi & The Color Purple Ensemble - A youthful Celie vocalizes "She Be Mine" following an encounter where she perceives an infant she believes to be her own while laboring in her father's establishment. Following her father's admonition for interfering in matters beyond her purview, she breaks into song, expressing her hope for the child's kinship as she ambulates and dances through the town. In this poignant scene, shackled laborers and industrious women washing clothes join her melody, underscoring the tumultuous emotions Celie grapples with in her challenging circumstances.
Performed by Corey Hawkins. Mister's disapproval of Sofia stems from her unwavering independence and fearless assertiveness, traits he apprehends may diminish Harpo's perceived masculinity. As Harpo endeavors to build a house for Sofia from the foundation, he vocalizes the dedication and hard work invested in pursuing his aspirations, a poignant expression reaffirming his sense of manhood.
4. H--- No!
Performed by Danielle Brooks & The Color Purple Ensemble. Encouraged to resort to violence to assert dominance, they find themselves in a heated physical confrontation. In a confrontational moment with Celie (Fantasia Barrino), Sofia sings "Said and Done" as an anthem, vehemently rejecting mistreatment and setting a firm expectation for how she deserves to be treated. This empowering number serves as Sofia's declaration while she decisively moves out of Harpo's house.
5. Dear God - Shug
Performed by Fantasia. Shug makes her entrance at Mister's residence, reaffirming her role as his enduring mistress. While her presence unsettles Celie, she can't help but be captivated by Shug's beauty, confidence, and sheer aura. During a soulful bath for Shug, Celie expresses her admiration for the singer in a jazzy composition titled "Dear God - Shug."
6. Push Da Button
Performed by Taraji P. Henson. Shug exudes confidence in her sensuality through the captivating number "Push Da Button." Filled with playful sexual innuendos, the performance is a seductive blend of alluring tunes and exquisite costuming. Making a grand entrance for her debut night at Harpo's juke joint, Shug arrives by boat adorned in a striking red, feathered ensemble. The spectacle aims to highlight Shug's undeniable allure and exceptional talent, dispelling any rumors associated with her name.
Performed by The Color Purple Ensemble. Celie unearths letters from her sister Nettie, unraveling the story of her life since their separation, including her experiences in Africa. Serving as a prelude to Nettie's adventures, The Color Purple introduces an African-inspired composition titled "Agoo." In a brief scene that envisions Celie's perception of Nettie's life, the ensemble of The Color Purple engages in a captivating performance, singing and dancing adorned in exquisite African garments against a tropical backdrop.
8. What About Love?
Performed by Fantasia & Taraji P. Henson. Celie and Shug's romantic journey blossoms unmistakably after a night at Harpo's juke joint. Post a tumultuous altercation at Harpo's, Shug extends a gesture of comfort by taking Celie out to a movie. Within the cinematic ambiance, they articulate their profound feelings for each other through a beautiful duet titled "What About Love?"
9. I'm Here
Performed by Fantasia. In a gesture of goodwill, Mister visits Celie's store to return her belongings, leaving Celie surprised by the unexpected act. This encounter becomes a poignant moment for Celie, reflecting on how much she has grown from the oppressive life under Mister's control. As Mister departs, Celie, overwhelmed by her journey, breaks into the soul-stirring anthem "I'm here." commemorating her triumph over the traumas she endured.
10. The Color Purple
Performed by Fantasia, Danielle Brooks, Taraji P. Henson, Ciara, Corey Hawkins, Colman Domingo & The Color Purple Ensemble. The Color Purple culminates in a heartwarming finale as Celie reunites with her children, Adam and Olivia, and her sister, Nettie (Ciara). Surrounded by loved ones and embraced by a crowd of townspeople, Celie leads the ensemble in a final song, celebrating the resilience of inner strength and the triumph over trauma. The grand conclusion sees the entire cast lifting their hands in a powerful display of solidarity.
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