Janelle Monae's 'What Is Love' Brings Funky Soul to 'Rio 2'

'Electric Lady' singer also voices a small part in animated movie

Dan Reilly

Just days after one of the most stacked Best Original Song Oscar lineups, Janelle Monáe has dropped her own potentially award-winning entry. Coming from the soundtrack to the animated flick Rio 2, "What Is Love" blends soul, gospel, funk, and tropical vibes that we can imagine being just as at home on a big stage as playing over a choreographed pack of CGI parrots. While Monáe gets rightfully compared to her pal Prince, this track finds her belting out falsetto like a young Michael Jackson. Enjoy the video above and the full, dialog-free audio below. Rio 2 hits theaters April 11, and features Monáe in a minor speaking part alongside Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Jamie Foxx, Will.I.Am, and Bruno Mars, among many others.


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