The Tokens are an American male doo-wop-style vocal group from Brooklyn, New York. They are known best for their chart-scoring 1961 single, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight".
"The Lion Sleeps Tonight", also known as "Wimba Way" or "Wimoweh" (and originally as "Mbube"), is a song written and recorded by Solomon Linda originally with the Evening Birds for the South African Gallo Record Company in 1939.
It was covered internationally by many 1950s pop and folk revival artists, including The Weavers, Jimmy Dorsey, Yma Sumac, Miriam Makeba, and The Kingston Trio. In 1961, it became a number one hit in the U.S. as adapted by the doo-wop group The Tokens.
It went on to earn at least US$15 million in royalties from covers and film licensing.
Then, in the mid-nineties, it became a pop "supernova" (in the words of South African writer Rian Malan) when Warner Bros. promoted its Ace Ventura films and licensed to Walt Disney for use in the film The Lion King, its spin-off TV series and live musical, prompting a lawsuit on behalf of the impoverished descendants of Solomon Linda.
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