ICYMI: Disney has chosen the live-action Ariel for The Little Mermaid and we’re here for it. If you read up reading books or watching cartoons about Disney princesses, you’ll be familiar with the red-haired mermaid and her messy love story. While there were rumours that Zendaya will be acting as the Disney princess, the Spider-Man actress will not be playing the role of Ariel. Instead, it went to Halle Bailey, one-half of R&B duo Chloe x Halle.
While some people are cheering that a person of colour got the role of Ariel, some thought Halle shouldn’t play Ariel because in the cartoon, Ariel was fair-skinned and had red hair. Ooookaayyyy. So apparently, if we infer from that, mermaids have a race: white. Which wasn’t covered in the book version. OK, can.
Say what they want, but we’re rejoicing that we are moving into an age where diversity is celebrated. Don’t know much about 19-year-old, Halle Bailey? Swipe through our gallery to find out seven interesting facts about the actress. We assure you that they will get you excited for the upcoming adaptation of The Little Mermaid!
1. Halle Bailey is the 2nd person of colour to play an originally white princess!
Having Halle Bailey as Ariel in the upcoming The Little Mermaid movie is a large step forward for the entire African American community. With Halle taking on this popular, iconic role, it shows a large improvement in terms of representation seen in Hollywood movies. She is the second actress of colour playing a traditionally white princess, with the first being Brandy who played Cinderella in the movie’s 1997 live action remake. Many people are very excited to see the end product of the movie and have taken social media to voice their approval. Even celebrities like Normani, Zendaya and Halle Berry are delighted at Disney’s choice and have congratulated the actress for clinching such a significant role.
2. Halle started out on Youtube!
Halle started showcasing her talent at the age of eight, when she and her older sister, Chloe, started uploading videos of them doing song covers on their YouTube channel. Their channel, Chloe x Halle, has garnered over 1 million subscribers and it was where they made their start. Some of the iconic song covers the duo has posted on their channel include Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts”, John Legend’s “All of Me” and Rihanna’s “Diamonds”. Each of their covers present a unique version of the original song that showcases their special, one-of-a-kind music style.
3. Halle and Chloe are signed under Beyoncé’s record label
After getting a head-start on YouTube, Halle and her sister were soon discovered for their talent after their cover of “Pretty Hurts” went viral. The two were discovered by none other than the vocal queen, Beyoncé, who then signed signed the two of them under her label, Parkwood Entertainment. Apparently Beyoncé and her team weren’t the ones who tried to scout and sign the two talented girls, but the other record labels couldn’t offer them a contact that beat Beyoncé’s amazing $1 million deal.
4. Halle is part of R&B duo Chloe X Halle
After getting signed to Parkwood Entertainment, Halle and her sister started releasing music as an R&B duo, Chloe X Halle. Halle and her sister are known to take their music very seriously and even revealed that it took them over three years to perfect their debut album, The Kids Are All Right. However, their hard work definitely paid off when they were nominated for Best New Artist and their album for Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. Other than being nominated for various other awards at the BET Awards, Soul Train Awards and MTV Video Music Awards, the girls also performed at this year’s Super Bowl Pre-game. If you haven’t seen their performance of “America the Beautiful“, you have to get on it because their talent should not be missed!
5. Beyoncé’s is her mentor
While it is already amazing to be signed under the Queen Bey’s label, Halle and her sister are actually under the mentorship of the legend herself. Beyoncé has even gave the two of them an affectionate nickname, “The little aliens”. She personally guides them through their songwriting over the years and even reviewed the 100 of songs they wrote for their album. In 2017, she even requested for them to help to collect her BET award on her behalf since she had just given birth. Other than that, Chloe and Halle also appeared in Beyoncé’s lemonade music video and were invited to perform on a few dates of her tour. Queen Bey must be so proud of Halle for following in her footsteps and also being cast in a Disney Live Action movie! (Beyoncé will be playing Nala in the upcoming Lion King remake.)
6. The former First Lady is a big fan of them
Chloe x Halle have many different celebrity friends and fans, but one that might come as a shock would be former First Lady Michelle Obama! Michelle and her two daughters, Malia and Sasha, are apparently huge fans of the two girls and they were even invited by Mrs Obama to perform for a charity event in the past. You know that when Mrs Obama is a fan of someone, they definitely have top notch star quality!
7. She is skilled in both acting and singing
While Halle and her sister are more known for their singing, the 19-year-old have proven herself to be an amazing actress as well. Halle has appeared in the Disney channel movie Let it Shine back in 2012, and is now currently on the American sitcom Grown-ish, which is a spin-off of the show Black-ish. Halle has shown herself to be more than ready as both a singer and an actress to take on the role of Ariel. We can’t wait to see her on the big screen and hear her beautiful voice in the movie’s musical numbers!