Halle Bailey has been cast as Ariel in the live-action version of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, a desirable role that no doubt saw stiff competition among Hollywood’s key names.
For many, Atlanta-born Bailey will be an unfamiliar face, but her background proves she has the credentials to do Ariel justice. Director Rob Marshall, who is known for his musical films, including Mary Poppins Returns, Nine and Chicago, certainly thinks so.
“After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role,” he said.
The 19-year-old has described the job as a “dream come true”, sharing an image of a black Little Mermaid on Twitter.
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dream come true… 🧜🏽♀️🌊 pic.twitter.com/sndjYUS6wO
— chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) July 3, 2019
This is what we know about Bailey so far:
Her background is music
Bailey is one half of R&B duo Chloe x Halle, Chloe being her older sister. The two started out by recording and sharing covers of pop songs, including tracks by Beyoncé. In 2016, they released their first EP and in 2017, their album, The Two of Us, was ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the year’s best R&B albums. In February 2019, the sisters sang at the Super Bowl.
Their talent and vocal prowess was soon recognised by Beyoncé, and Chloe and Halle made cameo appearances in Beyoncé’s Lemonade visual album in 2016. They later opened the European leg of the star’s Formation World Tour and then again in 2018 for Beyoncé and Jay-Z‘s On The Run II tour. They were also one of the first acts to be signed to Beyoncé’s record label, Parkwood.
She still wants to go to college
In a 2018 interview with Vulture, Halle said she couldn’t wait to finish high school and “go soon into the college venture. I also want to dive into music theory and advance myself more as a musician.”
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Michelle Obama is a fan
The former First Lady invited the duo to sing at her 2016 South by Southwest Keynote speech and appear on her charity song This Is for My Girls, along with Missy Elliot, Kelly Clarkson and Zendaya.
She plays the guitar and writes her own music
The sisters’ father started teaching them how to write songs when Chloe was ten and Halle was eight. “The first few songs we wrote were horrible,” Halle told Rolling Stone. “But as time went on, they turned into something beautiful. She taught herself to play the guitar by watching YouTube tutorials. “I still consider myself an amateur guitar player because I’m always trying to grow and I’m always trying to learn,” she said in the same interview.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s Bazaar UK.
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