Disney announced Wednesday that 19-year-old singer Halle Bailey, one half of the sibling Chloe x Halle R&B duo, has been cast as the mermaid Ariel in the upcoming live-action remake of the beloved animated musical fantasy film The Little Mermaid (1989).
Director Rob Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns) explained the decision to cast Halle in the role of Ariel, saying it was taken after “extensive research.” He said Halle was a good fit for the role of Ariel because of her “rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice.”
Following Marshall’s praise of Ariel’s voice, people have been wanting to find out more about the teenage star and, because she’s going to be doing a lot of it, especially her singing!
Here is a selection of her best vocals.
Listen to Halle Bailey’s amazing vocals
Halle Bailey, born in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 27, 2000, is two years younger than her sister Chloe, who was born on July 1, 1998. The sisters grew up in Los Angeles where their music career took off after Beyoncé discovered them.
Beyoncé discovered the pair after watching their viral YouTube cover of her song Pretty Hurts in 2013.
They also did covers of songs by stars such as Alicia Keys.
Halle and Chloe released their debut EP, titled Sugar Symphony, after signing to Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment. The EP, released by Parkwood Entertainment in April 2019, under an exclusive license to Columbia Records, includes hit singles such as Drop and Fall.
Before they released their first official EP, they made cameo appearances in Beyonce’s Lemonade (visual album) in 2016, and served as her opening act during The Formation World Tour.
Halle and Chloe self-released their first free mixtape, The Two of Us, for digital streaming in March 2017.
They released their song Grown, the theme song for the Freeform sitcom series Grown-ish (2018-), in December 2017. Halle plays Skylar Forster in the sitcom, while Chloe plays Jazlyn Forster.
In March 2018, they released their debut album, The Kids Are Alright, under Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment record label. The album features Grown and Warrior from the soundtrack of A Wrinkle of Time (2018). It also features Happy Without Me (feat. Joey Bada$$) and Cool People.
On February 3, 2019, Halle and Chloe performed America the Beautiful at Super Bowl LIII.
Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, expected to go into production in early 2020, is directed by Rob Marshall, who is producing with John DeLuca, Marc Platt, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The news that Halle is playing Ariel comes after reports that Jacob Tremblay (The Smurfs 2) was in talks to play Flounder, Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians) in talks to play Scuttle, and Melissa McCarthy (Gilmore Girls) in talks to play Ursula.
The Little Mermaid (1989), based on a story by Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, tells the story of the mermaid princess Ariel who falls in love with the human Prince Eric — who is yet to be cast in the live-action remake.
The animated film won Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song.