If you weren’t aware, Disney is making a live-action Little Mermaid. The big news? They’ve finally cast someone to play the part of Ariel — 19-year-old Halle Bailey, who has the voice of the most gorgeous angel.
Bailey is one half of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle. She made her start as an actress on the ABC show “Grownish,” a spinoff of the popular series, “Blackish.” Even before she started on “Grownish,” however, Halle and her big sister Chloe started a YouTube channel where they covered songs from artists like Rihanna, Alicia Keys and Beyoncé. They’ve racked up more than one million subscribers since launching their channel in 2006. In fact, the duo became so popular that they attracted the attention of Beyoncé herself, who signed them to her label. So, like, no big deal, not impressive at all.
Though it may seem like a surprising pick to those who aren’t aware of Halle’s talents, she’s no stranger to the industry.
“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,” said director Rob Marshall said in a statement.
In addition to Halle, there’s a whole star-studded cast already in place. Word on the street is that powerhouse comedian Melissa McCarthy is in talks to play Ursula, and the lovably insane Awkwafina (“Crazy Rich Asians”) and child prodigy Jacob Tremblay (“Room”) have already signed on to play Scuttle the seagull and Flounder the fish, respectively. Also, Alan Menken is teaming up with the one and only Lin-Manuel Miranda to write new songs for this version and Marshall, the director, also directed “Chicago” and “Into the Woods.” So there’s a good chance this film will be excellent.
If you just can’t wait, you can listen to some of Chloe x Halle’s best covers below. Here’s “Pretty Hurts, by Beyoncé:
And “Girl on Fire,” by Alicia Keys:
And here’s Halle covering “Unforgettable,” by Nat King Cole:
We can’t wait to hear her rocking Ariel’s greatest hits!