Five-time Grammy and Academy Award-winning singer-songwriter H.E.R. can now add Disney princess to her robust resume as she transforms into Belle for ABC’s upcoming animated and live-action blended special, Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration. The acclaimed R&B singer will lead audiences through the world of Belle with never-before-seen musical performances celebrating and paying homage to the beloved tale.
“I can’t believe I get to be a part of the Beauty and the Beast legacy. The world will see a Black and Filipino Belle!” said H.E.R. “I have always wanted to be a Disney princess, and I get to work with two wonderful directors Hamish Hamilton and my favorite, Jon M. Chu. It is very surreal and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
As previously announced, Jon M. Chu will executive produce the special, with Hamish Hamilton set to direct. H.E.R.’s casting marks the first time an Afro Filipina woman will play the role of Belle on screens. The rest of the talented cast, whose performances will be seamlessly woven through the original feature film, will be announced at a later date.
“With her obvious extraordinary talent and stage presence, H.E.R. is the perfect embodiment of our Belle and we are thrilled for audiences to see her in this celebration of creativity,” says Chu. “We were both influenced as storytellers by the original animated movie, so it’s very exciting to collaborate together to honor the artistry of that timeless classic while also inspiring a whole new generation of creators.”
In just under four years, H.E.R. has proven herself as a versatile force, earning 20 Grammy Award nominations and four wins, plus Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, and Critics Choice Award nominations for her powerful song, “Fight For You,” from Judas and the Black Messiah. Next year, she will make her acting debut in the Warner Bros. adaptation of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical The Color Purple.
This year, 2022, marks the 30th anniversary of when Disney Animation’s Beauty and the Beast became the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The film went on to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, while the theme song “Beauty and the Beast” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1992.
Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration will air on ABC Thursday, December 15, and will be available the next day on Disney+.
Last updated and effective as of January 14, 2019
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