Halle Bailey: the multi-hyphenate with a whole new world at her feet
Platformed by Beyonce as a teen, Halle Bailey's upcoming turn in The Little Mermaid is just the start of her next chapter
image Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
words Sophie Wilkinson
To celebrate our first birthday, woo has curated a list of our ones. The people in our wooniverse who are redefining fashion, music, clubs, culture and much more.
For Halle Bailey, who’s about to bring Disney classic The Little Mermaid to life on the big screen this summer, things are on the up and up. It all started back in 2013. Halle and her sister Chloe, under the simple name of Chloe x Halle, were busy spending their spare time uploading videos of them singing covers to YouTube. While Chloe had a deeper, more mature voice, Halle's characterful voice had a flavour of its own.
Aged just 15 and 13, the duo's performance of Beyonce’s "Pretty Hurts" got the attention of not only the big wide world but of Queen Bey herself. As one of very few acts signed to Beyoncé’s record label Parkwood Entertainment, Chloe x Halle were so young that the legal papers had to be filed to the Manhattan Supreme Court in order to get the deal signed off.
As well as releasing their own songs, Chloe x Halle began to divert their talents to other avenues. Both starred in Grown-ish, a spin off of Black-ish all about a family of children on the cusp of adulthood about to make their way in the world. From there, Chloe x Halle have sung the American national anthem at the kick-off of 2020’s NFL season, garnered themselves a bunch of Grammy nominations and now, well, Halle’s in a whole new world. After their performance of Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack's Where Is the Love at the 2019 Grammys, Halle's vocal contortions and delivery caught the attention of producers behind The Little Mermaid and she was asked to audition as a result.
Taking the title role in Disney’s live action remake of the 1989 classic, Halle’s embodiment of Ariel already means huge amounts to so many Black women and girls all around the world. She’s the first ever Black live-action Disney princess and although the casting received backlash from a hateful minority, the viral videos of young Black girls reacting excitedly to the trailer were a clear indication that Disney found in Halle the perfect Ariel.
Further to The Little Mermaid, Halle's due to star in the remake of another huge film of the 1980s. This one, a 2023 remake of The Color Purple , is less about a mermaid trying to make it on land and more about the legacy of slavery, inherited trauma and abuse of all kinds in the early 1900s American South. It's based on the 1985 film that itself was based on the 1982 book by Alice Walker and Halle is set to play the young Nettie.
Unsurprisingly with her slick style, Halle's also tried her hand at modelling - most notably for Gucci. NBD!
Get to know all of woo's ones here.
woo's ones birthday buys
Master Peace: the singer-songwriter making indie fun again
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Billie Marten: the singer-songwriter in her love and happiness era
The musician creates beautiful soundscapes, wonderful observational lyrics, and a vibe that warms you
Jennie Kim: the k-pop star making waves in Hollywood
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supper clubs, dream pop and self-love: introducing woo's ones
To celebrate our birthday, we've curated a list of our ones
Darkwah Kyei-Darkwah: the multi-disciplinary artist making space for authentic queer expression
The content creator’s work is powered by a passion for their community and platforming historically marginalised voices
sim0ne: the rising DJ and producer melding URL and IRL
The Scottish musician spent lockdown honing her skills in the booth. Now, she’s bursting onto the club circuit.
flowerovlove: the teenage dream pop singer bewitching the music industry
Joyce Cisse’s hazy songs are taking tales of adolescence to the big time
HARRI: the designer stretching menswear boundaries with inflatable latex sculpture
This Kerala-born creative pulls from his body builder background to play with the proportions of masculinity
Rahel Stephanie: the chef creating cultural dialogue through food
With her Indonesian supper club Spoons, the food entrepreneur is advocating for authentic East and Southeast Asian flavours in the UK
KhakiKid: the alt-rapper representing Dublin’s underground scene
Wry rap artist Abdu Huss is ready to take you through the looking glass with his surreal tunes
ChristianahJones: the entrepreneur keeping Beyoncé’s peepers protected
Sunglasses designer Tianah Hodding wants you to step out of your comfort zone
Jamie Flatters: the actor, director rewriting the script on self-love
The 22-year-old Avatar star has potential, ambition, and talent in equal measure but he won’t let that get to his head
Guy Morgan: the skincare supremo championing the natural
The former furniture and fittings designer was sick of overly gendered beauty brands, so he decided to make his own essentials-driven, gender neutral ...
TJ Sawyerr: the visual architect shaking up the fashion industry
TJ Sawyerr creates beautiful visual worlds full of purpose and narrative
Lukas Gage: the plucky actor-writer redefining conventions
The versatile actor-writer is making it even bigger after appearing in all your faves
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Bottoms' Emma Seligman on 'shitty queer characters' and the importance of realistic female friendships
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