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H.E.R. To Play Belle in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Special

H.E.R. will play Belle in 'Beauty and the Beast' special
(Image credit: ABC)

H.E.R. will play Belle when ABC airs Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration in December. The R&B singer will portray Belle in musical performances celebrating the movie. The two-hour special, a blend of animation and live action, and taped in front of a live audience at Disney Studios, airs December 15. It streams on Disney Plus a day later. 

Jon M. Chu will executive produce, with Hamish Hamilton set to direct. 

“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.”

From the Bay Area, H.E.R., who is 25, has been nominated for 20 Grammys and won four. Her debut album Back of My Mind came out in 2021. Next year, she’ll appear on Broadway in The Color Purple

“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,” said 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.”

Thirty years ago, Beauty and the Beast was the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. 

Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration is produced by Done+Dusted in association with Walt Disney Television Alternative and Electric Somewhere. Executive producers are Jon M. Chu, Caitlin Foito, Hamish Hamilton, Raj Kapoor, Richard Kraft and Katy Mullan. 

H.E.R. is a producer. ■

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.