H.E.R. is now a Disney princess, will play Belle in Beauty and the Beast TV special

·2 min read
H.E.R. is now a Disney princess, will play Belle in Beauty and the Beast TV special

Disney is adding a fresh face to a tale as old as time.

Grammy- and Oscar-winning recording artist H.E.R. will play the lead role of Belle in its upcoming TV adaptation Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration.

The broadcast will be produced by Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians, In the Heights), with Hamish Hamilton (The Little Mermaid Live) directing the reimagining of the classic story featuring new performances and musical moments inspired by the film.

"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 in a press statement. "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."

H.E.R., BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
H.E.R., BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images; Everett Collection H.E.R. will play Belle in ABC's live-action 'Beauty and the Beast' musical.

Added Chu: "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. 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."

To date, H.E.R. has amassed 20 Grammy nominations. The 25-year-old singer-songwriter is also slated to appear in Warner Bros.' movie musical adaptation of The Color Purple, also starring Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, and Ciara.

Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration airs Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, and will stream on Disney+ the following day.

Hear more on all of today's must-see picks on EW's What to Watch podcast, hosted by Gerrad Hall.

Related content: