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Halle Bailey shares advice Beyoncé gave her when cast as Ariel

Klaudia//April 9, 2023
When director Rob Marshall cast recording artist Halle Bailey as the lead in his live-action version of The Little Mermaid, the singer of R&B duo Chloe x Halle sought advice from her mentor — who just happens to be the multi-hyphenate Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.

Bailey, now 23, was named the new Ariel when she was 18, a casting that sparked polarizing responses: some praised Disney for its colorblind auditions, and those on the opposite end of the spectrum waded into racist waters.

Considered a protégé of Beyoncé — who voiced Nala in 2019's The Lion King, another reimagining of a Disney classic — Bailey says she received "beautiful advice" from the Grammy winner after landing Ariel.

"She's always been very, very complimentary and proud of me, and that means the world coming from her, somebody that's been one of my biggest inspirations since I was 3," Bailey tells EW for our Little Mermaid cover story. "She just told me to stand in my power and to not give up and to know that I can do this and believe in myself."