Grammy® and Academy Award® Winner H.E.R. To Star As Belle in ABC’s Upcoming ‘Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration’ Special
The One-Night-Only Celebration of the Classic Film
Airs Thursday, Dec. 15, on ABC
Photo Credit: Tim Saccenti
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. Presented by The Wonderful World of Disney, the two-hour reimagining of the classic story will be taped in front of a live audience at Disney Studios and will air THURSDAY, DEC. 15 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EST), on ABC and on Disney+ the next day.
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.
“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.”
“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.”
H.E.R. released her debut album, “Back of My Mind,” in June 2021 and won the Song of the Year GRAMMY Award for “I Can’t Breathe.” To date, H.E.R. has amassed nearly 6 billion combined audio and streams worldwide – and counting – of the breakthrough projects H.E.R. (RIAA-certified platinum), and “I Used to Know Her,” and several hit singles. Over the years, H.E.R. has captivated audiences with countless stellar performances including The Super Bowl LV, “72nd Emmy® Awards,” “The GRAMMY Awards,” “Saturday Night Live,” ABC’s “Soul of a Nation,” “Let’s Go Crazy: The GRAMMY Salute to Prince,” A BET COVI-19 Relief Effort Special and “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020”; plus, all the morning and late-night television shows.
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” 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. Hamish Hamilton will serve as director. H.E.R. serves as a producer.
About ABC Entertainment
ABC Entertainment’s compelling programming includes “Grey’s Anatomy,” the longest-running medical drama in primetime television; ratings juggernaut “The Bachelor” franchise; riveting dramas “Big Sky,” “The Good Doctor,” “A Million Little Things,” “The Rookie” and “Station 19”; trailblazing comedies “Abbott Elementary,” “The Conners,” “The Goldbergs,” “Home Economics” and “The Wonder Years”; popular game shows, including “The $100,000 Pyramid,” “Celebrity Family Feud,” “The Chase,” “Press Your Luck” and “To Tell the Truth”; star-making sensation “American Idol”; “Judge Steve Harvey,” the network’s strongest unscripted series debut in a year; reality phenomenon “Shark Tank”; family favorites “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and “Holey Moley”; “General Hospital,” which has aired for more than 55 years on the network; and late-night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”; as well as the critically acclaimed, Emmy® Award-winning “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” specials. The network also boasts some of television’s most prestigious awards shows, including “The Oscars®,” “The CMA Awards” and the “American Music Awards.”
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Done+Dusted is a global entertainment group with offices in Los Angeles, London and Abu Dhabi and the preeminent producer of live television events in the world; creating and capturing the moments that make headlines and shape culture. Whether it is producing “The Emmys,” “The Little Mermaid Live!,” “Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special,” “The Disney Family Singalong”– or any of the other 300+ productions D+D have bought to life, everything they produce bears the distinct badge of quality that makes it, unequivocally… Done+Dusted.
About Electric Somewhere
ELECTRIC SOMEWHERE is the production company of filmmaker Jon M. Chu, who runs the company with his television producing partner Caitlin Foito. Chu is known for impactful representation through meaningful spectacle and Electric Somewhere is building on that brand through their multi-year overall deal with 20th Television where they have set up several high-profile projects including THE COMPANY YOU KEEP starring Milo Ventimiglia for ABC. Other projects are set at Hulu, FX, Disney+, and Netflix.
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ABC Media Relations