Halle Bailey has released her first solo single, “Angel”, following her success in Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
Bailey (singularly known as Halle) and her sister Chlöe formed the singing duo Chloe X Halle in 2011 and, in 2015, their YouTube cover of Beyoncé’s ‘Pretty Hurts’ landed them a record deal with Queen Bey’s Parkwood Entertainment.
After signing with the label, they released two albums; 2018’s ‘The Kids Are Alright’ and 2020’s ‘Ungodly Hour’ – both earned Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist and Best Progressive R&B Album.
After announcing her debut single at the start of summer, Halle has released this anthemic and uplifting single along with a music video. Produced by Theron “NeffU” Feemster (Justin Bieber, Ne-Yo), the lyrics of “Angel” are powerful over punchy orchestral arrangements: “Heaven knows your wings might weigh you down, but the angels somehow find their way some.”
The music video, directed by Wendy Morgan, echoed the song’s angelic theme with contemporary dancers walking around Bailey, surrounded by a color palette reminiscent of Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam.
“This song is very special to me and I hold it in my heart,” Halle said in a statement. With everything I’ve been through in the last three or four years, suddenly being in this bubble of all these eyes and new opinions, it was easy for me to doubt myself and who I am.”
“To me, [‘Angel’] my way out of those feelings was a mantra and a promise to myself that the work I’m doing here in the world is important and that I am important. She wanted to hug me and be proud of me and me by nature. I hope that other brown and black girls and everyone in general feel accepted, respected and inspired by listening to the lyrics of this song.”
After the duo’s breakup, Halle Bailey landed the lead role of Ariel in this year’s revival of The Little Mermaid. There were backlashes against the choice, with some criticizing the lack of resemblance between Bailey and the original Ariel, leading to the #NotMyAriel social campaign. The singer Georgia replied, “I think this role is something bigger than me, and more. And it will be beautiful.”
Chlöe has also released solo music. In 2021, after going viral for uploading covers of popular rap and R&B songs, he released his first solo single, “Be Merciful,” after a clip went viral. This theme was continued by “Treat Me”, another viral hit, and the controversial “How Did It Feel?” by Chris Brown.
Last March, the singer-actress finally released her debut solo album ‘In Pieces’, which NME awarded three stars, saying: “‘In Pieces’ is still a fragmented version of the singer-producer capable”.
Halle Bailey will star in the remake of The Color Purple as young Nettie Harris. Starring Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and Quincy Jones, the film will be released this Christmas.