Halle Bailey: Essential Facts About The Actor And Singer

This article includes references to racism and domestic violence. 

Halle Bailey is more than just Beyoncé's protégé and Chloe's younger sister. The Grammy-nominated singer from the musical duo, Chloe x Halle, has soared to success pretty quickly at a young age. Per Page Six, the star first rose to prominence with her sibling after Bey's manager spotted their cover of "Pretty Hurts," on YouTube. Impressed, the "Renaissance" hitmaker gave the sisters a five-album record deal worth $1 million. While the duo's success has continued to rise, Halle has also proven herself to be a triple threat in the talent department.

From singing to acting and songwriting, the star has all the attributes needed to be considered this generation's newest "It Girl." Since hitting the scene at just 15, she has followed in her mentor's footsteps by delivering nonstop hits and avoiding controversy along the way. The hard work paid off when Halle made history as the first Black actor to take on the role of Ariel in Disney's live-action remake of "The Little Mermaid." Still, there's a lot you don't know about the newest princess in the House of Mouse. Grab your dinglehopper and thingamabob (because that's just how we do it), as we delve into what you don't know about Halle Bailey.

She received racist backlash after becoming Ariel

Getting the opportunity to portray a Disney princess would be a dream come true for anyone. In 2019, when Halle Bailey made the exciting announcement of her playing Ariel in the Disney live-action remake of "The Little Mermaid," her young fans expressed excitement while an angry campaign was started by racist trolls. #NotMyAriel began trending with many demanding the legendary role be recast. 

When asked by Variety about her new role, Bailey brushed off the backlash. "I feel like I'm dreaming, I'm just grateful," she explained. "I don't pay attention to the negativity. I just feel like this role was bigger than me." In 2022, the film's long-awaited teaser trailer was released providing a first glimpse at the star embodying the iconic role. Once again, the film's critics were back in force, with the video bombarded by racist comments and dislikes, according to CBR. However, Bailey seems to understand the power of representation. Subsequently, she was far more focused on the young Black girls this film could inspire, rather than the people her casting may annoy. 

In an interview with Variety, Bailey explained her inspiration behind the role. "I want the little girl in me and the little girls just like me who are watching to know that they're special, and that they should be a princess in every single way," she proclaimed.

Being separated from Chloe was difficult

The live-action remake of "The Little Mermaid" was filmed during the lockdown in London. That meant Halle Bailey was halfway across the world and away from her family for 18 months. The singer explained to Variety how difficult it was adjusting to being on her own. "When I moved away to London I learned so much about myself," she said. "It was kind of a shock because I had never done anything like that before." 

During an appearance on "Talks with Mama Tina", Bailey broke down in tears while recalling her filming experience. "Going into the filming process I had to learn and say to myself, 'You can do it! ... Your sister is here,' and she was. It was just a beautiful experience for me to kind of spread my wings in that way." During a Q&A session with fans on YouTube, the star explained that she coped with being away from her family for so long by video chatting with them all as often as possible. "It was a wonderful reunion when I saw them all again," she added. 

The love and support from her sister gave her the much-needed confidence to continue to venture out on her own. "Whenever we're apart, I feel like my right arm is missing," Bailey explained to Cosmopolitan. "I say this all the time: I'm not sure what I would do if I was by myself going through this whole thing."

She was accused of getting plastic surgery

Ever since they inked a lucrative record contract with Beyoncé's Parkwood Entertainment Company in 2015, Chloe x Halle has continuously transformed in sound and style. As they've grown up in the public eye, Chloe and Halle Bailey's looks have also evolved. In 2019, the sisters took to Instagram Live to have an honest conversation about their own respective body image issues and insecurities. While Chloe revealed her struggle with stretch marks, Halle praised her sister's curves and wished her body was similar. "She has an amazing butt," she said while pointing at her big sister. "And stretch marks just add to that beauty. I don't have a butt!" 

A month later, the musician-turned-actor had apparently heard rumors that she'd undergone breast enhancement, and was quick to correct people on the matter. On Twitter she shut down speculation by writing, "Lmaooo not y'all thinking I got boob implants whattt ... no ma'am. God gave me these and gave Chloe the booty."

Is Halle still close with her father?

The Bailey family has always spoken about being a tight-knit unit that flourished from a happy home. Despite all their recent success, things have reportedly not always been picture-perfect for them. According to Radar, a violent incident took place in the family home between Chloe and Halle Bailey's parents, Douglas and Courtney. Per court documents obtained by the outlet, in 2007, Douglas was arrested and charged with battery against his family. The reports indicated that he assaulted his wife and made her fear for her life. 

After his arrest, he had to complete a domestic violence intervention program and was ordered to cease contact with Courtney. After completing the program, the charges against him were later dismissed. By all accounts, Douglas appeared to continue to have a strong relationship with his children, with the Chloe x Halle Instagram account posting annual Father's Day tributes to him. In 2022, the musical duo continued this Instagram tradition by posting a couple of snaps from the family album in tribute to their pops and manager, with the caption, "Happy happy father's day dad!! We love you soo much."

However, just four months later, Chloe dropped a bombshell on Twitter Spaces (via Yahoo! news) when she revealed that her once close family bond had become fractured, without stating why. "I don't have the closest relationship with my parents," she confessed. "Maybe, one day, down the line, I'll share why." As of this writing, it's unknown how Halle feels about the situation.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

She felt like an outcast in school

Long before Chloe x Halle were taken under Beyoncé's wing, the two sisters grew up in Atlanta and were performing at local talent shows. While attending school, the family moved from one area of Atlanta to an area that was predominantly white. Being one of the few Black children in their school was something that left Halle feeling ostracized. Accordingly, she sought refuge and acceptance at home.

Halle recalled those moments while being interviewed by her sister for OkayPlayer. "I was really grateful for my family and my sisterhood with you because every day I came home, I was reminded of who I was and I would look around and see the beautiful skin that my family had and none of that in school could tear me down," she said.  Being in an environment that lacked diversity made Halle aware of her Blackness at a young age. The lessons and love from her family helped her learn to be proud of it.

Clearly, Halle took these lessons and also used them to inform her work. Speaking to HuffPost about her role in "Grown-ish," the star acknowledged the power of representation — and how she wanted to inspire others to feel that same inspirational feeling of sisterhood. "So that other little black girls can see that 'I can do this one day ... if I can see myself on TV, then I can grow up and I can do this,'" she said. 

Casting agents shamed her into changing her hair

While their amazing vocals are certainly a defining feature of the duo, for fans, Chloe and Halle Bailey's signature style also ranks highly as a key part of their appeal. At the heart of this, the sisters have proudly shown off their stunning locs since hitting the scene. For Halle, her journey with the traditional and often spiritual hairstyle started when she was 5 years old after her mother locked her hair. In an Instagram Live video (via Mag TV), she revealed that she's never seen her hair without the locs. 

Though fans love the sisters for their proud hairstyles, some people in the industry weren't initially too fond of it. In an Instagram Live interview with Tina Knowles-Lawson, the sisters recounted a story when they were younger and auditioning for roles and faced pressure to change their hair. After receiving feedback from casting agents to get rid of the locs, the girls were provided with a wig to cover up their natural hair. They were aged 8 and 6, respectively. "We got played, okay? Some lady put 'Troll' wigs on us," Halle joked. "She was telling us it was the right hair. 'This is what everybody wears. This is the real deal.' We look back at the pictures, we looked like Trolls!" Fans found throwback pictures of the young duo with the "Troll" wigs, and let's just say the sisters definitely made the right choice by ditching it.

The pop star is inspired by Jazz

Despite being born in the year 2000, Halle Bailey's musical style draws from the 1950s. Specifically, the singer has one musical icon she lists as her main inspiration — Billie Holiday. In a Bustle interview, the star named the legendary jazz chanteuse's "Lady Day" as the first album she ever fell in love with. The jazz icon is a source of influence that can also be found in her approach to music. "I discovered her voice when I was 5 years old," Bailey told Time. "Just that sound she emits and the feeling she gives you is pure love and joy and relaxation. I feel like I've taken those melodies that she's given me and incorporated them into my repertoire." 

Bailey doesn't just draw from Holiday in the studio, as she looks to her as a beauty icon too. In an interview with Fashion, the star gushed about who she considered her ultimate style inspiration. "Billie Holiday, the epitome of vintage beauty and glamour," she proclaimed. Unsurprisingly, the superfan has given the performer's iconic records her own spin. Alongside her sister, they delivered their own haunting a cappella cover of the powerful protest tune, "Strange Fruit".

She's dating a famous Youtuber and rapper

Halle Bailey is no longer just singing about love, she's feeling the love too. In 2022, the singer publicly confirmed that she was dating YouTube star and rapper, DDG (aka PontiacMadeDDG), in an interview with Essence. Stating how she'd been a fan of the star since 2015, Bailey revealed that she was most certainly in love, and wasn't letting any criticism of their relationship get to her. "People have seen me grow up, so of course, they might have something to say about how I feel or what I do with my life," she explained. "I just choose not to read it. I ignore the naysayers and follow my own heart and intuition." 

The couple isn't shy about flaunting their love in front of the camera, either. Bailey starred as the love interest in DDG's music video for his single, "If I Want You" and even offered beautiful background vocals for the track. She also became a frequent feature on his YouTube channel, where the rapper would document cute date nights like cozy restaurant hangouts and taking Bailey to her first boxing match. 

Speaking to Bootleg Kev, DDG revealed that, like many modern love stories, their romance started after he slipped into the singer's DMs, before blossoming into a loving relationship. According to PopSugar, the couple was first spotted together at an Usher concert in January 2022. Five months later, they made their red carpet debut as a couple at the BET Awards. 

Halle and Chloe refuse to suffer comparisons

As Chloe and Halle Bailey began pursuing their own solo careers, fans couldn't help but pit the two sisters against each other, comparing their looks and their talents, as well as questioning who was the Beyoncé of the group. Despite netizens trying to cook up a rivalry between the two, the sisters have made it clear that they're each other's biggest fans. As the cover star for In The Know, Chloe called her sister her best friend and slammed those who attempt to pit the pair against each other. "I hate when people online constantly try to compare my sister and I. It is the most shallow, most disturbing thing," she said. 

Halle has also made it clear she's not tolerating any disrespect to her big sister. She has stepped up to defend her sibling multiple times online — even if it means shading her mentor's father. In 2021, during an interview with "Leah's Lemonade," Beyoncé's father, Matthew Knowles, suggested it was insulting to compare Chloe's talent to that of his daughter. A day after the interview went live, Halle appeared to respond by leaping to her sister's defense on Twitter, writing, "How amazing is it that [Chloe] is already an icon?" A little later, she added, "I ride for my sister till the enddd okayyyy." The famous sisters have shown that there's nothing that could tear them apart.

She's a proud vegan

Halle Bailey's lifestyle includes making music, shooting movies, and ... eating vegan. The singer and actor is a proud advocate of the plant-based diet and animal-friendly approach to life and has encouraged her fans to make the switch too. While opening up for The Carter's during the "On The Run Tour," Chloe x Halle offered a special prize for fans who joined them in veganism. "Who wants to be vegan with us?" they tweeted. "This can make a huge difference in how you feel mentally x spiritually x it helps our beautiful planet!! Plus when you sign up, you get a chance to win tix to B x Jay-Z's shows [for] life." 

The person who inspired Halle to make the lifestyle change was her own mother. "One day she was like, 'I'm gonna try to be vegetarian for a week. You can join me if you'd like.' We started the week with her and just never went back," Halle explained to Complex. As revealed in an interview with The Breakfast Club, she and her sister made the change in 2016 and have stayed the course throughout the years. Alongside Chloe, the star loves sharing fun vegan recipes with her fans, particularly during quarantine in 2020.

Halle Bailey is working on solo music

As Chloe Bailey continues to make a splash with her solo music, Halle isn't far behind. After working on "The Little Mermaid" soundtrack, the star set to work on building her own solo vibe. The performer took to her personal YouTube channel to promise fans an insider glimpse of her musical development. "I am going to be dropping music soon, I wanna show you guys me in the studio and what my creative process has been like," she said in the vlog. On her Instagram, she's released teasers of new music as well as short covers of classics like Nancy Sinatra's "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)."

As of writing, the singer hasn't released her first solo single but she's been working in the studio with some big names. Per Rap Alert, the star was spotted in the studio posing alongside hitmakers Jermaine Dupri, Bryan Michael Cox, and Johnta Austin. Halle's immense talent alongside those Grammy-winning writers and producers? It's a winning combination, for sure.