H.E.R. cast as Belle in upcoming 'Beauty and the Beast' animated, live-action special

The Academy Award and Grammy winner is the first Afro Filipina to play the role.

July 20, 2022, 4:30 PM

H.E.R. is adding princess to her resume.

The five-time Grammy and Academy Award-winning singer-songwriter will take on the role of Belle in ABC's upcoming animated and live-action special, "Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration," ABC announced on Wednesday.

PHOTO: H.E.R. performs on the main stage during Wireless Festival at Finsbury Park, July 8, 2022 in London.
H.E.R. performs on the main stage during Wireless Festival at Finsbury Park, July 8, 2022, in London.
Joseph Okpako/WireImage via Getty Images, FILE

"I have always wanted to be a Disney princess," H.E.R. said. "It is very surreal and I couldn't be more grateful."

H.E.R., who is Black and Filipina, added that the role is meaningful for her as she will be the first Black and Filipina woman to play the role of Belle on screen.

"The world will see a Black and Filipino Belle!" H.E.R. said. "I can't believe I get to be a part of the 'Beauty and the Beast' legacy."

The ABC special, which will be presented by "The Wonderful World of Disney," will be a two-hour reimagining of the classic story and will be taped in front of a live audience at Disney Studios.

Jon M. Chu of "Crazy Rich Asians" and "In the Heights" will executive produce the special and Hamish Hamilton will direct.

"H.E.R. is the perfect embodiment of our Belle and we are thrilled for our audiences to see her in this celebration of creativity," Chu said in a statement. "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."

"Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration" will air on Dec. 15 on ABC and on Disney+ the next day.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News and Good Morning America.

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