She was born into a family of musicians. OutKast, Jill Scott and Musiq Soulchild resonated in their Atlanta home, and she turned to jazz artists like Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. Halle and Chloe Bailey, now 24, performed all over town for anyone who wanted to listen. They were persistent – “Can we sing for you? she recalled asking So So Def record executive Jermaine Dupri — and soon the local producers knew their names. Online, they posted their covers of classic R&B tracks, and when their version of Beyoncé’s “Best Thing I Never Had” went viral, it led to them being discovered by the star herself, who then signed them to his label, Parkwood Entertainment.
As wonderkids under Beyoncé’s wing, the sisters released their own albums, amassing five Grammy nominations each. They opened for the singer on her 2016 European Forming World Tour and played on her On the Run II Tour two years later. From international gigs as a teenager to starring in the “darkish” spin-off “Adult” together, they were rarely apart. It wasn’t until filming “The Little Mermaid” in 2020 that Halle found herself estranged from her sister. Despite this, Chloe’s support overflowed.
“She was really encouraging in more ways than one, where she tried to say, ‘You’ve got these beautiful wings and here you fly,'” Halle said. “So it’s really nice that my best friend is telling me these things.”
Although they have their own apartments, they live in the same complex. When Halle got the call letting her know she had landed the lead role, Chloe was at her sister’s side and they both burst into tears.
Director Rob Marshall and fellow ‘Little Mermaid’ producer John DeLuca were eyeing Bailey for the role from the moment they saw Chloe x Halle pay homage to Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack with ‘Where Is the Love’ at the Grammys 2019.
“I saw this beautiful girl from another world who had this angelic voice, and I just thought, wow, who is that?” Marshall told me on a video call.