By Melissa Romualdi.

H.E.R. is opening up on the wide range of emotions she felt stepping into the iconic role of Belle for the upcoming primetime special “Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration”.

The five-time Grammy winner, whose real name is Gabriella Wilson, admitted that putting on the princess’ classic yellow ball gown isn’t something that she took lightly, nor was it entirely easy.


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“It’s been a little scary,” H.E.R. shared with E! News earlier this week about the legendary role that was originally voiced by Paige O’Hara in the O.G. 1991 film, followed by Emma Watson in the 2017 live-action adaptation.

“Not scary in a way that I’m nervous about people seeing me, but more so just really being vulnerable in a different way and allowing people in,” she continued. “I’ve kept it about the music for so long. But now people get to see Gabriella as the actress, as a producer, as the person more than the music.”

Ultimately, the R&B-soul singer described the entire experience as “probably the most fun thing I’ve ever done in my career.”


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“It’s given me a different confidence,” she admitted. “I’m walking a little bit differently. I’m carrying myself a little bit more princess-like. It’s really that I’m more me and more comfortable in me and I really appreciate this whole experience for that.”

H.E.R. went on to explain how being an actress of colour made her portrayal of Belle was even more meaningful.

“I didn’t think it wasn’t possible, and that’s the thing,” she shared. “If you don’t see it happening with somebody that looks like you, there’s no connection. You don’t think it could happen. So to be here, I’m super surprised and I’m super grateful and I worked really hard.”


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The 25-year-old stars in the ABC special- which the network says combines animated and live-action elements, “along with new never-before-seen musical performances, brand-new sets and breathtaking costumes inspired by the classic story”- alongside Josh Groban as the Beast, Martin Short as Lumière, Shania Twain as Mrs. Potts and Rita Moreno as the narrator.

“Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration” airs Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. on ABC and will be available to stream on Dec. 16 on Disney+.





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Ellen Bullock