The press tour for the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid may be over, but Halle Bailey keeps proving that she’s a real-life princess! The singer released her single “Angel” on Aug. 4, her first solo song after Chloe x Halle went on hiatus for each Bailey sister to pursue solo careers. Chloe’s been killing the game with danceable hits like “Have Mercy” and “Treat Me.” If “Angel” is any indication, Halle’s solo music is going in a different direction. The piano ballad is soft, tender, and emotional – just like Halle.
The singer announced via Instagram that she is launching a scholarship for young black women in the performing arts. The Angel Scholarship will award four recipients with $10,000 each to support their education and performing arts careers. “I wanted to launch this scholarship as a part of my latest song, ‘Angel,’ which I wrote to empower black women. It’s a reminder to all of us women that we are beautiful; we can do anything we set our minds to and our hearts to,” Bailey said.
The winners of the scholarship (picked by Bailey herself) will be announced on Thursday, Oct. 5.
The song “Angel” is just as empowering as the scholarship itself. Its lyrics encourage black women to embrace their flaws and celebrate black beauty (“Black girl here, black girl with the black girl hair / Took a little sunkiss just to look like this / God sent, you’re an angel”). Bailey wrote the track this summer to process the emotions that came with being pushed further into the public eye. “This song was a mixture of all my emotions and how I could feel so grateful for something but also so overwhelmed. This is a huge, big thing that [The Little Mermaid] was for me. I’ve never experienced something like this in my life,” she said in an Instagram Live when “Angel” came out.
I love seeing celebrities use their platforms for a good cause, and what cause could be more personal to Bailey than supporting the young girls whose shoes she was once in? Bailey and her older sister started posting singing covers on their joint YouTube channel in 2011. Her singing career took off after winning Season 5 of the Radio Disney competition “The Next Best Thing” at just 12 years old, leading to opening for Beyoncé on the European leg of the Formation World Tour. Bailey knows what it means to be a young star — and now she wants to give others the same chance to shine.