ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua

When she’s not working on her music, Grammy-winning singer and songwriter H.E.R has been gearing up to take on the role of Princess Belle in the 30th anniversary live action special of Beauty and the Beast. 

The R&B star says she’s “so excited” about the project and looking forward to adding some of her own flare to the beloved character.

“Oh my gosh, I’m so excited! I’ve been in the studio, playing with the arrangements, of course staying true to the original but giving it a new fresh twist,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “It’s gonna be like H.E.R. but also Belle, you know? And I’m really excited.”

The casting of the 25-year-old musician is a historic one; it’ll be the first time Belle will be played by a Black and Filipino woman. 

“I can’t believe I get to be a part of the Beauty and the Beast legacy,” H.E.R. said in a statement. “The world will see a Black and Filipino Belle! I have always wanted to be a Disney princess, and I get to work with two wonderful directors — Hamish Hamilton and my favorite, Jon M. Chu. It is very surreal.” 

H.E.R., who will also serve as a producer for the special, added that she “couldn’t be more grateful” for the opportunity. 

Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration will tape live in front of a studio audience and air Thursday, December 15, on ABC.

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