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H.E.R. on embracing birth name: It’s time for people to get to know the person behind the music


ABC/Christopher Willard

H.E.R. rose to fame behind some shades and her famous moniker, but she’s ready to take off the mask as she takes on other business ventures. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight at the premiere of Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration Tuesday, she said her role as Belle marks the start of an era that will see her embrace her birth name, Gabriela Wilson.

“It’s the beginning of so many other things. I’ve kept it about the music for so long, and now it’s time for people to get to know the person behind the music and see all the other things I love, like being a Disney princess,” she said.

“And Color Purple is coming out,” the singer continued. “So, there’s so many projects that I’m looking forward to, whether I’m producing or acting in. It’s gonna be a great time.”

Until then, H.E.R. is reveling in the moments surrounding the Beauty and the Beast special. She said she’s excited, as she’s been a fan of Disney and has long desired to be a Disney princess.

“It’s something that I think every little girl wants to be, and I’m a huge, huge Disney fan and Disney princess fan,” she said. “So the fact that it’s happening, I’m like, ‘Wow.’ I’m pinching myself.” 

Being the first Afro-Filipina to play the character on screen, she added, has boosted her confidence.

“I am walking differently … I can’t explain it, but it’s a new kind of confidence,” H.E.R. revealed. “And I really love that. It just feels good to be a Disney princess.”

“It’s one of the most fun things I’ve ever done in my life,” she continued.

Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration airs December 15 on ABC and will stream the following day on Disney+.

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