Chloe Bailey—one half of sister duo Chloe x Halle—took the stage on Friday night (June 18) for a solo performance of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good.” As a part of ABC’s televised special, Juneteenth: Together We Triumph, the singer delivered choreography and vocals with a modern flair. Wearing a black, bedazzled bodysuit, Bailey sang the feel-good anthem with her own swagger, adding sultry dance moves with finesse.
Although vocally sound and visually captivating, her contemporary performance garnered criticism on social media, including a now-deleted tweet from the Nina Simone estate. Despite some finding the rendition over-the-top, the 22-year-old singer found support from fans, her sister, and Nina Simone’s own granddaughter.
Re’Anna Simone Kelly shared support for Chloe’s set after the performance became a trending topic.
“But what y’all don’t understand is that grandma was a free-spirited woman herself!! She would’ve loved that performance as much as I do! Relax. Chloe killed it,” she wrote in one tweet.
“Grandma was unapologetically herself. She was a muhhhfuc**in bada** woman who did what she wanted when she wanted. She was a sexual woman and she expressed that. Educate yourselves !! If grandma could she probably would’ve done that performance herself.”
She also suggested that fans of Bailey unfamiliar with her grandmother’s life and legacy watch the documentary, What Happened Miss Simone.
Halle Bailey took a different route in showing support for her sister. The singer and actress boosted the performance with all caps and excitement emphasized by profanity which she later apologized for.
“MY SISTER MOTHERFU**ING MURDERED THAT PERFORMANCE!!!!!!! ” the soon-to-be Disney princess tweeted. “I TOLD YALL !!! WE ARE ALL SO PROUD OF YOU!!!
MY SISTER MOTHERFUCKING MURDERED THAT PERFORMANCE!!!!!!! I TOLD YALL !!! WE ARE ALL SO PROUD OF YOU!!!
— Halle (@HalleBailey) June 19, 2021
Jimmie Allen and Leon Bridges also performed during the event which ABC News and ABC Entertainment collaborated to create. Together We Triumph was the network’s second consecutive year producing a Juneteenth special. The 2020 event, Juneteenth: A Celebration of Overcoming and this year’s programming alike, are currently available to stream on Hulu.