Chloe Bailey’s performance of “Feeling Good” had some viewers feeling some type of way.
One half of Chloe x Halle made her solo television debut, performing a cover of Nina Simone’s 1965 classic on ABC’s Juneteenth special, “Juneteenth: Together We Triumph – A ‘Soul of a Nation’ Special Event” on Friday night. Bailey stunned in a sparkly catsuit while dancing in front of a giant moon during her sexy set, which featured some racy moves and even a little twerking.
While she won praise from many viewers, others questioned the appropriateness of the Juneteenth performance, calling it “over sexualized.”
I don’t like how Chloe over sexualized this rendition of Nina Simone’s “Feelin’ Good,” like who thought that was ok?!?!?! I hope black Twitter let her have it #SoulOfANation
— Mattea Smith (@MatteaMarie) June 19, 2021
chloe bailey graduated from beyoncé university summa cum laude
— Your Fave (@PartitionBeat) June 19, 2021
Nina Simone in heaven watching Chloe Bailey do the damn thing tonight pic.twitter.com/r6Ck2BhHwX
— (@TaraAng1111) June 19, 2021
In the wake of the controversy, Nina Simone’s granddaughter, RéAnna Simone Kelly, came to Chloe’s defense, saying that her late grandmother would have loved the performance.
“Everyone’s coming at @ChloeBailey for her performance of my grandmother Nina Simone’s song ‘Feeling Good’,” RéAnna tweeted. “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.”
Chloe’s rendition of “Feeling Good” can be found on Disney’s Music for the Movement Volume III – Liberated EP, along with contributions from Cordae, Common, and Lucky Daye.
Everyone’s coming at @ChloeBailey for her performance of my grandmother Nina Simone’s song “Feeling Good”. 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. #NinaSimone
— RéAnna Simone Kelly (@reasiimone) June 19, 2021