Chloe Bailey says starring in gospel film 'Praise This' allowed her to 'merge love of God and music'

Aaron (Druski), Sam (Chloe Bailey), Jess (Anjelika Washington), Jackie (Kiara Iman), KiKi (Jekalyn Carr) and Jermaine (Ilario Grant) star in 'Praise This,' a film directed by Tina Gordon.
Aaron (Druski), Sam (Chloe Bailey), Jess (Anjelika Washington), Jackie (Kiara Iman), KiKi (Jekalyn Carr) and Jermaine (Ilario Grant) star in "Praise This," a film directed by Tina Gordon. | Jessica Miglio / Universal Pictures

For five-time Grammy nominee Chloe Bailey, starring in a film focused on gospel music felt natural. 

"I grew up singing in my nana's church in South Carolina, with my sister, Halle," the 24-year-old singer-songwriter, record producer and actress told The Christian Post.

"All the Sundays that we would be down there, we'd be singing. My late cousin, Sherry, was a choir teacher, and my aunt Sandy plays the piano in church every Sunday, and she was the music director as well. So it's sprinkled throughout [my family]."

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In "Praise This," streaming April 7 on Peacock, Bailey stars as Sam, an ambitious and talented musical artist in the making who finds herself, against her will, forced to join her cousin's struggling church choir in Atlanta.

As Sam reluctantly leads her team of varied personalities through a national gospel singing competition, she finds grace, redemption and a good dose of gratitude along the way. The film also stars internet personality Druski, Tristan Mack Wilds, Anjelika Washington and Quavo. 

Bailey said that while Sam has a lot of "great qualities," she also has some "crooked" ones that slowly see redemption as the film progresses. And her heart begins to soften as she finds value in the church community. 

"I really love her persistence. I love how she doesn't take no for an answer. And I love that no matter what people say about her, she continues on the path she feels is right for her and she stands up for herself," Bailey said. 

Though the film is not explicitly faith-based (it's rated TV-14 and features some sexual innuendo), the film is infused with musical numbers that see popular R&B and rap songs turned into gospel tunes. 

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Some popular worship hits are covered as well, like Tasha Cobb Leonard's "Break Every Chain." Director Tina Gordon reportedly visited churches across the country to ensure accuracy when bringing the gospel choir to life. 

And though she recently sparked conversation and criticism with her appearance the Prime drama "Swarm," "Praise This" focuses on faith and the healing that can come through worship. Bailey said the role allowed her to merge her love of God and music. 

"Singing is one of my favorite ways to praise God, as well as just the good old praying," Bailey, one half of the sibling singing duo Chlöe x Halle, told CP. "Whenever I feel sorrowful and heavy, I put on my favorite gospel song playlist, and I just sing my heart away, and instantly my spirits are lifted. … Music is what heals us, as well as God. So when you have these two forces that bring such love to the forefront, it's an incredibly powerful thing."

A self-described "huge gospel fan," Bailey identified CCM artists Jonathan McReynolds, Mary Mary and Kirk Franklin as some of her favorite artists. And several gospel music legends appear in the film, including Jakala Carr and Koryn Hawthorne. Destiny's Child star and outspoken Christian Michelle Williams also has a brief cameo. 

"I was even so excited to act alongside Koryn and Jakala because I've been huge fans of their voice and knowing that they are such special beings, as well as great actresses," Bailey said. 

"Praise This!" joins several other faith-centric films released in recent years, including Netflix's wildly popular "A Week Away," which featured reimagined recordings of popular Christian songs by artists like Amy Grant, for King and Country, Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman. 

And Bailey, who is gearing up to release her debut solo album, In Pieces, said she hopes "Praise This" is a source of encouragement for viewers. 

"I hope viewers take away from this is that we all have our own journeys and our own paths," she said. "And no matter which way or form that we come, God will accept us no matter what, and that family is everything. You don't have to go down a dark path to make your dreams come true."

"Praise This" streams April 7 on Peacock.

Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at:

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