Halle and Chloe Bailey of Chloe x Halle.
Halle and Chloe Bailey of Chloe x Halle.
Courtesy of Parkwood Entertainment

Beyoncé's Protégés Chloe x Halle Are Uplifting the Next Generation

Kids these days: They're broke, they're killing everything, they're eating Tide pods for kicks. Or so the grumpy grandpas of the world would have you think.

But fans of Chloe x Halle know better.

"What I love about being part of Generation Z is that with all the negative things happening in the world today, we're figuring out some way to turn them into positives," says Chloe Bailey, the older sister of the duo behind the hit 2018 album The Kids Are Alright. "We do that through our music. Kids our age are more than just a hashtag — they're going out and making things happen."

As the name of their album says, Chloe x Halle are definitely doing all right. They got their start at just 15 and 13 years old, when Beyoncé heard them cover her song "Pretty Hurts" on YouTube and then signed them to her Parkwood Entertainment label. The sisters opened for Bey's Foundation tour in 2016, and this past March, they released what some critics have hailed as the best album of 2018 so far. The two also star as Jazz and Sky in the acclaimed TV series Grown-ish. Now they're opening for Beyoncé and Jay-Z on their On the Run II Tour, which is set to stop at Hard Rock Stadium Friday night, and staging solo shows of their own along the way, including at the Ground this Thursday.

Not bad for a duo whose members are just 20 and 18 years old.

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"We're constantly pinching ourselves," Halle says of working with the Carters. "We're learning a lot as new artists." Graduating from making homemade video covers to performing for tens of thousands on stadium tours in just a few short years is no easy task, but "seeing Beyoncé and Jay-Z give 150 percent every single night inspires us to push ourselves," she adds. "To have not just one but two artists at the top of their game and see their chemistry onstage... We get to see how they move together and shine individually, which makes it even more spectacular."

But there's more to these artists than their proximity to Queen Bey. In interviews, Chloe x Halle are grateful, humble, poised, and polite. But don't mistake their youth and good manners for weakness. The Kids Are Alright is an album of powerful coming-of-age anthems that double as affirmations of self-worth. On the title track, the sisters sing, "Don't listen to them lies/Stop following the hype/Better meditate, better namaste." "Grown," a track that doubles as the theme song to Grown-ish, asserts, "I'm taking one day at the time/I think I'm handlin' just fine/No, I can't lie I make mistakes/But I know I'm gonna be okay."

Even in the lovelorn track "Happy Without Me," which describes the narrator's sadness at watching an ex-lover move on, there's hope: "But the summer come again/maybe one day in the future."

For the sisters, music is therapy — the confident, optimistic messages they broadcast through song are exactly what they need to hear as they navigate their own coming-of-age moments. "When we write these songs, we write to ourselves as diaries," Chloe explains. "We uplift ourselves. We're human, we're not perfect, but you can never let that bring you down — it's about what you do with it."

In a world where young women, especially young women of color, are bombarded with negative messages about their bodies and minds, The Kids Are Alright seeks to cancel out the noise. Chloe x Halle hope that fans can benefit from the duo's self-made music therapy the same way they have benefited from it — and that the personal changes their music has inspired translates into societal progress.

"When my sister and I attended the March for Our Lives and the Women's March, it was incredible seeing how people can come together, still staying positive, knowing we can make a difference when we put our heads together and stay on the bright side of things," Chloe says. "Like Michelle Obama said, 'When they go low, we go high.' We try to live through that and by that. All human beings should be treated equally, no matter who we love or who we believe in."

Chloe x Halle. 7 p.m. Thursday, August 30, at the Ground, 34 NE 11th St., Miami; thegroundmiami.com. Tickets cost $20 via eventbrite.com.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z's On the Run II Tour. 7:30 p.m. Friday, August 31, at Hard Rock Stadium, 347 Don Shula Dr., Miami Gardens; 305-943-8000; hardrockstadium.com. Tickets cost $54.50 to $1,855 via ticketmaster.com.

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