Grammy voters think it’s time you get to know H.E.R.
On Friday, the enigmatic artist became a five-time Grammy nominee, with two of those nominations in the awards’ top categories: best new artist and best album. (The other three nominations are for best R&B album, song and performance.)
So who is H.E.R.?
Most of the mystique of H.E.R. is by design. (Ironically, the moniker is an acronym for Having Everything Revealed.) The singer and multi-instrumentalist tends to wear large reflective sunglasses onstage and cover her face with her hands and hair in photos. Since 2016, she’s primarily gone by her stage name and keeps an heir of anonymity, but the team at Genius figured out she’s 21-year-old California native Gabi Wilson.
Where you’ve heard H.E.R.
This year, H.E.R. performed to rave reviews at the BET Awards and Essence Fest. Her song “Best Part” with Daniel Caesar has been streamed more than 170 million times on Spotify and features her velvety voice in the R&B song about falling for someone. Her song ”Focus” (50.7 million Spotify streams) has the Grammy nominee begging her partner to pay attention to her, with sexy-smooth vocals. Both tunes are from H.E.R.’s self-titled 2017 album which is up for five awards. “Could’ve Been,” her duet with Bryson Tiller (27 million Spotify streams) is a moody single with the same winning formula: honest love lyrics mixed with H.E.R.’s buttery voice.
You also may have heard H.E.R. before she went by H.E.R. At age 10, the artist was featured on the “Today” show covering Alicia Keys on piano. And in 2015, she released a memorable cover of Drake’s “Jungle.”
Keys, now a mentor to H.E.R., has long been supportive.
Janet Jackson is among H.E.R.’s many famous fans, too.
H.E.R.will be performing in the U.S. before leaving the country for more tour dates that include a couple with Childish Gambino.
Who is she up against?
In the new artist category, she’s competing with Chloe x Halle, Luke Combs, Greta Van Fleet, Dua Lipa, Margo Price, Bebe Rexha and Jorja Smith. In the best album list – and by the way, she’s the only musician up for both awards – she’s up against much bigger names Cardi B, Brandi Carlile, Drake, Post Malone, Janelle Monae and the “Black Panther” soundtrack. In the R&B categories, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Leon Bridges and Ella Mai are among her competition.
H.E.R. also posted a teaser for a video promised to launch on Monday, “Road to the Grammys.”
In the video, she talks about her ambition:
“I do this because I know I’m meant for something greater, I know I have a purpose and I’m trying to fulfill that. I’m meant for something so much bigger. I have goals, I have ambitions, I have dreams that I’m trying to make come true,” she said.
Want to hear H.E.R.?
Check her out on Spotify.
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