Long before the artist known as H.E.R. would contribute writing “I Can’t Breathe,” which won a 2021 Grammy Award for Song of the Year, she was a rising singer from northern California soaking up the music she heard in her home.
“I really didn’t have any formal training,” she said to ESSENCE in 2019. “My dad is a musician. His band rehearsed in our living room. Sometimes I would sneak in while they were taking a break and play on the drums, piano, guitar and bass. I kind of found my way.”
The multiple Grammy award winner surely did. Today the 24-year-old is a sought after performer expanding her reach beyond the charts. This year so far she’s performed at the Super Bowl, made her small screen debut in Yes Day with Jennifer Garner (streaming now on Netflix) and surprised D’Angelo fans by singing alongside him during highly anticipated battle.
At the 63rd annual Grammy awards, she took home two honors but the “Damages” singer is no stranger being a winner on music’s biggest night. In 2019, H.E.R. won Best R&B Album and Best R&B Performance for “Best Part.” Along with the win for 2021’s Song of the Year “I Can’t Breathe,” which she shares with cowriters Tiara Thomas and Dernst Emile II, H.E.R. also won for her contributions to “Better Than I Imagine.” The Robert Glasper track, which she wrote him and Meshell Ndegeocello, won Best R&B Song.
While the musical genius celebrates another big night at the Grammys, we take a glimpse back at how she grew into one of the best artists in music.
Compiled by Mikayla Merin, a 2021 Disney Dreamer.
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