Nobody in the music business is hotter at the moment than H.E.R., the Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and five-instrument musician who has been described by Interview magazine as “quite possibly the coolest artist in music,” by The Guardian as a “slow-jam queen” and by the Los Angeles Times as “one of the most exciting R&B talents in recent years.”
Indeed, over just the past seven months, in the middle of a global pandemic, she performed Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” during the In Memoriam segment at the Emmys, she sang “America the Beautiful” at the Super Bowl, she was awarded the song of the year prize at the Grammys for her timely tune “I Can’t Breathe” and, most recently, she and her collaborators D’Mile and Tiara Thomas were nominated for the best original song Oscar for their Judas and the Black Messiah anthem “Fight for You”
On a recent episode of The Hollywood Reporter‘s Awards Chatter podcast, the 23-year-old — who was born Gabi Wilson — discussed how she wound up performing at massive venues like the Apollo Theatre and on the Today Show before she even hit her teens, en route to a record deal at just 14; why, as she entered womanhood and a professional career, she decided to shield her name, face and all other information about herself, and assumed a moniker that stands for “Having Everything Revealed”; how the songs with which she is most associated — including “Focus,” “Best Part” and “Hard Place,” as well as the aforementioned “I Can’t Breathe” and “Fight for You” — came to be; and much more.
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You can listen to the episode here.
Past guests include Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Lorne Michaels, Barbra Streisand, George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Jennifer Lawrence, Eddie Murphy, Gal Gadot, Warren Beatty, Angelina Jolie, Snoop Dogg, Jessica Chastain, Stephen Colbert, Reese Witherspoon, Aaron Sorkin, Margot Robbie, Ryan Reynolds, Nicole Kidman, Denzel Washington, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Matthew McConaughey, Kate Winslet, Jimmy Kimmel, Natalie Portman, Chadwick Boseman, Jennifer Lopez, Elton John, Judi Dench, Quincy Jones, Jane Fonda, Tom Hanks, Amy Schumer, Justin Timberlake, Elisabeth Moss, RuPaul, Rachel Brosnahan, Jimmy Fallon, Kris Jenner, Michael Moore, Emilia Clarke, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Helen Mirren, Tyler Perry, Sally Field, Spike Lee, Lady Gaga, J.J. Abrams, Emma Stone, Al Pacino, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Jerry Seinfeld, Dolly Parton, Will Smith, Kerry Washington, Sacha Baron Cohen, Carol Burnett, Norman Lear, Keira Knightley, David Letterman, Sophia Loren, Hugh Jackman, Melissa McCarthy, Chris Evans, Carey Mulligan, Seth MacFarlane, Amy Adams, Ben Affleck, Julia Roberts, Jake Gyllenhaal, Glenn Close, Will Ferrell, Cate Blanchett, Sacha Baron Cohen, Greta Gerwig, Conan O’Brien, Jodie Foster & Kevin Hart.