H.E.R. had a better night at the 61st annual Grammy Awards than most.
In a pre-telecast ceremony, she won the prize for best R&B performance for her song “Best Part,” featuring Daniel Ceasar. Then, during the main event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, she picked up the trophy for the best R&B album of the year for her 2017 release, “H.E.R.,” a compilation of her first two EPs.
“I’m speechless right now,” she said Sunday, Feb. 10, accepting the prize. “I’m holding back tears.”
The rising R&B singer from Vallejo, whose real name is Gabriella “Gabi” Wilson, arrived at the ceremony with five nominations to her name, including best new artist and album of the year.
H.E.R. (the acronym stands for Having Everything Revealed) capped the night with a show-stopping performance of her song “Hard Place,” from the 2018 “I Used to Know Her: Part 2” EP. Wearing sunglasses and a sequined jumpsuit and shredding on a transparent guitar, she brought the audience to its feet.
Even though the half black and half Filipino 21-year-old multi-instrumentalist signed with Sony while she was still in high school until Sunday she was best known as a SoundCloud star.
Wilson long avoided associating a face with her musical project, which leans toward the laid-back R&B sound of Grammy host Alicia Keys (whose songs she covered frequently as a child prodigy on television shows such as “Today” and “The View”).
But there was no avoiding the spotlight Sunday.