Vallejo singer H.E.R. takes home Grammys, brings the audience to its feet

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.”

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H.E.R. performing during the 61st Annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, 2019.Photo: ROBYN BECK, AFP / Getty Images

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.

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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.

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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.


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