The Recording Academy thinks you should know H.E.R.
On Friday, it was announced that the elusive 21-year-old R&B singer — whose real name is Gabrielle “Gabi” Wilson — is nominated for a total of five awards at the 2019 Grammys for her self-titled album H.E.R., including album of the year, best new artist and best R&B album.
Her song “Best Part” featuring Daniel Caesar is nominated for best R&B performance, and her song “Focus” is nominated for best R&B song.
Reacting to the news of her nominations, H.E.R. captioned a video of her dancing to her Instagram account with the caption, “5 GRAMMY NOMINATIONS. I DONT EVEN KNOW WHAT TO SAY. BUT THANK YOU SO MUCH. GREATEST TEAM IN THE WORLD. IT’S BEEN A LOOONNNG TIME COMING! GOD IS GOOD.”
Along with the dancing video, H.E.R. posted the meme-worthy clip of wrestler Booker T excitedly stating he’s a 5-time World Championship Wrestling champion — well, five times.
H.E.R., who is currently on her I Used to Know HER tour, also shared that her Road to Grammys series will debut on Dec. 10 on YouTube Music. In the promo, she talks about her ambition, saying, “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,” she continues. “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.”
Here are five things to know about the singer who is sure to make waves at the Grammys.
1. The acronym H.E.R. stands for “Having Everything Revealed”
It’s pretty ironic that H.E.R. stands for “Having Everything Revealed” due to the fact that she remained anonymous when she first took on the stage name, à la The Weeknd‘s early career. When RCA released her first project — simply titled H.E.R., Vol. 1 — in September 2016, they even kept her identity a secret.
H.E.R.’s debut project hit No. 1 on the iTunes R&B chart and made iTunes’ Best of 2016 R&B/Soul Albums list. With all of the newfound attention, it wasn’t long before fans figured out the identity of the woman behind the music.
“Being anonymous, I thought I’d just release the music and see what happens organically,” she told the Los Angeles Times in July 2017. “It hasn’t even been a year and everything is happening so fast. It was almost like I was forced to reveal myself — like, ‘Okay, it’s time.’”
H.E.R. Vol. 2 was then released in June 2017.
2. She was dubbed a music “prodigy” at only 10 years old
During an appearance on the TODAY show in 2007 when she was only 10 years old, H.E.R. (who still went by Gabi Wilson at the time) performed Alicia Keys‘ hit, “No One.”
She was dubbed a “prodigy” by host Hoda Kotb, and said that her parents are to thank for her passion for music.
“When I was still in my mom’s stomach, my dad — he’s a big musician — and his band used to practice in the living room,” the singer said. “I’d hear a lot while my mom was making coffee or something.”
When asked to clarify if she meant she thought she heard music while she was still in her mother’s womb, she confidently said, “Yeah.”
3. She signed with her record label at 14 years old
The singer-songwriter signed to Sony’s RCA Records at just 14 years old after a series of high-profile television performances followed her TODAY show visit. She also sang at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre when she was 10, and went on to perform covers on Maury and The View.
She only released one single under the name Gabi Wilson, though — 2014’s Something to Prove.
4. She’s multi-talented
Not only does H.E.R. have impeccable skills when it comes to singing, she can also play several instruments including the piano, drums, guitar and bass.
During the 2018 BET Awards, H.E.R. memorably had her own Prince moment when she showed off her electric guitar playing skills before performing “Best Part” with Daniel Caesar.
5. She has a lot of famous fans
Keys, who H.E.R. has cited as a huge influence in the past, has been a fan for years. In 2015, she tweeted, “Lovin my lil sis @gabiwilson cover of ‘jungle’ !!! Girl can sing, play, wrote erything!!!!;-) blessings mama!!”
Janet Jackson, who attended H.E.R’s London show in March, is also a fan. Jackson posted a picture posing with the singer to Instagram with the caption, “You are a sweet and talented soul. Congratulations on your first sold-out show in London! I couldn’t help but sing along with you, I knew every single word. I’m excited for your journey, never change who you are.”
Among the bevy of H.E.R’s other famous fans is Rihanna, Wyclef Jean, Pusha T, and Kylie and Kendall Jenner.
The 61st Grammy Awards will take place at Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 10. The telecast will be broadcast live on CBS at 8 p.m. EST.
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