×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Who Is H.E.R., the Low-Profile R&B Singer With Five Grammy Nominations?

On Friday morning, a lot of people were asking “Who is H.E.R.?,” and with good reason: Not only is she nominated for a whopping five Grammy Awards — that’s as many as Cardi B, Childish Gambino and Lady Gaga — the 21-year-old California native has intentionally kept a rather anonymous profile, doing few interviews and appearing in silhouette or obscured in many photos. Ironically, her stage name stands for “Having Everything Revealed.”

“I’m not hiding,” says H.E.R. (real name is Gabriella ”Gabi” Wilson) during a recent pre-show soundcheck in Philadelphia. “I just only ever wanted to be known for the music I was making.”

That particular wish has come true: She’s up for two the biggest Grammy categories — Album of the Year for her self-titled debut, and Best New Artist — as well as three R&B categories. She’s also lined up a series of sold-out shows on her first headlining tour this winter.

“H.E.R. does not care about looks, clicks or mandates,” said H.E.R.’s manager Jeff Robinson of MBK Entertainment. “That’s why we signed with the label. RCA knows that she wishes to organically vibe with her music.”

Despite her youth, H.E.R. calls herself a veteran “studio rat” with a big backlog of music. “When I don’t have the time, I make the time to get my ideas out,” she said. “It came to a point that I had so much music that needed to be heard, I just wanted to get it out.”

Since 2016 and “H.E.R. Volume 1,” the singer has done that through EPs — five so far, with her Grammy-nominated album collecting the first three — a format that she believes is more suited for today’s music fans.

“People have short attention spans,” she says. “That’s something that social media adheres to, because people can forget pretty easily. Coming out with a constant stream of music keep listeners engaged and interested.”

And although she’s collaborated with Bryson Tiller, Daniel Caesar and others, she says, “I want people to vibe with my songs and fall in love with the music — I want to build a fanbase that stems from that, not cosigns or associations. The artists I love — Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson — were low-key in revealing who they were, despite what the press did. Their personalities were introverted. Like me, we’re loners. Out here, being myself, being in the studio — that’s crucial. My personal life is not important. With me, and for me, it is all about the music.”

After of Friday morning, all of that is very likely to change dramatically. “Yeah, I know it’s inevitable,” she says with a sigh. “Until then, I’m just staying in the studio, being me.”

More Music

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    It'll Take a 'Village' to Salute the Kinks at Tribute Show Saturday

    The Kinks’ classic 1968 album “The Village Green Preservation Society” has always needed some fervent champions to keep its reputation alive, or even to keep it in print, in the 50 years since it first came out and proved to be a massive flop. You could give a name to the fervent cult that’s made [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Turns Himself in to Chicago Police

    R. Kelly, who was indicted Friday afternoon on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four victims, turned himself in to a Chicago police station on Friday night. He is set to appear for a bond hearing on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/7k9VvbTPjg — Megan Crepeau (@crepeau) February 23, 2019 The incidents — in which three of [...]

  • Gary Clark Jr This Land

    Album Review: Gary Clark Jr.'s 'This Land'

    Not that many years ago, people were talking about Gary Clark Jr. in terms of his ability to revive a fairly commercially moribund genre: the blues. But his third full-length studio album, “This Land,” makes good on his potential to make a record that fits quite nicely within the larger realm of mainstream rock ‘n’ [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Is ‘Going Down Hard,’ Criminal-Defense Attorney Predicts

    When R. Kelly was arrested on child-pornography charges in 2002, after a videotape emerged that purported to show him having sex with an underage girl, he managed to have the case dismissed through a combination of skillful lawyering, repeated delays (the verdict did not come down for six years), and the fact that the girl [...]

  • Carrie Underwood House

    Carrie Underwood Lists Former Mansion Outside Nashville (EXCLUSIVE)

    Pop country music queen Carrie Underwood has listed her lavishly appointed mansion in a guard-gated golf course development in the affluent suburban community of Brentwood, Tenn., about 20 miles south of downtown Nashville, for $1.45 million. The seven-time Grammy winning fourth season “American Idol” winner isn’t seeking much profit on the property she bought for [...]

  • Here’s How Much Money 10 Artists

    Here’s How Much Money 10 Artists Are Owed by PledgeMusic

    For eight years, PledgeMusic was a success story: A direct-to-fan platform where artists worked directly with their audiences to fund their albums, tours and all stripes of merchandise, with fans able to purchase everything from custom guitar picks to private concerts. Yet last June, Variety broke the news that the company is struggling to pay [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content