H.E.R. Talks 5 Grammy Nominations & Staying True to Herself: ‘People Just Love the Music for What It Is’ (Billboard)

“It’s not about looks, followers, clout or anything. It’s just about pure music.”

When H.E.R. woke up early Friday morning (Dec. 7), she thought her I Used to Know HER Tour was coming to an abrupt end. Shaken by the possibility, H.E.R.’s manager said they needed to have an emergency meeting in order to save the tour. Already feeling sick, the singer couldn’t bear more bad news. When she walked into the meeting, she realized that she had been duped and that her team was actually there to celebrate her five Grammy nominations.

“It took me a second to register,” H.E.R. tells Billboard. “And I started crying and everybody was going crazy. We were all screaming and crying. It was a moment to be surrounded by my band and the people I love. To get that news, it was so much at one time.”

The Grammy Awards

Grammys 2019 Nominees: The Complete List

This year has been a complete blur for the precocious singer/songwriter. Not only has she earned two No. 1 songs on Billboard‘s Adult R&B Songs chart with “Focus” and “Best Part,” featuring Daniel Caesar, but she also received seven nominations last month at the Soul Train Music Awards. After nabbing two awards there, H.E.R. is looking to take home more hardware at next year’s Grammy Awards, as she’s been nominated for album of the year, best new artist, best R&B performance, best R&B song and best R&B album.

What’s even more mind-boggling for the young songstress is that she has yet to dole out her major-label debut with MBK/RCA. After the success of her debut EPs — H.E.R. Vol. 1 and H.E.R. Vol. 2 — in 2017she combined both efforts into a singular project, aptly titled H.E.R. The end result? Effusive praise by media publications, not to mention her fistful of accolades. In the case of H.E.R., it’s truly only the beginning.

Billboard spoke to H.E.R. about her five Grammy nominations, breaking through into the mainstream as a black female artist, and if she’ll consider revealing her identity at the 2019 Grammys.

H.E.R.

@HERMusicx

THIS IS INSANE. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO SAY. 5 NOMINATIONS?????

10.9K people are talking about this

I saw on Twitter that you said that you had no words to say in regards to your five Grammy nominations. Are you still speechless at the moment? 

I’m just overjoyed. This is crazy. [Laughs]

Where were you when you first got the news? 

So what happened was … I was asleep and I get a call from my tour manager that said my manager wanted to have a meeting. He said that the tour might need to be canceled and that it was an emergency and that everybody needed to come to my room. So I’m thinking, “Oh wait. Hold up. Something might really be going on.” You know, it sounded serious. They played it very well. Everybody came to the room and we’re all tired at 7 a.m. or whatever time it was, and he was just like, “The tour needs to be canceled… because you’re nominated for five Grammys!” I’m like, “What?” It took me a second to register. And I started crying and everybody was going crazy. We were all screaming and crying. It was a moment to be surrounded by my band and the people I love. To get that news, it was so much at one time.

Let me list your nominations in case you forgot, but the album of the year, best new artist, best R&B performance, best R&B song, and best R&B album. 

Crazy! Album of the year, crazy! Like, I didn’t even think about it today. Everybody was anticipating it, but I’ve been super sick for the last few days and I’ve kind of been down and trying to kill these shows and just be well. It took me by surprise. Like I was not prepared for that information.

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