If you told H.E.R. that she’d win an Academy Award in the same year that she’ll win two more Grammys, she probably wouldn’t have believed you. The singer-songwriter’s Judas and the Black Messiah single, “Fight For You” won Best Original Song, making it the first Oscar win of not only her career but also that of her collaborators—singer-songwriter Tiara Thomas and producer Dernst “D’Mile” Emile II.
“I did not expect to win this award. I am so, so, so, so grateful,” said the surprised multi-instrumentalist in her acceptance speech. “Not only to win but to be a part of such an important story, so thank you so much. Thank you to the Academy – I’ve always wanted to say that.”
The 23-year-old artist (née Gabriella Wilson) went on to thank God, her Marvin Gaye-loving parents and delivered an important message to filmmakers and fellow musicians.
“I believe we have an opportunity and a responsibility, to me, to tell the truth, and to write history the way that it was and how it connects us to today and what we see going on in the world today,” she added after thanking the film’s director Shaka King and those involved with the movie behind the scenes. “Knowledge is power, music is power and as long as I’m standing, I’m always going to fight for us. I’m always going to fight for my people and fight for what’s right. And I think that’s what music does, that’s what storytelling does. Thank you.”
Earlier in the evening, H.E.R.’s performance of the award-winning song was aired in ABC’s Oscars: Into The Spotlight special. “Fight For You” has been nominated for three other awards this year: the Critics Choice, Golden Globes, and Hollywood Music in Media. Last month, H.E.R., Thomas, and D. Mile’s other collaboration, “I Can’t Breathe” won Song of the Year at the 2021 Grammy Awards.
A major congrats to H.E.R., Thomas, and Emile.