One month after winning Song of the Year at the Grammys for “I Can’t Breathe,” singer-songwriter H.E.R. picked up her first Oscar for her original song “Fight for You.” The song appears on biopic “Judas and the Black Messiah,” which stars Daniel Kaluuya, who won the award for best supporting actor at the ceremony, as Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton and LaKeith Stanfield as FBI informant William O’Neal. The singer accepted the award alongside her cowriters, Tiara Thomas and D’Mile. The trio looked to the music of the late ’60s and early ’70s for inspiration, infusing soul and funk elements into the track.
“Oh my gosh, me just being up there is a message,” said H.E.R., born Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson, referring to the significance of her win in the Oscars’ virtual press room. “It’s a message to all the young Black and Filipino girls, Black or Filipino, that you can be up here too. What you say matters. What you sing matters. What you play, what you write, it matters. It’s a reflection of who we are, and I’m just happy to represent. I can’t believe I’m here, so I just hope that there’s another little girl out there, whoever, going, ‘I can do that too. I can be up there too one day.’
The musician was also asked about her ambitions for an EGOT, the acronym for the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards.
“Oh, there’s absolutely going to be an EGOT in my future, hopefully,” she said. “You know, I’m also super passionate about acting as well, so you may see me up here as an actress, and I love musicals…I’m still speechless. I feel like the Oscars are happening tomorrow, and I’m dreaming right now. I’m still pinching myself. I have no words.”
On stage, H.E.R. accepted the award wearing a custom Dundas look. The cobalt blue halter neck jumpsuit featured a cape with a hood and embellished lyric motifs, and sheer flared leg. The singer matched the outfit with purple-tinted glasses.
“Judas and the Black Messiah” was nominated for six Oscars and won two. “Fight For You” beat out nominees including Leslie Odom Jr.’s “Speak Now” and Diane Warren and Laura Pausini’s “Io Si (Seen).”