H.E.R. received the American Express Impact Award at the 2022 Billboard Women in Music event for using her platform to build community and advocate on behalf of women across the world. From the release of Grammy®-award-winning social justice anthem ‘I Can’t Breathe’ to singing at a benefit concert in support of small businesses affected by the pandemic, H.E.R. is always looking for ways to inspire others and make an impact in music and beyond.
H.E.R. accepted the Impact Award at YouTube Theater during Billboard’s highly anticipated return to an in-person format of the Women In Music event. Music fans in attendance and at-home watching on Twitter were treated to a special live rendition of H.E.R.’s single ‘Fate’.
Born Gabriella Wilson, her stage name is an acronym that stands for Having Everything Revealed. In 2016, the Bay Area native demanded the world’s attention after collaborating with Daniel Caesar on their multi-platinum duet, ‘Best Part’. She then released a series of EP’s without ever revealing her identity to the public, hoping that fans would prioritize the stories in her songs over the image of the artist who created them. Since then, music fans everywhere have fallen in love with her voice and lyrics which highlight Wilson’s experiences as a Black woman in today’s world.
Her early releases attracted attention from some iconic women in music and last year, her debut album, Back of My Mind, peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart.
The iconic R&B producer, Jimmy Jam, presented H.E.R. with the award and shared moving remarks about her impact in music and the world. Wilson opened her empowering acceptance speech by saying, “It’s always a beautiful day when women are getting recognized for the hard work we put in.”
“Most importantly, shoutout to my Filipino mother,” Wilson said. “I’m just so proud of the women in this room but the women in general that are doing their thing and really killing it. Showing us that a woman is not just one thing that we come in all different shapes, sizes, voices, and all have something to say.”
Wilson credits her mother for teaching humility, hard work, and how to inspire young women.
“You are impacting so many other people through me. In giving me a voice, I’m now using my voice to give others a voice and pave a way for young women.”
Even though there is still work to be done, H.E.R. is committed to making an impact in music and beyond.
“This is always the goal. Impact. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and so are you.”
This feature was created in paid partnership with American Express, check out more from Women in Music here.