H.E.R., a 23-year old Filipino-American artist wins best original song with “Fight For You” the end-title theme for the film Judas and the Black Messiah at the 2021 Oscars, Sunday night.
She collaborated with D’Mile and Tiara Thomas for the song with a ’70s soul style.
During her acceptance speech, the singer was quick to thank her collaborators: “The song wouldn’t be what it was without them.”
Matching the period of the film and the Fred Hampton story being told with lyrics “oh you better beware, their guns don’t play fair, all we got is a prayer”, Fight For You was one of three nominated songs that spoke directly to the national conversation on racial injustice that made it timely, relevant and significant to cultural events.
Written and sang by H.E.R., the song beat out fellow nominees ”Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga; “lo Sì (Seen)” from The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se); “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami and “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7.
The recent win adds to H.E.R.’s winning streak from winning song of the year with “I Can’t Breathe” to best R&B song with “Better Than I Imagined” at the Grammys.
H.E.R took a moment during her speech to express the message the music and film have — “tell the truth.”
“Musicians, filmmakers I believe we have an opportunity and 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 said.
“I’m just so, so, so happy and grateful. And, yeah, knowledge is power. Music is power. And as long as I’m standing, I’m always gonna fight for us, I’m always gonna fight for my people and fight for what’s right,”
“And I think that’s what music does and that’s what storytelling does,” she added.
The singer-songwriter wore a cobalt blue beaded hooded ensemble, inspired by the late icon Prince wore to accept his Oscar for Purple Rain in 1985.
Born Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson, H.E.R. short for Having Everything Revealed had her early years in Vallejo, California with her Filipina mother and African American father.
She was then raised in California’s San Francisco Bay Area, where she was introduced to the public as a young artist. /rcg