H.E.R. Delivers Show-Stopping Performance at 2021 BET Awards

H.E.R. took the stage for another stunning performance at the BET Awards on Sunday night. The Oscar winner performed her song, “We Made It,” and showed off her talents as a singer and musician as she opened her performance at the drums high above the rafters. 

Celebrating her 24th birthday on Sunday, the nominated artist impressed the celeb-filled audience with her skills at the drums and her slick electric guitar runs during the impressive showcase.

Rocking her signature shades and a matching white tee and pants with fringe, H.E.R. made her time on the BET Awards stage count. So much so that presenter and First Wives Club Jill Scott praised H.E.R. moments after her performance for being multitalented.

H.E.R., whose real name is Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson, is up for two awards at Sunday’s show — Best Female R&B/Pop Artist and the Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award for “Hold Us Together.” H.E.R. won the Best Female R&B/Pop Artist award moments after her performance.

Ahead of the awards show, H.E.R. spoke with ET’s Kevin Frazier on the red carpet about why “it means everything” to be at the ceremony, which happens to take place on her 24th birthday.

“We’re celebrating our culture. We’re celebrating Black women. We’re also celebrating my birthday so it is a very big day,” she said, adding that she plans to “kill the stage is what I’m going to do for my birthday.” She revealed that a birthday celebration took place on Saturday night, but there are plans to celebrate after the BET Awards. “We’re all going to go back to the house and eat — that’s what we doing.”

“I’m so excited to see all the faces and it just feels warm, that’s what it feels like,” H.E.R. said of performing on her birthday. “But you’re going to see something from me that you have never seen before so it’s going to be extra super special.”

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She also opened up about the pressure she felt leading up to the release of her full-length debut album, Back of My Mind, which was released June 18. “But I think I just had to let it go and just create,” H.E.R. reflected. “Honestly I just wanted to create good music, music that resonates with me because at the end of the day if it’s authentic with me then I think that people will connect to it and that’s just kind of what I thought about going into that process.”

Because the BET Awards celebrates Black excellence, H.E.R. revealed the artists she’s inspired by at the moment. “Alicia Keys is definitely No. 1. I know we’re honoring Queen Latifah and she has been huge person in the culture and for the culture that has inspired everybody,” she praised. “Missy Elliot, Aaliyah, Janet Jackson, Lauryn Hill is a big one, so many.”

In a statement ahead of this year’s BET Awards, host Taraji P. Henson said it would be something “unlike anything we have ever seen before.” She also praised the ceremony’s aim to especially highlight Black women. 

“For more than 20 years, the BET Awards have been a celebration of Black creativity, art and excellence,” Henson said. “Returning live, this year’s show will be unlike anything we have ever seen before, and I am honored to be sharing the stage with so many powerful and prolific women in music and entertainment. The BET Awards will once again be at the forefront of Black culture.”

The BET Awards is in full swing. See the full list of nominations here, and be sure to keep up with ET’s winner’s list throughout the night.  

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