By Deepa Lakshmin
It’s been a busy awards season for H.E.R. After taking home a whopping four Grammys in March — including Song of the Year for “I Can’t Breathe,” a tribute to George Floyd — the singer-songwriter snagged more hardware at the 93rd Oscars ceremony Sunday night (April 25) at Los Angeles’s Union Station. This time around, it’s “Fight For You” that’s in the spotlight, winning the Academy Award for Music (Original Song).
The song, a collaboration with Dernst Emile II and Tiara Thomas, is core to Judas and the Black Messiah, a must-see film about the rise of the Black Panther Party and its chairman, Fred Hampton. “I did not expect to win this award,” H.E.R. said in her acceptance speech, dazzling on stage in a royal jumpsuit calling back to Prince’s 1985 Best Original Score win for Purple Rain. “I am so, so, so, so grateful, not only to win, but to be a part of such an important, important story.”
“Musicians, filmmakers,” she continued, “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... 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 and that’s what storytelling does.”
“Fight For You” beat out “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami, “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7, “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, and “Io sí (Seen)” from The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se). And let’s not forget about the countless other notable tracks H.E.R.’s music went up against at the Grammys last month. Time and time again, she takes home the gold, for good reason.
“All those days listening to Sly and the Family Stone and Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye, they really paid off,” she joked, thanking her mom for joining her at the show and her dad for his taste in music.
Find all the 2021 Oscar winners right here.