Before performing at the 2021 BET Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night (June 27), H.E.R. took a second to soak in her wins and accolades on her 24th birthday, also known as her “Kobe Year.” Not only was the Grammy and Oscars Award Winner reflective about her journey, but she was equally elated to be celebrating her big day steps away from the Staples Center — the former home of revered basketball star Kobe Bryant, who once donned jerseys No. 8 and 24.
“I don’t even feel 24,” she quipped on the red carpet. “Kobe was an inspiration, and I feel like it’s such a powerful age. I’m constantly growing and discovering things about myself. But I feel like I’m 65 years old — or like I’m a five-year-old kid, sometimes. There’s no in-between. That’s just how I am.”
Last night, the brilliant hyphenate scored the best female R&B / pop artist award, punctuating her torrid run in 2021. Along with winning two Grammys and an Oscar at the top of the year, this month, H.E.R. released her debut album Back of My Mind, which landed this week at No. 6 on the Billboard 200. With her platinum-certified single “Damage” leading the way, H.E.R. landed a bevy of features on the hip-hop side, including verses from Lil Baby (“Find a Way”) and Cordae (“Trauma”).
H.E.R. and Cordae tag-teaming represents a reunion for the singer and rapper, after they previously worked together on the evocative record “Lord Is Coming” and “Racks.” The young pair were unabashed in their approach, punching in chilling verses about past trauma and hardened hearts.
“Cordae is such a real person. We have real-life conversations. So do me and Tiara Thomas. She’s a person I work with a lot,” said H.E.R. “We talk, and then the song happens. That’s just what it is. We always talk about life. Sometimes, we’re jaded. Sometimes, we feel like, ‘Damn. What is this thing called life? Where do we go from here?’ Trying to move forward with different feelings and emotions. Me and Cordae talked about that a lot. I just felt like he would have a really dope perspective, and he did. He came with real s–t.”
Like many artists, H.E.R. is ready to perform for the fans again. Last night, she announced her second annual Lights On Festival. Slated for September 18 and 19, the two-day showcase will feature performances by Erykah Badu, Bryson Tiller, Lucky Daye, Ari Lennox, and of course, H.E.R. as the headliner. Tickets are on sale now.