HER’s poignant protest song “I Can’t Breathe” wins Song of the Year at the 2021 Grammys


Seriously, some of the best music these days is made at home. Or more specifically, in people’s bedrooms.

“I can’t breathe” what HER wrote via FaceTime Tiara Thomas and D’Milewhich was recorded alone in her bedroom at her mother’s house and released on June 16, won Song of the Year Grammy 2021.

“I’ve never been more proud to be an artist and for all the other nominees, these songs were song of the year for me and they were all amazing,” the artist, née Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson, told the small audience outside of Los Angeles ‘ Staples Center. But even though the crowd’s crowd was quite different from 2019, when HER made a Grammys leap as winners of Best R&B Album and Best R&B Performance for their self-titled debut, their message came out loud and clear.

And hopefully still touches millions.

See the 2021 Grammys winners

“I didn’t envision my fear and pain turning into impact and possibly change,” she said, “and I think that’s what this is about and that’s why I write music. That’s why I’m doing this, and I’m so, so grateful.”

SHE, Tiara Thomas, Grammy Awards 2021, Winner

“I want to thank God for giving me a voice and a pen,” the California native continued, “and for using me as a vessel to create change.”

She thanked her fellow songwriters and various members of her team, as well as Mom for making her house available for the recording process. And “my dad he was crying,” added HER, “he was in tears when I wrote this song and I played it to him, he was the first person I played it to … I’m so speechless right now, I.” I can’t believe it, thank you.”

But most importantly, she concluded, she hoped the spirit of her song, written on June 19 — June 19, commemorating the date Texas finally (more than two years later) recognized the 1865 Emancipation Proclamation – was released, finally ending slavery in this country – would continue to reverberate.

“Remember, we are the change we want to see,” HER said, “and this fight that we had in us in the summer of 2020 keeps that same energy.”

Watch the Post-Grammys Premiere of E! on True Hollywood Story Cardi B Special Monday, March 15 at 10 p.m., only on E!.

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