H.E.R. Is 'So Grateful' After 'I Can’t Breathe' Wins Song of the Year at 2021 GRAMMYs

The 2021 GRAMMYs had some surprises in store!

And Song of the Year goes to... "I Can't Breathe" by H.E.R.!

The "Best Part" singer took home her second GRAMMY Award on Sunday night, and she was left speechless by the win. 

"Oh my god, I don't even know what to say. I think the first thing I want to say is that I have never been so proud to be an artist," she began her acceptance speech. "And everybody else that was nominated, those songs were to me, song of the year also and they were all amazing."

She went on to reveal that she wrote "I Can't Breathe," inspired by the late George Floyd, on FaceTime. "I didn't imagine that my fear and that my pain would turn into impact. And it would possibly turn into change. And I think that is what this is about and that's why I write music. That's why I do this. So I'm so, so grateful." 

"I want to thank my mom, I recorded this song myself in my bedroom at my mom's house. And I want to thank my dad," she continued. "He cried. He was in tears when I wrote this song and I played it for him. He was the first person I played it for."

"I'm so speechless right now. I can't believe this," she gushed before concluding her speech with a call to action.

"Remember, we are the change that we wish to see, and that fight that we had in us the summer of 2020, keep that same energy. Thank you!" she added.

The win came as something of a surprise, as GRAMMYs oddsmakers had Taylor Swift, Megan Thee Stallion and Dua Lipa as frontrunners in most of the Big Four categories this year.

However, after the roller coaster that was 2020, it's no wonder the GRAMMYs kept the surprises coming. ET spoke with executive producer Ben Winston ahead of music's biggest night, who rightly hinted that viewers should expect the unexpected.

"Everything is going to be a bit of a surprise because, ultimately, it's a GRAMMYs like no other," he teased. "I really don't think people are going to be disappointed. We are going to put on an evening of real entertainment that people will remember for a very long time. That's my hope, and we are going to try our absolute best."

"It's going to be interesting," host Trevor Noah agreed. "What I'm really excited for is seeing which artists are fans of the other artists. Because of how we're doing the show, everyone's watching everyone else perform, so it's almost like they're performing for each other, and for everybody at home, which is a really cool dynamic."

ET's Kevin Frazier spoke to the 23-year-old singer last Sunday, and she reflected on her incredible year, which also included a performance of at the Super Bowl.

"Wow, I mean it feels crazy," she acknowledged. "I'm so blessed because, you know, we had such a tough year and the fact that I can still do what I love and give people hope through music, and just do me and reach these higher heights, it feels crazy, and I'm excited."

In the GRAMMY's press room after Sunday's big show, H.E.R. and her co-writer, Tiara Thomas, elaborated on what this win means to them in 2021.

"It really means the world because you know for us, when we wrote the song it came from a conversation and we honestly were coming from the perspective of our own personal feelings," H.E.R. shared, "and then it turned into being part of the movement and being a part of history."

"I think this song, you know, is going to be a stamp in time and people are going to think of this song when they think of George Floyd, when they think of Breonna Taylor, when they think of all of these people that we are still fighting for," she continued. "I hope that it's a contribution to the movement and I hope that it will continue the fight and it will continue to give people hope because I think that's what music does." 

"It's so much bigger than us and it's so much bigger than now," H.E.R. concluded. "This is something that we have to continue."

"And with the timing it's relevant," Thomas added. "This year it's relevant, last year it's relevant. Five years before that, 10 years before that. 20 years. You know it's something that's relevant until we see a lasting change, something that's really going to move the ball forward."

See more in the video below.

Get the complete GRAMMYs winners list, plus GRAMMY Awards live updates at ETonline.com


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