Presented anonymously, contemporary R&B artist H.E.R. (Having Everything Revealed) surfaced in 2016 with H.E.R., Vol.
1, an EP of downcast post-breakup material that sounded both vulnerable and assured, much like what followed from the singer and songwriter. The seven-track EP appeared on major-label RCA in September 2016 with limited promotion, but labelmates Alicia Keys and Bryson Tiller spread the word through social media, and a cover of Drake's "Jungle" helped send the set to number 28 on Billboard's R&B/hip-hop chart. A similarly styled follow-up, H.E.R., Vol. 2, arrived in June 2017 and debuted at number 22. The EPs were soon combined and expanded, released as H.E.R., with six additional cuts -- including "Best Part," a number 32 R&B/hip-hop hit previously heard on Daniel Caesar's Freudian -- referred to as B-sides.
In 2018, H.E.R. and Khalid teamed up for the Superfly soundtrack cut "This Way," and that August a third EP was released, I Used to Know Her: The Prelude, which went straight to the top of the R&B/hip-hop chart thanks to "Could've Been," a duet with Bryson Tiller. By the end of the year, she was nominated for five Grammy awards: Album of the Year and Best R&B Album (for H.E.R.), Best R&B Performance (for "Best Part"), Best R&B Song (for "Focus"), and Best New Artist. At the 2019 ceremony, she took home the prizes for Best R&B Album and Performance. Later that year, she linked up with a diverse range of collaborators such as Chris Brown ("Come Together"), Jess Glynne ("Thursday"), Ed Sheeran ("I Don't Want Your Money"), and YBN Cordae ("Racks") while also issuing the single "21." ~ Andy Kellman