R&B singer-songwriter H.E.R. had an awards breakthrough just two years ago, winning a pair of Grammys in 2019. But she could already start rounding the corner of her EGOT. In fact, she could end up winning three-quarters of that grand slam all in the span of one year since she has already claimed an Oscar and two more Grammys in 2021 and could next win an Emmy for writing the original song “Hold Us Together” from the Disney+ film “Safety” (watch the video above).
H.E.R. earned five Grammy nominations in 2019 including Best New Artist and Album of the Year for her self-titled compilation. She ended up winning Best R&B Album for that collection, as well as Best R&B Performance for “Best Part.” The recording academy couldn’t get enough of her, though, nominating her for Album of the Year again in 2020 for her next compilation, “I Used to Know Her,” and awarding her Song of the Year in 2021 in an upset victory for her protest anthem “I Can’t Breathe.” In total she has amassed four wins out of 13 nominations in just three years.
Then she was nominated for an Oscar for her original song “Fight for You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah.” That was a wide-open race with no clear front-runner, but most of us were still surprised when she won that prize, besting Leslie Odom Jr.‘s “Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami,” Diane Warren‘s “Io Si” from “The Life Ahead,” and “Husavik” from “Eurovision Song Contest.”
Now she could quickly add an Emmy to her list of songwriting plaudits. She and co-writer Josiah Bassey wrote “Hold Us Together” for “Safety,” which premiered on Disney+ last December and tells the biographical story of college football player Ray McElrathbey, who had to care for his younger brother while their mother was in recovery for drug addiction. If H.E.R. wins, she would follow in the footsteps of other stars who have gotten within striking distance of EGOT thanks to this category: Lin-Manuel Miranda won it in 2014 for the Tonys song “Bigger!” (he’s only missing an Oscar), and Common won in 2017 for “Letter to the Free” from the documentary “13th” (he’s only missing a Tony).
And H.E.R. will only be 24-years-old by the time this year’s Emmys roll around, so if she wins it she’ll have more than a decade to get her hands on a Tony and become the youngest person ever to EGOT, sliding in under Robert Lopez who accomplished the feat at 39. But the first hurdle for H.E.R. will be to get nominated in a crowded songwriting field that also includes artists like Beyonce, Janelle Monae, Dolly Parton, Sara Bareilles, and several songs from “Saturday Night Live,” which has won this category three times out of a record 12 nominations. Can H.E.R. break through again here like she’s been doing all year?
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