H.E.R. earned her first Oscar nomination for "Fight For You," the song she wrote for Judas and the Black Messiah

By Ale Russian
April 25, 2021 05:21 PM
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Singer H.E.R. is a first time Oscar nominee this year for Best Original Song, but as she tells PEOPLE, awards are just a special treat for doing the job she loves.

The Grammy winner chatted with host Janine Rubenstein on PEOPLE's new weekly podcast about her Oscar nomination for "Fight For You," the song she wrote for Judas and the Black Messiah.

"The accolades are the just icing on the cake, it's really the process that I'm in love with," she tells Rubenstein. "It's the leading up to the awards shows. It's being in the studio and creating this music and then hearing the reaction from the people during shows, and creating the arrangements for these live shows. Those are the moments that count for me."

HER
Credit: Leon Bennett/Getty

H.E.R. (real name: Gabriella Wilson) was excited to be a small part of Judas and the Black Messiah, which tells the story of Black Panther chairman Fred Hampton and the FBI raid that killed him at just 21 years old.

"When I got the call to be part of the movie, I was like of course I want to be part of this," she recalls. "I didn't really know the details of Fred Hampton's story until I watched the film. I couldn't believe that I didn't know a lot of the story and a lot of people don't know, it's not taught in schools. It's really sad."

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

H.E.R. says she related to Hampton, especially in how much change he was trying to make while still being so young.

"He was only 21 years old, so I was really inspired by his fight and by all the things he did. Not only for the Black community, but for so many different communities," she says. "It really chawed the narrative of the Panthers for me. Which is important because it's part of our blood, it's part of the freedoms we have now and the freedoms we don't have now."

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The 93rd Academy Awards are airing live on Sunday, April 25 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC.