H.E.R. Pays Tribute to Prince in Regal Oscars 2021 Red Carpet Look: 'Inspired by One of My Favorite Artists'
For her first trip down the red carpet, the Oscar-nominated singer-songwriter donned a royal purple outfit that was inspired by the legendary musician, who died five years ago last week. He wore a similar sparkling hooded outfit to the Oscars in 1985, the year he won Best Original Song Score for Purple Rain.
The singer, who won for best original song for "Fight for You" from Judas and the Black Messiah, wore a custom look by Dundas, comprised of a cobalt blue embellished hooded cape bordered in embellished lyrics from her song over a matching halter jumpsuit with cutout waist panels and the same lyric motif on cuffs and collar.
According to a spokesperson from the brand, designer Peter Dundas "wanted the jumpsuit to feel like armor. Words have such great power and it's impossible not to feel touched by the important and impactful message of strength and justice behind the song. especially given what is happening in the world right now."
She paired the jumpsuit with her signature round sunglasses, also in an appropriate Prince-inspired hue, matching Giuseppi Zanotti heels and jewelry by Chopard. H.E.R. finished off the iconic look with a mauve lip color and a smokey purple eyeshadow.
Ahead of the show, H.E.R. told PEOPLE's Oscars Pre-Show that she was excited to surprise viewers with her dazzling look.
"You've got to see it on the day of," she said. "But it's definitely inspired by an era, and also inspired by one of my favorite artists. So yeah, it's going to be, I think, iconic."
H.E.R. has previously paid tribute to the late icon with a memorable performance at the 2020 Grammys, which featured a dance solo by ballerina Misty Copeland.
The Grammy winner said that her style is "tomboy chic" and the glasses are a key part of the overall look.
"It's got to be big. It's got to be. But also chill," she told PEOPLE. "I like to be comfortable. That's my inspiration and a subtle flex. I like to be present, not necessarily to wow in the room, but present like, 'Oh, okay. All right.' The subtle flex. That's my style."
H.E.R., whose real name is Gabriella Wilson, was nominated for her first Academy Award Sunday night, eventually winning for Best Original Song for "Fight for You" from the Best Picture nominee Judas and the Black Messiah.
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Last month, she won her first Grammy Award, winning song of the year for "I Can't Breathe," which is a protest ballad inspired by the demonstrations against police brutality in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.
While accepting her award onstage with co-writer Tiara Thomas, H.E.R. said she's "never been so proud to be an artist" and was "so, so grateful" to be the winner.
"That's what this is about. That's why I write music, that's why I do this," she continued. "I thank God for the gift of a voice... and using me as a vessel to create change."
"We are the change we wish to see and that fight that we had in us in summer 2020, keep that same energy," she finished, referencing the protests that occurred after Floyd's death.
"I would write down these kind of silly poems and my mom collected them all and she got them published, so I was like a published poet when I was 7 or 8 years old," she told host Jimmy Fallon.
The "Hard Place" artist also shared that she performed at the Apollo Theater in New York City when she was only 9 years old.
"My mom submitted a tape to be on the kids' Showtime at the Apollo thing and my dad was like, 'Oh they're never gonna see that,'" she recalled.
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The singer recently performed at the Apollo Theater again, which she said was a "full circle moment."
"It was insane, I couldn't believe it," she added of the experience.
The 93rd Academy Awards are airing live on Sunday, April 25 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC.