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H.E.R. remembers how Prince inspired her career

H.E.R. is adding another accolade to her impressive list of honors, as it was announced Wednesday that she’ll receive the American Express Impact Award at the Billboard Women in Music Awards on March 2. The Oscar and Grammy winner is being recognized as “an artist who uses their musical platform to create positive change while advocating on behalf of women in and beyond the music industry.”

The 24-year-old artist has a chance to further add to her trophy room at this year’s Grammy Awards, where she’s nominated for eight honors, including Album of the Year for Back of My Mind, and Song of the Year for “Fight for You.”

Fans and critics have raved not only about her vocals, but her guitar playing, and she recalls two guitar wizards who inspired her growing up in Vallejo, California.

“I remember sitting in the house and my dad making breakfast and playing Lenny Kravitz and Prince‘s performance at Paisley Park and at that moment, I wanted to be a rock star,” H.E.R. told E! News, adding, “Watching Alicia Keys and all these musicians made me more confident in being a musician.”

Seeing female musicians like Keys motivated H.E.R. to create an online “Girls with Guitars” series to spotlight talented female artists.

“We’re kind of the underdogs,” she said. “People have underestimated me most of my life. When I come in the room and I’m carrying a guitar, people are like, ‘What is she going to do with that?’ And then it’s like, ‘Oh! Okay, I get it now.’”

In January, Wilson expanded her brand to cosmetics as she became L’Oreal’s new Paris spokesperson. She is also diversifying her career with her first major film role, in the new version of The Colored Purple, also starring Taraji P. Henson and Fantasia.

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