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H.E.R. Leads Bay Area Grammy Nominations With 8 Nods

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A Black woman wearing an oversized plaid shirt and sunglasses passionately plays an electric guitar on stage.
H.E.R. performs live at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, Nov. 2021. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

The nominees for the 64th annual Grammy Awards were announced today, and while jazz musician John Batiste leads with 11 nominations, Vallejo-raised artist H.E.R. is not far behind, with an impressive eight nominations under her belt. (More than both Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo!)

The singer-songwriter is up for Album of the Year and Best R&B album for Back of My Mind; Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song for “Damage”; Song of the Year, Best Traditional R&B Performance and Best Song Written for Visual Media for “Fight For You”; and Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for “Hold Us Together (Hope Mix).”

The only other Bay Area artist in a contemporary category is Saweetie, who’s nominated for Best New Artist. She’s also up for Best Rap Song for “Best Friend,” her track featuring Doja Cat.


Bay Area classical music fared a little better, fortunately. San Francisco Symphony Music Director Laureate Michael Tilson Thomas is included in a Best Classical Compendium nomination for his work on American Originals—A New World, A New Canon.

San Francisco-based composer Jake Heggie received a Best Classical Solo Vocal Album nod for his work on Jamie Barton’s “Unexpected Shadows” record.

San Francisco Symphony collaborative partner Nico Muhly received a Best Orchestral Performance nomination for “Muhly: Throughline.” And in the same category, Berkeley composer John Adams wrote two of the pieces that resulted in a nomination for Nashville Symphony Orchestra conductor Giancarlo Guerrero.

And… uh. That’s it!

How much you care about any of this is probably contingent on how enraged you are by the many prior sins of the Recording Academy. Most notably, side-lining Black artists into smaller categories, which leads to shocking snubs. Like that time in 2017 when Beyoncé didn’t win Album of the Year for Lemonade. (Some of us have never recovered.)

Still, it’s nice to have someone local to root for. Go get ’em, H.E.R.!

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