H.E.R. sparkles on debut ACL episode

Austin City Limits spotlights R&B sensation H.E.R. in a powerhouse debut. The 2019 double Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and guitarist dazzles in a new hour. 

A rare talent, 22-year-old H.E.R. delivers a stunning performance in her ACL debut. Opening with the acoustic guitar-driven “Carried Away,” H.E.R. calls out “Austin — you want to lose your mind a little bit?” She commands the hour running through a medley of her hits while showcasing her musician skills, seamlessly switching between keyboards, drum pads, bass, acoustic and electric guitars throughout. With a remarkable demonstration of range, she folds her Grammy Award-winning double-platinum hit “Best Part” from her 2017 breakout debut H.E.R. between covers of Deniece Williams’ “Free” and Lauryn Hill’s “Nothing Really Matters”. She brings a rock ‘n’ roll bravado to her love crisis banger “Hard Place” enlisting the enthralled crowd to raise their voices “a little louder” for the soaring anthem. H.E.R. earns an extended standing ovation for her showstopping rendition of “Make It Rain”, adding her own stamp with a bluesy guitar solo and soulful vocals. She showcases her platinum smash “Focus” and gives nods to her inspirations along the way, leading the crowd in a full-throated singalong of Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor”, and closing with a fiery guitar solo coda of Prince’s “Purple Rain” in a performance for the ages. 

“H.E.R. is a modern Renaissance Woman whose musical skills know no bounds,” said ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “It’s inspiring and jaw-dropping to watch her morph and meld one style or genre on top of another. Her Grammy performance was a stand-out and her ACL performance really gives her the room to stretch out.”

photo by Scott Newton

Tune in this weekend for this episode, and, as always, check your local PBS listings for the broadcast time in your area. Go to the episode page for more info, and don’t forget to click over to our Facebook, Twitter and newsletter pages for more ACL info. Join us next week for another brand new episode, featuring veteran singer/songwriter Patty Griffin and New Orleans rockers The Revivalists.