Gabriella Wilson, also known as the R&B singer H.E.R., had to build her confidence quickly.
Signed to RCA Records at just 14 years old, Wilson has since won two Grammys. On Saturday, Wilson performed at the Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park to an audience of about 60,000.
The Global Citizen Festival is an annual effort to fight extreme poverty around the world. Fellow headliners included Pharrell, One Republic, Carole King, Alicia Keys and more.
“The fact that I’m only 22 years old and I’m on this stage, the difference that this is making, the fact that I had this voice and I’m part of this change — I’m excited about it,” Wilson told Know Your Value at the festival.
Wilson skyrocketed to fame after receiving public praise from Usher, Rihanna, Wyclef Jean and more singing superstars. Initially, she hid her identity in order to keep the focus on her music. But she revealed her identity last year along with her award-winning album “I Used To Know H.E.R.”
“I may be a little scared and nervous at first, but at the end of the day I have to be the best version of myself,” said Wilson. “I can be my biggest critic.”
Wilson transformed from anonymous talent into superstar, with legions of young fans across the globe looking up to her.
“Confidence is a struggle for us women, especially in this day in age of social media,” said Wilson. “I just think of how far I’ve come, how much I’ve set trends, and how much people have found confidence because of admiring me.”
However, Wilson doesn’t advise her fans to try and be like her, or anyone.
“Nobody got anywhere trying to be someone else,” she said. “It’s important to learn from influences and learn from peoples’ mistakes.”