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H.E.R Becomes First Black Woman With a Fender Signature Guitar

Fender announces the release of the H.E.R. Signature Stratocaster, making the She Shreds Issue 20 cover artist the first Black woman musician to be honored with a Fender Artist Signature model.

September 22, 2020
Written by
She Shreds

Today, Fender announced the release of the H.E.R. Signature Stratocaster, making the two-time Grammy Award-winning R&B singer-songwriter, guitarist and She Shreds Issue 20 cover artist the first Black woman musician to be honored with a Fender Artist Signature model. 

H.E.R. has a longstanding relationship with Fender, playing Stratocasters both in the studio and in iconic live performances at the 2019 Grammys and this year’s Big Game Pepsi commercial: “Fender was the reason I began playing guitar. My father taught me how to play my first blues scale on a mini black-and-white Strat®, so it’s absolutely surreal I have partnered with Fender to design my own Signature Stratocaster®. As an artist, I find that my most personal thoughts make the most relatable music. By designing a Stratocaster® with a color, shape and sound that is one-hundred-percent my own, my hope is that other young women and players from all backgrounds feel inspired to pick up this guitar, tap into their thoughts and create amazing music.”

Created with tone, playability and appearance in mind, H.E.R.’s Signature Stratocaster features an alder body in traditional tonewood, finished in a striking new iridescent color, Chrome Glow. Other features include Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups,  a “C” neck, and a custom neck plate engraved with H.E.R. artwork. 

“We are honored that H.E.R. has chosen to work with Fender on her debut artist signature model,” said Evan Jones, CMO, Fender. “She is an incredible, Grammy Award-winning artist whose future in the music industry is bright, and we are proud of the authentic relationship we have built with H.E.R. over these last several years. As we look to the future of guitar, we believe it’s our responsibility to support the increasing diversity and adoption of the instrument across all genres, and it’s also our belief that investing in more signature projects and collaborations with more Black, Latinx and female artists is an important next step toward expanding the cultural relevance of guitar and the Fender brand.”

H.E.R. puts camaraderie with other women musicians at the forefront of her career—which is why making history as the first Black woman musician with a signature Fender model is both long overdue and a future-facing image for other BIPOC musicians. “For Mexican American women, for Black American women, we need more representation, we need more of us,” says H.E.R. in a cover interview for She Shreds Issue 20. “[We need] people who look like us on the front lines really representing, and not just another pretty face. Somebody who really plays, is really intelligent, and really represents something. I think that’s what we need: more people who have something to say. And I think we’re definitely getting to that point.”

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