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H.E.R Is First Black Female Artist To Launch Fender Signature Guitar

Fender has released the new H.E.R. Signature Stratocaster in collaboration with the multiple Grammy-Award-winning R&B singer-songwriter, making her the first black female artist to launch a Fender artist Signature guitar.

H.E.R has long played Fender guitars to attain her signature sound on projects, such as her self titled debut album H.E.R., which was certified RIAA Platinum this year.

A project more than a year in the making, the all-new H.E.R. Signature Stratocaster has been designed to the artist’s specifications with a distinctive look and tone; it features Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups, a 1-ply anodised aluminum pickguard and an alder body finished in a Chrome Glow – inspired by the singer-songwriter’s favourite nail polish colour.

Fender was the reason I began playing guitar. H.E.R

To coincide with H.E.R’s signature guitar launch, some of her biggest hit songs will be added to Fender Play, the complete online learning app for guitar, bass and ukulele. When those songs are added to Fender Play later this year, fans around the world will be able to play their very own H.E.R. Stratocaster while learning her songs.

“Fender was the reason I began playing guitar,” said H.E.R. “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 colour, 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.”

“This is the culmination of a years-long relationship between Fender and H.E.R., and a testament to everything she has done to inspire a new generation of players,” adds Justin Norvell, EVP Fender products.

“This guitar was in the works alongside the custom clear acrylic Strat we made for H.E.R.’s 2019 Grammy performance and the all-black Strat for her 2020 Pepsi Big Game commercial. This is a guitar that’s just as eye-catching as those iconic pieces and finally accessible to everyone.

"Players that are drawn in by the unique look of the guitar are going to be rewarded with a neck, pickups and bridge that have stood the test of time and are up to H.E.R.’s high standards for recording and touring.”

This is the latest installment of a longstanding partnership between H.E.R. and Fender. Stratocaster guitars have been a part of several breakout moments for the artist, including a performance of Hard Place at the 2019 Grammy Awards with a clear acrylic Stratocaster and then a custom black Stratocaster in a Big Game Pepsi commercial in 2020 with Missy Elliot.

This new Signature Strat is designed to enable the next generation of guitar players to access her trademark look and soulful sound.

“We are honoured 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.”

“It’s important for young aspiring players to see themselves in the heroes they look up to, and we know who we amplify with our brand can help make that impact,” he added.

The H.E.R. Signature Stratocaster features an alder body with a traditional tonewood finished in a new iridescent colour. The 9.5in radius, one-piece maple neck allows for classic Fender tone. The model is also cut in a mid-‘60s ‘C’ neck maple shape similar to Stratocaster of that decade.

Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups project a clear and articulate tone with no 60-cycle hum and a six-screw, while the vintage-style Fender Synchronised Bridge provides smooth vibrato. A custom neck plate engraved with H.E.R. artwork rounds out the personalised touches.

H.E.R. discusses her playing style, technique and her new signature guitar in an episode of Fender’s serialised social video series, Fender Sessions.