Last year, Fender CEO Andy Mooney proclaimed that the company would be launching more signature models for female artists in 2020 than in its entire history - and now R&B singer-songwriter H.E.R. has become the first Black female artist to have a signature Fender model, with the launch of the H.E.R. Stratocaster.
H.E.R.’s take on the iconic double-cut is one of the most visually distinctive Strats we’ve seen in some time, thanks to a Chrome Glow-finished alder body and matching headstock, inspired by the Grammy winner’s favorite nail polish color.
That’s complemented by a one-ply anodized aluminum pickguard, while a trio of Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups tap into H.E.R.’s penchant for ultra-clean R&B tones.
Other features include a 9.5” radius, one-piece maple neck with a mid-’60s ‘C’ profile, as well as a vintage-style Synchronized tremolo and custom neckplate engraved with H.E.R. artwork.
According to Fender, the model has been in the works for some time, going right back to its first collaboration on H.E.R.'s head-turning clear acrylic Strat made for the 2019 Grammy performance, and the all-black Strat for the 2020 Pepsi Big Game commercial (later used in a live collaboration with A Boogie Wit da Hoodie on The Tonight Show).
“The coolest thing about it all is being the first black woman to have her own signature guitar with Fender,” H.E.R. told GW in a new in-depth interview to celebrate the launch.
“I think it will inspire a lot of young black girls - and actually a lot of young girls in general - to pick up the guitar, which is something we don’t see enough of.”
To coincide with the launch, Fender will also be adding a host of H.E.R. songs to its Fender Play learning platform.