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H.E.R. gives her new Fender signature Strat a stellar debut on Saturday Night Live

H.E.R. performs on Saturday Night Live
(Image credit: Saturday Night Live/YouTube)

It may have only returned this month, but Saturday Night Live’s 46th season is already delivering some serious six-string standouts.

Two weeks ago, Jack White paid homage to Eddie Van Halen with a bout of Wolfgang-enabled two-hand tapping, and now Fender’s latest signature signing, Grammy-winning R&B star H.E.R., has given her new Chrome Glow Stratocaster a fittingly stellar TV debut.

The singer-songwriter took to the SNL stage to perform new track Hold On, a smooth ballad in the vein of Prince and D’Angelo that's loaded with irresistible gained-up lead lines.

At 2:54, H.E.R. ups the ante – and the octave – with some sensational bends that elevate the track to a whole new level, besides demonstrating the dynamic performance of her signature model’s Vintage Noiseless pickups through her Kemper rig.

The H.E.R. Stratocaster launched last month, and turned heads with its Chrome Glow finish and anodized aluminum pickguard.

Fender H.E.R. Signature Stratocaster

(Image credit: Fender)

“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 an exclusive 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.”

H.E.R. and her band also used the set to support the current #EndSARS protests, which call for an end to police brutality from Nigeria’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.