Last night (December 15), ABC broadcast Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration, a live-action performance of the ever-popular Disney musical starring Josh Groban as the Beast, and H.E.R. as Belle.
This, however, was no ordinary Beauty and the Beast performance.
Never one to miss an opportunity to display her shred prowess, H.E.R. (the stage name of Gabriella Wilson) capped a performance of the show's title track with a wailing electric guitar solo, which she played using an absolute stunner of a Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster.
You can see the performance below (the solo begins right around the two-minute mark).
The Strat in question was a one-off build, envisioned by H.E.R., and brought fully to life by Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Scott Buehl.
It sports a 1956-style clear acrylic Strat body with a translucent "stained glass" decal design, and a C-shape, 9.5” radius quartersawn maple neck with a satin finish and jumbo frets.
The custom beauty is powered by a trio of Vintage Noiseless Strat single-coil pickups, anchored by the standard Strat control set of two tone knobs, a volume knob, and a five-way blade pickup switch.
You can see it up-close in some jaw-loosening photos – kindly provided by the Fender Custom Shop – below.
“Our first acrylic guitar collaboration with H.E.R. dates back to the 2019 Grammys and we’re thrilled to continue the relationship with such a remarkable artist,” Buehl said in a statement.
“The design of the guitar took inspiration from the famous enchanted rose seen in Disney’s original animated film. H.E.R. lent her brilliant creative vision and we worked intimately to create a one-of-a-kind instrument perfect for this special performance.”
Of course, it's not the first time H.E.R. has taken to a big stage with an eye-catching Fender. After it was first unveiled in September 2020, the singer/songwriter used her Chrome Glow-finished signature Stratocaster on Saturday Night Live and, subsequently, the biggest stage in America, the Super Bowl.
“I love the Strat especially for bending," she told Guitar World in 2020. "I love to bend. I love to make a guitar sing and sometimes play along with the melodies that I sing. You can really find your own sound in the guitar. There's not one way to play it. There's not one thing. It’s not much of a structured instrument. It’s very free. You can make it sing, you know.
“When I play it, it’s a part of who I am. It’s an extension of me when I play it, and it’s my favorite way to express myself. So, I hope people can pick it up and find a new outlet, find a new way to express themselves and their feelings.”