Watch H.E.R. Sing Prince’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ at the Emmys
As you can see in the video below, she began on piano, while pictures of those who worked in television who passed away during the previous year - including Regis Philbin, Chadwick Boseman and Naya Rivera - were projected behind her. H.E.R. then stood up on the line, "I could put my arms around every one I see" and, after the second chorus, she repositioned the guitar that had been on her back and unleashed a solo before breaking it down for the coda.
It's the second time in recent memory that H.E.R. has honored Prince on television. This past April, she participated in Let's Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince, kicking off that evening by performing "Let's Go Crazy" with Gary Clark Jr., before later returning to sing "The Beautiful Ones."
Born Gabriella Wilson, H.E.R. told WWD in 2018 that Prince is her favorite artist and partially credits her proficiency on five instruments to him. She was exposed to him by her musician father, who frequently listened to "Purple Rain" and often had a Prince DVD playing as he made breakfast.
Prince originally wrote "Nothing Compares 2 U" for the Family for their only album. Although the record didn't sell well, the song picked up a new life in 1990 when Sinead O'Connor released it on her album I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got. The Irish singer's rendition became a worldwide hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart. A few years later, Prince released a live take of the song in which he duetted with New Power Generation singer Rosie Gaines, on The Hits 1.