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Grammy, Oscar winner Tiara Thomas to return to Ball State for lecture series

Tiara Thomas is an Indianapolis native and Ball State graduate who won a Grammy and an Academy Award this year for songs she co-wrote with H.E.R.
Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Tiara Thomas poses in the press room with the song of the year award for "I Can't Breath" at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, March 14, 2021. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

MUNCIE, Ind. — Grammy and Oscar award-winning singer-songwriter Tiara Thomas will be returning to her alma mater as Ball State University's next guest in its David Letterman Distinguished Professional Lecture and Workshop Series. 

The Indianapolis native follows in the footsteps of other accomplished guests including Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts and newscaster Ted Koppel. 

Thomas first vaulted into national prominence in 2013, when she co-wrote, co-produced, and appeared on Wale’s hit single “Bad.” She later won a Grammy award for co-writing the 2020 Song of the Year, “I Can’t Breathe,” with singer-songwriter H.E.R. A month later the duo was back in the spotlight after another song they collaborated on, "Fight for You," won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. 

Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
H.E.R., left, and Tiara Thomas accept the award for song of the year for "I Can't Breathe"at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, March 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Thomas studied telecommunications at Ball State. She'll return to the university on Sept. 20 to work with students to workshop, record, and document original songs. 

Then at 7 p.m., “A Conversation with Tiara Thomas” will be held at Sursa Performance Hall on Ball State's campus. The lecture will be livestreamed at bsu.edu/live

Ball State students, faculty, and staff can get free tickets at the College of Fine Arts box office in Sursa Hall. Tickets will be available to the general public starting Wednesday, Sept. 15, in person and by calling 765-285-8749.

The university said masks will be required for all attendees, regardless of vaccination status.


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