There were surely plenty of jaws dropping and Biebophiles going insane last night as the GRAMMY award for Best New Artist went to the thoroughly unfamiliar [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Esperanza Spalding[/lastfm]. Spalding nabbed the award in a category that also included [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Justin Bieber[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Mumford and Sons[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Florence + The Machine[/lastfm], and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Drake[/lastfm].
But the question everyone wants to know is, who IS Esperanza Spalding and how did she walk away with this award?
[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Esperanza Spalding[/lastfm] is a jazz bassist and singer who was probably just as shocked as everyone else by her win. The prestigious Best New Artist GRAMMY typically goes to an up and coming artist who has actually seen substantial record sales. MTV captured Bieber’s reaction to losing to Spalding.
But enough about Bieber, let’s get back to Spalding. 2010 saw the release of her CD Chamber Music Society, which featured her upright bass playing as well as vocals. Take a look at her song “Little Fly” from that CD.
A Portland, Oregon native, Spalding is a 2005 graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston. Chamber Music Society is the 26-year-old’s third recording. A new GRAMMY rule allows that a nominee for the category of Best New Artist may have up to three recordings released and still maintain eligibility for the award.
In 2009, Spalding performed at the White House tribute to [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Stevie Wonder[/lastfm].
So, are we going to be hearing Esperanza Spalding on the radio anytime soon? That’s highly doubtful, but it’s great to see a different genre of music get a shot at one of GRAMMY night’s biggest awards!