Esperanza Spalding became talk of the town soon after she won Best New Artist at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards on February 13. The jazz singer beat Drake, Florence and the Machine, Justin Bieber and Mumford & Sons.
"I know I don't have a lot of time, so first, thank you to the Academy for even nominating me in this category," she said. "I take this honor to heart so sincerely, and I'll do my damndest to make a whole lot of great music for all of you. It's such a blessing and an honor. God bless. Thank you."
By winning the award, Spalding has upset Bieber's devotees - they posted nasty messages on her Wikipedia.com profile. But she refused to let the rude comments stop her from reveling in the limelight. "It's all good. People are always going to say something. You don't do music to have people write nice things on your Facebook page," she said.
Of beating the Canadian singer, she said, "When this is all over, we're all colleagues again, just like we were before. He sold more records than me. We're doing our thing in our respective fields. He's unquestionably a talented man. What can I say? I didn't beat him. I'm taking that thing home. He has great hair, and I have great hair."
Spalding might have just won the Best New Artist this year, but she actually has been around for a while. She dropped her first album in 2006, and spent more than 70 weeks on Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart with her 2008 self-titled record. She was additionally the most successful internationally-selling debut that year.
She learned how to play the violin at the age of four and joined the Chamber Music Society of Oregon at age five. She settled on playing double bass at 16, and became the youngest-ever faculty member at the prestigious Berklee College of Music when she was just 20 years old.