Bieber — Robbed?! The biggest gasp at this year’s 53rd Annual Grammy Awards isn’t credited to Lady Gaga’s egg costume or even Christina Aguilera’s pitchy tribute to Aretha Franklin.
That title goes to Esperanza Spalding.
The jazz singer and bassist, who only had one nod coming into the show, was the surprise Best New Artist winner at Sunday night’s ceremony, beating out top acts like Justin Bieber and Drake.
Even chatty hip-hopster Kanye West seemed at a loss for words: “Damn… I can’t find the words to explain how I feel about the best new artist award… Don’t wanna say the wrong thing,” he wrote shortly after the weekend ceremony.
Justin himself was a bit more diplomatic while answering questions backstage after the show: “I’m happy for her. I had a great night! I got to perform with my mentor,” he replied.
Other nominees in the category included Britain’s Florence & the Machine and the UK-based bluegrass band Mumford & Sons.
Spalding released her third CD, Chamber Music Society, last summer. To date, the disc has sold just 30,000 copies.
She is the first jazz artist to win in the Best New Artist category.