Who Is Esperanza Spalding?

Twenty-four year old Jazz singer Esperanza Spalding shocked the Grammy watching audience earlier this evening by beating out big names like Florence and the Machine, Justin Bieber and Drake for this year’s “Best New Artist” award. Donning a lime green halter dress and her own natural fro, Esperanza, a native of Portland, graciously accepted her award and thanked the academy for nominating her.

The smiling award-winner stated that she had every intention of using this opportunity to continue making music that she felt her friends, fans and family would be proud of. “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,” she gushed. “It’s such a blessing and an honor. God bless. Thank you.”

While most thought the Best New Artist would be landing in the hands of Drake, Bieber or Florence, Spalding came out from behind thanks to a strong following in the jazz community. In 2010 she released several albums including Reencontro and Chamber Music Society, and she also joined Prince for select dates on his Welcome 2 America Tour.

To see exactly what Esperanza does, check her out below performing on the Early Show’s 2nd Cup Cafe.


  1. I’m glad Biber and Drake didn’t win. Rappers don’t last and neither do cornball teen idols.

  2. I was shocked when she won over Bieber.The whole world is in Bieber Mania. I have her albums and I’m happy she won.

  3. good for her!! I too was surprised that Beiber didn’t get it, but I think they are trying to send a message that they prefer less pop artistes

  4. Yeah, I’m glad they gave it to a musician not a gimmick. Perhaps some of the black blogs could give light to artists like this more often instead of Kim Kardashians “new single” or which rapper or athelete Amber rose is going down on. Just a thought.

  5. @Shayne couldn’t agree with you more. These blogs really have a chance to show case all black artisist but they have taken the same road as the corporate owned radio stations and show case the same crapt over and over. However I do give this blog and another one credit because they are beginning to break out of the mainstream coma hynotis mode.

  6. FYI Bieber Plays a lot of instrument. I don’t know why ppl hate on pop artist.What would the music business be without pop artist.Its artist like Bieber who makes money for the record labels so they can sign artist like Esperanza. Labels could not survive with music like Espranza’s. when Bieber sells lots of music the labels have a little extra left over to give artist like Espranza a chance to a contract. Everyone makes money off these pop artist yet they hate on them. The magazines, blogs, newspapaper, TV, Fashion, movies and madison ave. They employ a lot of ppl in those sectors of the economy. How many ppl Ezpranza employs compare to how many ppl beyonce, Bieber and Rihanna employ or get jobs because of spin off.? Pop artist are an industry Espranza is a very good artist but that doesn’t mean pop artist should be over look because they ‘re pop artist.

  7. Had brownsista had post a story about Espranza six months ago i doubt it would 20 replies. PPl just love to jump on banwagon.

  8. I agree with XEDOS, to a certain extent. Bieber is MULTI-TALENTED. He’s just a POP-STAR and a TEEN HEARTTHROB so of course the world went *gasp* when he didn’t win.

    At least he was worthy of a nomination. Not many artists will ever get that far.

    Justin will do well.

    Drake will continue doing Drake.

    The other ‘newbies’ will continue doing their thing.

    AND ESPERANZA with her extremely talented self WILL CONTINUE PRODUCING GREAT MUSIC!

    I was excited for her. I’ve known of her for a couple years now. I’m just happy that the world will know of her from this point on.

  9. The category is best new artisist not most popular. As as we can see in this era of music the most popular is not always the best.

  10. This was definatly a shock up against Beiber and Drake however congratulations!

    @ Bee I so agree with you last statement. A lot of people misconstrue the most popular as the best.

  11. Thank GOd!! somthing new and refresshing.. Beiber and Drake. This is important talent….Finally I agree with the GRammy committe. Great Choice.

  12. Esperanza had me at “If That’s True”
    She makes real music so i was not surprised when Folks was wondering who she was, if you’re into rihanna beyonce or nikki minaj, You can’t have a clue about who she is, or even begin to appreciate what she does.Congrats Pera 😉

  13. I was so happy and shocked she won…but, I think the grammys had a driving message and purpose throughout the night and that was to remind people of the diversity of good music that’s still available today! From the theatrics of Gaga to Usher and Justin B. to the all-star VOCALISTS Aretha Franklin Tribute to other unlikely wins, there were more than the usual suspects!

    How often do we hear a song or a singer and think, wow, that’s a beautiful song or he or she has a beautiful voice???

    Like Luther Vandross, Maxwell (Urban Hang Suite) Anita Baker, Whitney, Janet or Sade? Music is sooooo production driven today and artists are manufactured instead of grown.

    I have one cd by Esperanza after seeing her at the Whitehouse performing on PBS…I instantly loved her vocals and groove. Justin is good at what he does too, but the grammys is also in the business of music promotion and are married to the record labels. While a hand few like Justin have mega sales, it’s not enough to sustain a dwindling industry. With all the industry layoffs and cuts and declining record sales, the industry must help to change the listening taste, which is to change today’s popular culture. Hip hop took two decades and completely changed the industry for the best and worst! It takes a generation to change the popular culture.

    We have become so engulfed in “record sells” and popularity of today’s artists that it was refreshing to see someone very talented, off the grid, but quite deserving win…a “music major” in the vein of Roberta Flack or Donny Hathaway…a singer, musician and songwriter who has worked very hard and at 24 has a bio that reads that of a champion based on our individual value system!

    Pop music is not less than, but look at popular music today…Artists today only need two big singles and a career is crafted (based on popularity, looks and fan frenzy) and superstardom a reality…Whitney Houston, Lionel Ritchie, Janet and Michael Jackson, Sade were some of the biggest pop stars of all times, compare their music catalogues to today’s artists and you can clearly see it’s more about personalities, marketing machines, product endorsements, touring revenues and being “popular”…just like cheerleaders, athletes, pretty girls, talent show headliners, class clowns and cliques in high school…why Bieber fans (ones 18 and older reacted unfavorably), why people latch onto celebrities, we’re often stuck in adolescence and live our lives through others’ wins and losses!

    We think only the ones with the biggest marketing machine/sales and promotion and not necessarily the most talented should reap all the benefits!

  14. im so happy she received this grammy! because i didnt know her before that!

  15. We have become so engulfed in “record sells” <—THIS!

    Love your response Cynthinia. I mean, why do fans CARE how much their favorite artist sales? But they do. And they will use sales figures to back up how talented and how much-better-than their favorite artists are better than yours, mine, ours. It's so crazy! Those figures should only be important to the artists and their camps, record companies, etc.

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