Esperanza Spalding became an overnight sensation when she beat out Justin Bieber for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards, and quickly faced the wrath of his Beliebers. The jazz musician appeared on Monday’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” where she discussed how she jetted to Japan after winning the award, and only recently learned about the attacks on her Wikipedia page.
“People kept telling me, ‘Have you heard about this on Wikipedia?’ and at first I was like, ‘Who cares? It’s Wikipedia. Don’t you take it with a grain of salt?’” said the afro-sporting singer. “I guess they changed my name and did all sorts of crazy things. I heard today that my middle name is actually Quesadilla. And I thought, if that’s the worst they could come up with, then it’s all good. Take it in stride.”
She also recalled meeting the teen sensation after the show, and that his kind words touched her heart. “He was very sweet. I was complimenting him and saying, ‘You’re so talented, you have so many years to do so many amazing things. Your mom must be so proud.’ And then he laid this one on me, which was surprising. He said, ‘My mom is proud of me anyway, because she loves me,’” she continued. “I thought it was sincere and I was impressed.”
Spalding, who released her third album Chamber Music Society last year, spoke on playing at the White House four times. While some artists might get nervous meeting President Obama, she was too enamored by musicians in the front row to let her nerves get the best of her.
“He’s very kind and was very gracious,” she explained. “[I] shook his hand, said hello, tried not to get all googly. Just very gracious. And also, the first time I played for them, Paul Simon was there and Herbie Hancock was there and Stevie Wonder was there. So I sort of was preoccupied with the front row lineup and didn’t have time to be nervous with him or anything.”
Watch the rest of the Grammy winner’s interview and performance of “Really Very Small” below.
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