Video: Esperanza Spalding Talks Grammy Win, Backlash from Bieber Fans

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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26 Comments

  1. OnlyLove

    lol at the crazy ass bieber stans… i mean really! she plays for the president and is a true artist! she dont play for fat little gurls in heat! Grammys are for true artist. good job brushin them haters off. no matter what they say u still got the Grammy and he didn’t!

    [Reply]

  2. Dough

    But aren’t the grammys suppose to be based on sales and charts? Yeah she plays for the president; but who do you hear more of and who’s on top of the charts, SELLING ALBUMS with a large fan base?

    [Reply]

    Beacon Reply:

    @Dough,

    “If you go platinum it’s got nothin’ to do with luck/it just means that a million people are stupid as f*ck.” -Immortal Technique, “Industrial Revolution”

    [Reply]

    ヅ•·.·´¯`·.·•-ΛalexisR-ΑΛΕΞΙΣ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬ ★ ☆ ✰ T.I.P.•·.·´¯`·.·ヅ Reply:

    @Dough,

    See that’s the problem with you and the rest of the people who don’t know what they are talking about. The Grammy’s can be influenced by sales, yes, however they are supposed to be about the artistry. It is the respect of your peers and those who work in the industry who vote on the best pieces of work. It has nothing to do with sales. If that were the case then there would be no need for nominations.

    Sade, Alicia Keys and Whitney were all snubbed but they had amazing sales. It is about the best in each category which is why those should have been considered based on reviews alone. They also had strong sales but were not included.

    Here’s a clip of information for you about the Grammy’s that should answer your question.

    “In both voting rounds, Academy members are to vote based upon quality alone. They are not supposed to be influenced by sales, chart performance, personal friendships, regional preferences or company loyalty.” Academy members are a part of the NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences)

    [Reply]

    StarsRblind Reply:

    @Dough, the Grammys is definintly not based off of charts. It the oscars for music. They award songwriters and everything. Don’t you think Ke$ha would have been there if that’s the case?

    [Reply]

    WhoisGSX.com Reply:

    @Dough, the grammies are not about sales and charts, its actually a pannel of judges that take many elements into account especially musicality

    [Reply]

  3. Brandon

    I love what she said about Prince in the first video. She’s great! Her voice sounds kind of like J. Lo’s.

    [Reply]

  4. listen

    Justin Bieber was not the only nominee!! The GRAMMYs are supposed to award artistic excellence and those with integrity — not popularity. I don’t believe Esperanza should have been nominated since technically she’s not a “new artist” but the Grammys have proven to be a joke anyway.

    [Reply]

    ヅ•·.·´¯`·.·•-ΛalexisR-ΑΛΕΞΙΣ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬ ★ ☆ ✰ T.I.P.•·.·´¯`·.·ヅ Reply:

    @listen,

    That is true, it is a joke but I won’t complain. If they can change the rules for Gaga they can do so for Esperanza too. People didn’t make as big a deal of the rule change for Gaga but because Bieber stans went crazy, we’re still talking about this.

    She was deserving of a Grammy period lol.

    [Reply]

  5. StarsRblind

    If it wasn’t her it would have been Drake, not Justin. New Artist means new to the awards, not as soon as they start making music. Justin was out the year before last and Drake was nominated for So Far Gone, it’s because they had their first album nominated they got put in that category.

    [Reply]

  6. xedos

    I don’t understand how she’s a new artist when this is her 3rd album ,not because the first 2 was not commercially successful. Pop music run the industry ,but does not get the respect.

    [Reply]

  7. chris shorts

    the grammys honors real musicians, im not saying everyone their isnt a real musician but its not the mtv or bet awards. an the judging is done totally different i believe the peers are the ones who judge not charts or popularity. so it is a quality war not quantity.

    [Reply]

  8. Phoenix_Wright

    she seems so nice =) i like her

    [Reply]

  9. jb

    A great friendship with Prince that much be nice….

    [Reply]

  10. Brionna

    who’s to say that her artistry is better than his just because she in a diff. more prestigious genre

    [Reply]

  11. roro

    wow… quesadilla? shows how mature bieber stans are.

    [Reply]

  12. From Tokyo

    I love her hair!!! I wish I had known she was over here. :o(

    [Reply]

  13. fizzle

    lol i find this funny cuz i can see some of the little young white girls calling her Quesadilla and pouting. If the youngins put out the videos on youtube i will die. lol

    She won because she is what the Grammys wants their winners to embody with all the success and accomplishments she had made in the few yrs of her career and at such a young age. Its’s something about the rules that still qualify her for best new artist and all that.

    [Reply]

  14. asunkee

    They say Justin Beiber plays like 4 instruments. Well, maybe, if he had play some of those instruments in his songs he’d get more respect from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (GRAMMY’s).

    [Reply]

  15. Richard J

    thank you,a million stupid people,who have not a clue of real music.and the sad thing is the networks, radio stations continue to play these artist at an alarming rate,which is killing the music business let alone young peoples minds.

    [Reply]

  16. Richard J

    ESPERANZA CAN SAVE THE MUSIC!!

    [Reply]

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