Esperanza Spalding: Who the Heck is That?

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That question was likely asked more than a few times last night.

If you asked people to predict the 2011 Grammy Awards winners going in, jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding, 26, probably wouldn't have been on many lists.

Nevertheless, she took home the coveted Best New Artist Grammy, upsetting the likes of Drake, Florence and the Machine AND Justin Bieber to do so.

While people may spend the wake of Justin Bieber's surprising Best New Artist loss figuring out who Spalding is and where she came from, her talent is no mystery.

The AP writes the following:

"From the time Esperanza Spalding appeared in 2005, the dynamic singer, bassist, composer and arranger has been heralded as jazz's next big thing."

"Her impressive musicianship has won her White House recital dates, praise from the likes of Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock, and critical acclaim."

High praise indeed. Is it warranted? Lsten to one of her songs, "Little Fly," below and you might just become a fan of the relatively unknown musician ...

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Who is this? I think Justin Bieber should have won Best new artist Justin Bieber has worked hard for everything he has and he should have won it I was very dissapointed when he didnt win because he deserves it!!! plus no one nows who this chick is if people got to vote Justin Bieber would have won!!! but congrats to the girl that know one knows lol

Ginaa

I was one of those who was floored that JB or Drake didn't take the award! She seems to be a very humble woman! If I could have picked though, I would have liked for it to have gone to Drake. He really proved himself to be an all around talented singer/rapper/writer.

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I heard this young lady on the Soul Train Music Award when she along with others honored Prince, she was phenomenal!

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I have never heard of her before last night, but her acceptance speech was so beautiful & humble. I think she won because she is an individual & her music sounds fresh; unlike some of the other nominees in that category who are cookie cutter artists. I wish her much success in her musical future.

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This young lady is talented in a special and unique way, that warrants her win. Innate talent wins out, so great. I think Adam Lambert could have nabbed this category quite deservingly for similar reasons, but since that wasn't to be, I think this young woman's unique and stellar gifts being rewarded is just what the music-industry-doctor ordered! Just one person's pov.