Who is Esperanza Spalding & the ‘Best New Artist Curse’

For those who watched the Grammys last night, the biggest question that emerged was ‘Who is Esperanza Spalding?’  Worse, all of the so-called Justin Bieber fans and outright cynics were all quick and ready to dismiss her win and or putting the ‘Best New Artist’ curse on her.

Y’all need to seriously chill.

Esperanza Spalding is first and foremost a straight up MUSICIAN.  She’s been grinding it out now for a minute, worked really hard, didn’t whore herself out and she got rewarded for it.  If President Obama personally picks you to perform – at the Noble Peace Prize Ceremonies no less – you got something going on.

As for the so-called ‘Best New Artist Curse’, since 1999, The Grammys have actually been more right than wrong:  Check out the winners of the award since 1999:

1999 – Lauryn Hill (over Backstreet Boys & Dixie Chicks) RIGHT

2000 – Christina Aguilera (beating out Britney Spears) RIGHT

2001 – Shelby Lynne (she was making records for several years) WRONG, but she’s an amazing single-songwriter!

2002 – Alicia Keys RIGHT

2003 – Norah Jones (beating out new Grammy fave John Mayer) RIGHT

2004 – Evanescence (upset winner over 50 Cent) WRONG

2005 – Maroon 5 (over Kayne West) RIGHT

2006 – John Legend RIGHT

2007 – Carrie Underwood RIGHT

2008 – Amy Winehouse (upset winner Taylor Swift) TBD – let’s see if she can get off the mat

2009 – Adele (upset winner over Lady Antebellum & hot group of the moment Jonas Bros) TBD – but the buzz on her new CD is pretty strong

2010 – Zac Brown Band  RIGHT – they’ve become country music mainstays

So Esperanza Spalding’s in pretty good company.  Instead of griping about it, you need to go to Itunes, Amazon or if you have one in your town – a record store – and pick up some of Esperanza Spalding’s work.   You might just get turned onto something really special.

Better to be late than not show up at all.


About earldouglas

Author of the book, 'Black Rock Volume 1', which is available now at Blurb.com and as an e-book on Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com. Executive Director of the Black Rock Coalition New York Chapter. Photographer, music fan, Yankee fan, supporter of the arts!
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2 Responses to Who is Esperanza Spalding & the ‘Best New Artist Curse’

  1. brad says:

    Shelby Lynne beat out Jill Scott… Can’t get more wrong than that.

    • earldouglas says:

      It was only a bad call because Shelby Lynne had been making records for years. But her album, ‘Identity Crisis’ is one of my favorite CD’s EVER.

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