QUICKIE: On Esperanza Spalding’s Grammy Win and the Reaction of Justin Bieber’s Fans

In 2009, I posted a blog topic titled ‘My Thoughts on the Grammys,’ in which I felt that the Grammys often nominated – and in some cases, awarded – artists and albums based on commercial success more than artistic success. However, there have often been times when awards shows like the Grammys do honor talent instead of just popularity, and sometimes give prizes to people that aren’t as well-known as those who are, and last night wasn’t an exception.

One Grammy winner has stood out to some people who aren’t Justin Bieber fans, and that is the jazz performer and instrumentalist Esperanza Spalding – a native of Portland, Oregon. She unexpectedly won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist over more well-known artists like Justin Bieber and Drake. But Bieber’s fans didn’t take his loss seriously. Instead, they flooded Spalding’s Wikipedia entry – to say nothing of flooding Twitter – with obscene death threats to her. One has said on Wikipedia: “Justin Bieber deserved it. Go die in a hole. Who the heck are you, anyway?” (NOTE:  Spalding’s Wikipedia entry has none of those “death threats” now, but if you’d found such entries anywhere on the Internet within the first few hours after her Grammy win, your mouth would’ve dropped open in shock like mine did.)

Spalding was the first jazz artist ever to be awarded a Grammy for Best New Artist, which is an historic achievement in my opinion. She played for President Barack Obama (who cites her as one of his favorite artists) and has drawn on a whole variety of musical styles in her work. Bieber plays guitar and piano, but he’s a teen R&B singer with a much bigger following than Spalding.

However, I, non-Bieber fans, and true music fans know that telling an award-winning artist to go drop dead, or calling them names, just because they’re not Justin Bieber or Jennifer Lopez or any teenybopper-like music-maker is tantamount to calling the cast and the crew of a movie that wins an Oscar, instead of a movie you prefer, idiots or [expletives]. It’s insane.

The Grammys, for all their focus on X, Y, and Z popular artists, felt that someone like Spalding deserved the award for the simple fact that she was a better new artist than Bieber.

I’m not a fan of artists like J. Lo, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, the Backstreet Boys, N Sync, Lady Gaga, past Grammy winners like Christina Aguilera (whose Bionic album was snubbed, although she performed) and Shakira, or artists in their vein (no offense to their fans, though), but I wouldn’t go around wishing death threats on those musicians just because they won a Grammy – or, in J. Lo, BSB, and Bieber’s cases, at least received a nomination for one – over other artists.

Oh, and congratulations to all the winners.

From MSNBC: Bieber Fans Go on Grammy-Fueled Wikipedia Rampage


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