Esperanza Spalding Calls Best New Artist Grammy Win ‘Unexpected’

'I really didn't think it was going to be me,' jazz singer/bassist tells MTV News of topping Justin Bieber and Drake for coveted award.

Who would’ve thought that a young jazz bassist would come in and steal the Best New Artist Grammy out from under the likes of Justin Bieber, Florence and the Machine and Drake? Not too many people, that’s for sure. In fact, gambling mavens Ladbrokes and Bodog placed the odds of Esperanza Spalding winning the award at an unlikely 20-to-1 .

Check out photos of Esperanza Spalding’s big win and more!

But she did it, and she is the first jazz artist ever to do so.

“I really didn’t think it was going to be me,” a delighted Spalding told MTV News after her win. “I was one of those [surprised] people. … It was so unexpected, that’s the truth. I’m grateful to all my people in my big musical family that have given me so much support and help over the years,” Spalding gushed. “I don’t really think this is for me; it’s for all of us. And I wish they could all be here to put one finger on this with me.”

Since we’re still reeling over the fact that Spalding overcame the tsunami of popularity currently surrounding her fellow nominees, it’s time to take a closer look at this mega underdog-turned-big winner.

The 26-year-old Portland, Oregon, native discovered music at an early age, teaching herself to play the violin at age 5 and playing with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon. She dabbled in the guitar, the oboe and cello before settling on the bass in high school. After putting in time in at both Portland State University and the prestigious Berklee College of Music on scholarships, she broke onto the jazz scene in a big way with her album Chamber Music Society. Though Spalding was primarily known in jazz circles, her Best New Artist Grammy will surely put her on the proverbial music map for a new group of fans.

“I am a bassist, composer and singer,” Spalding explained to MTV News. “I guess that’s the easiest way to describe the music I do. You really just have to hear it. It’s rooted in jazz, but there’s a lot of stuff up in there. You just have to have a taste.”

Not only that, but Spalding joined music legend Prince on his Welcome 2 America Tour . She’s also performed at the White House and was featured in an ad campaign for Banana Republic.

What did you think of Esperanza’s win? Let us know in the comments!

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