Last year, Esperanza Spalding beat out sure bets like Justin Bieber, Florence and the Machine and Drake when she won the Best New Artist prize at the 2011 Grammy Awards. The loss was particularly hard on Bieber , who spoke to MTV News shortly after the loss.
“I had no clue what was going to happen; I worked really hard these past few years, and you know, I’m not going to lie — I was disappointed,” Bieber told MTV News at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. “But, you know, I’m gonna come back [next year] and we’ll take a few home. … I’m inspired to work harder than I did last year. It’s going to be hard, but I’m going to try.”
Spalding was nearly as floored by the win as Bieber. “I really didn’t think it was going to be me,” she told MTV News backstage. “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. 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.”
In the 12 months since last year’s Grammy show, Bieber has been everywhere and has certainly lived up to his promise to work hard. He’s released new music as well as lots of splashy music videos, gone on an arena-filling world tour, dropped a box-office-busting 3-D concert film, hit the studio for his upcoming album Believe and kept teen girls screaming with an onslaught of various new hairstyles and photo ops.
Spalding, on the other hand, has managed to fly under the radar in the time since she took home Grammy gold. However, this March she plans to get back on the scene and release her new album, Radio Music Society, her follow-up to Chamber Music Society, the 2010 album that helped bring national attention to her at the Grammys last year.
“Originally I thought it would be fun to release a double album,” she said in a statement about the soon-to-be released album. “One disc with an intimate, subtle exploration of chamber works and a second one in which jazz musicians explore song forms and melodies that are formatted more along the lines of what we would categorize as pop songs. Those are the two things that really interest me, and it intrigues me to think about different presentation approaches while writing each kind of song.”
As she sets out to celebrate the anniversary of her win, Spalding dropped a new track, “Black Gold,” to radio, and earlier this month she premiered the video for it. She’ll also hit the road for a tour that kicks off in April and wraps up in June.
Interestingly enough, Bieber is also set to drop his new album later this year, for which he’s enlisted Drake, will.i.am, Pharrell and Lil Wayne. Could it mean there will be another Bieber/Spalding showdown at the 2013 Grammy Awards? Only time will tell.
Chaos! Profanity! Wardrobe malfunctions! Don’t miss our Grammy red-carpet live stream this Sunday, February 12, for a full three hours of mayhem, starting at 5 p.m. ET on MTV.com. And the fun doesn’t end Sunday: MTV News has you covered for all the Grammy red-carpet fashion, Grammy winners and Grammy news until the hangover wears off!