Esperanza Spalding Beats Justin Bieber, Drake For Best New Artist

Jazz star nabs rookie prize at the Grammy Awards.

With household names like Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence and the Machine and even Mumford & Sons all battling it out for [article id="1657526"]Best New Artist[/article] at the Grammy Awards, it was an unexpected victory for Esperanza Spalding, who nabbed the prize.

Donning a lime green halter gown with pink shoes, the jazz chanteuse took the stage and graciously accepted her prize, after passing Drake on the way. "I know I don't have a lot of time, so first, thank you to the academy for even nominating me in this category," she said. "Thank you to the incredible community and family of musicians I'm so blessed to be a part of... my friends in Portland, all my teachers, colleagues... my beautiful family who's here," she continued, before naming names.

The smiling award-winner stated that she had every intention of using this opportunity to continue making music that she felt her friends, fans and family would be proud of. "I take this honor to heart so sincerely, and I'll do my damndest to make a whole lot of great music for all of you," she gushed. "It's such a blessing and an honor. God bless. Thank you."

While most thought the Best New Artist would be landing in the hands of Drake, Bieber or Florence, Spalding came out from behind thanks to a strong following in the jazz community. In 2010 she released several albums including Reencontro and Chamber Music Society, and she also joined Prince for select dates on his Welcome 2 America Tour.

Were you surprised by Esperanza Spalding's win? Let us know in the comments!

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