Jazz Singer Samara Joy Wins The Grammy For Best New Artist

The Bronx-born artist also scored Best Jazz Vocal Album

That’s two-time Grammy winner Samara Joy to you!

Joy, a Bronx-born jazz and blues singer, took home Best New Artist at the 2023 Grammy Awards on Sunday (February 5). The 23-year-old artist scored the career-making honor after a standout year following the release of Linger Awhile, her 2022 sophomore album with Verve Records. The project also nabbed her the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album.

Sporting a stunning red leather gown, Joy ascended the podium to accept Best New Artist from her predecessor, “Drivers License” hitmaker Olivia Rodrigo. She was verklempt to be in the presence of so many music industry legends.

Samara Joy accepts award at the 2023 Grammys.

“I’ve been watching y’all on TV,” she began. “So to be here with you all… I’m so grateful. Thank you so much.” She went on to shout out her booking team, managers, and little brother, who traveled to Los Angeles to accompany her at the ceremony.

Earlier in the show, Joy brought down the house with a cover of Nina Simone’s 1959 classic “Can’t Get Out of This Mood.” The piano-backed number put her impressive vocals and powerful stage presence on full display. It’s easy to see why Joy has been likened to jazz greats like Etta James, Sarah Vaughn, and Ella Fitzgerald.

“The legacy [of Black women artists in jazz] is deep — and it is important,” Joy told Essence ahead of her Grammys appearance. “I’m so glad to be a child of that. You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you came from.”

Joy beat out this year’s talented crop of Best New Artist nominees. The group spanned cultures and genres, from multilingual Brazilian pop star Anitta, to British indie-rock group Wet Leg. The latter took home two Grammys this year: Best Alternative Music Performance for their song “Chaise Lounge,” and Best Alternative Music Album for their self-titled debut.

Winning the Grammy for Best New Artist has been known to shape the trajectory of a nascent performer’s career. Past winners include household names like Mariah Carey, Maroon 5, Chance the Rapper, and Megan Thee Stallion. See all this year's winners here.

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