Teen pop sensation Justin Bieber may have fame, fortune, a new movie and a good head of hair, but he doesn’t have a Grammy Award, an omission that’s pushed some of his die-hard fans over the edge.
When jazz performer Esperanza Spalding shocked the music world and beat out Bieber for the Best New Artist Grammy Sunday night, some of the singer’s true Beliebers went ballistic. They took to their technology to disparage Spalding, the 26-year-old, classically-trained jazz/chamber music singer, songwriter, and upright bass player from Oregon.
Some apparently hacked into the Wikipedia Web encyclopedia site and inserted unflattering – and somewhat racist – things about Spalding on her page shortly after she got her Grammy.
“SHE IS F****** RETARD,” one angry Bieber fan inserted onto Spalding’s Wikipedia bio. Someone incorrectly listed her middle name as “Quesadilla,” the name of a Mexican dish.
Still another entry stood up for the pimple cream-pushing Bieber over the grown-and-sexy, Brazil-tinged neo-soul jazz of Spalding: “Justin Bieber deserved it go die in a hole.” Who the heck are you anyway?”
President Barack Obama knows. Spalding was one of the first artists he and First Lady Michelle Obama invited to perform at the White House. Spalding also performed at the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway when Obama received the prestigious award. She even performed on the rock/country-oriented “Austin City Limits” on PBS.
And she has performed at Washington’s Kennedy Center and the Newport Jazz Festival. She’s also shared stages with likes of Stevie Wonder, Patti LaBelle and Alicia Keyes.
“Isn’t she terrific?” Obama gushed last April after Spalding performed at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Miami. “I love listening to Esperanza; she is wonderful.”
Obama, who won a spoken word Grammy in 2008, was actually two for two on the hip scale during Sunday night’s award show. In addition to Spalding’s victory, the band Arcade Fire won the Grammy for Album of the Year for their CD “The Suburbs.” The band played free concerts for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
Though her Grammy surprised many people, Spalding can hardly be considered an overnight sensation. She released her first CD, “Junjo,” in 2006 and followed it up with the self-titled “Esperanza” in 2008 and “Chamber Music Society” last year. She’s also recorded with Stanley Clarke, Nando Michelin and M. Ward.
She began performing gigs at 15, attended Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music and was hired after her first semester to tour internationally with singer Patti Austin. Spalding completed her studies at Berklee and later became the school’s youngest faculty member in the institution’s history at age 20.
Despite performing for and with important people in important places over the last few years, Spalding seemed genuinely surprised by her Grammy win.
“I feel really lucky that I got to be acknowledged on this stage in front of so many people who hopefully will get to experience my music, and I got there by doing what’s really dear to my heart,” she told the Associated Press after her victory.
By all accounts, Bieber showed grace and class in defeat Sunday. His fans? Not so much.
“Wow…#bieberwasrobbed. He should have won best new artist. No one even knows who this spalding chick is,” @victorypal Tweeted Sunday night. @EugeneRamierez warned that “The Grammy judges better watch their backs! A bunch of tween girls are out to get you now!”
“Did you sell out 86 shows in two days? Were any of your albums on the top Billboard 200? No,” another bitter Tweet said. “Sit the f*** down.”
A representative for Spalding told CNN that the mean-spirited reaction of Bieber fans is “a shame, really. Justin (Bieber) was very, very nice. They met at the AP booth … he was very gracious, and they had a nice chat.”
- Jamie Foxx Dukes It Out at Usher Pre-Grammy Concert
- Breaking News…El Debarge Checks Into Rehabilitation Center
- Golden Voice Ted Williams Says He Wasn’t Ready For Fame
- Kobe Bryant Love Child? Hit With Papers At Game
- Step In The Name Of Love! Whitney Houston And R. Kelly Perform At The Pre Grammy Party.
- Shaq And Hoopz Reality Stars!
- WTF: Bouncer Sues Reality TV Star For Clawing His Face! [Photos Of His Face]
- OMG: Usher Is Coming To Cleveland
- Aretha Franklin Reveals New Look, Shares Her Thoughts On Star Studded Grammy Tribute
- Cleveland Soul – #216 Music