Esperanza Spalding: 5 Facts About the Surprise Grammy Winner [VIDEO]

Esperanza Spalding

Justin Bieber's fans are not happy.
At the Grammys Sunday night, their idol lost out on the Best New Artist statue. Instead, the award went to the relatively unknown Esperanza Spalding.
The Bieb's rabid fan base reacted quickly, immediately vandalizing Spalding's Wikipedia page. Who says young girls aren't interested in technology?
Surge Desk admits that we weren't terribly familiar with Spalding, either. So here are the basics we've gathered.
1. Not entirely a new artist
Spalding is a jazz singer, bassist and composer. Her debut solo album, 2008's "Esperanza," spent more than a year on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart.

2. Nontraditional education
Spalding, 26, was home-schooled for much of her elementary school years because of a long illness, according to her official biography. She never acclimated to traditional school and ended up leaving high school at 16 with a GED. She went on to study at Portland State University and the Berklee College of Music, where she was later made a professor at the tender age of 20.
3. Truly multicultural
On "Esperanza," Spalding sings in English, Spanish and Portuguese. She has said that her background is Welsh, African, Hispanic and Native American.
4. Obama favorite
Spalding gained worldwide attention in 2009, when President Barack Obama, that year's Nobel Peace Prize winner, selected her to play at the Peace Prize ceremony and at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert. Watch:
5. Inspired by "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood"
In her official bio, Spalding says she was greatly influenced when she was 4 and saw the famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma perform on "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood." "That was when I realized that I wanted to do something musical," she has said.
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