Grammys' Best New Artist? Not Bieber or Drake

Jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding takes the trophy in an upset win.

Esperanza Spalding (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

A Canadian teen heartthrob with serious bangs and a Canadian actor-turned-rapper were no match for an American jazz bassist-vocalist in the Grammy contest for this year's best new artist. Defying expectations, 26-year-old Esperanza Spalding (also a 2010 Root 100 honoree) beat out Justin Bieber and Drake, as well as Florence and the Machine and Mumford & Sons, for the trophy.

If you don't know who she is yet, check out her August 2010 interview with The Root -- Esperanza Spalding on Taking a Big Risk -- and check out the video below of her 2009 White House performance.

Sheryl Huggins Salomon is senior editor-at-large of The Root. Follow her on Twitter.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.