Esperanza has a few things in common with Biebs
February 18th, 2011
11:05 AM ET

Esperanza has a few things in common with Biebs

Maybe this will soothe the wrath of the Beliebers: Esperanza Spalding says that she and teen idol Justin Bieber have more in common than you think.

The 26-year-old jazz singer, who raised the ire of Bieber fans when she beat him out for the best new artist Grammy, tells Billboard magazine that much like the 16-year-old Canada native, she has very humble beginnings.

"He has sort of a similar story to mine, coming from a single-parent family, low income, sort of having this stellar ascension in making his success through music," explains the Portland, Oregon, native. "I can really relate to that."

Moreover, Spalding — who began playing music as a child and went on to perform at the White House, sing in a Prince tribute and appear on "Late Show With David Letterman" — can understand the pressures of being in the spotlight at such a young age.

She tells Billboard, "I can imagine for him being so young, all this must be really, really intense."

Now do you forgive her, Beliebers?

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Filed under: Celebrities • Grammys • Music • The Bieb

soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Jam

    What ever happened to real music on the radio? Oh yeah fabrication and industrialization one more generation and you wont even need some snot nosed brat.

    February 18, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mel

    vanilli won this category. And the grammy's used to be a respected award show but now it is a joke like the VMA's. Gaga comming in an egg. Jokes of musicians being nominated. These artists need to treat the grammy's with same level of class as the oscars. The value of the grammy goes down each year. And there is outlash when real singer songwriters win. our view on music has become so warped.

    February 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Losers

    I don't listen to him but his target audience is young girls. He's doing more than any of u ever will so you're obviously jealous he gets more tail and $ then you ever have or ever will. Not every musical act needs to be druggy rock or thug. I envy him considering what my high school gfs looked like vs what he's snagging. Is it really worth your time to comment here how much you hate a 16 year old kid? Haha fat losers all of you. Go back to your crummy job and gigantic wife. Its easy to get a job at your gas station, but hard to make it in music.

    February 18, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Believermyass

      its really hard to make it into music but not so when Usher is you coach and you got famous thanks to youtube like many other artists not even tried for american idol. so it is really sad that you are defending someone that could care less what people say here. LOSER

      February 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • burn

      "Is it really worth your time to comment here how much you hate a 16 year old kid?" neither is defending him lol

      February 18, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mel

    Who cares who won this grammy. Milli vanilli won this category. And the grammy's used to be a respected award show but now it is a joke like the VMA's. Gaga comming in an egg. Jokes of musicians being nominated. These artists need to treat the grammy's with same level of class as the oscars. The value of the grammy goes down each year. And there is outlash when real singer songwriters win. our view on music has become so warped.

    February 18, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. teddy2chains

    Kids dont know anything about real music. All they know is radio and thats sad but understandable because they are kids!!

    February 18, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cielo

    Esperanza is sad you need to look for similarities between Bieber and yourself. Musically you are over the top, that's why you are the winner. I came from poor income and single parents too, but that doesn't makes me talented. You not need to be popular between Bieber's fan, the Bieber's fan does not know what good music is.

    February 18, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. wayne

    Wooo! Beautiful hair!!!

    February 18, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rastas

    Tweedley dee. Where s. Miley. Cyrus today ?

    February 18, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. whatever

    I swear can we move on from this? There are more important things going on in the world than whether or not Justin Beaver won a Grammy!

    February 18, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Niki D

    My 9 year old tweeny bopper and all her friends think that JB is "so over" so there you have it. His target audience has moved on so he may as well call it a day and retire.

    February 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kaytiee

    Okay i like justin bieber too but he lost and she has just as much talent as the biebs. It was an honor for justin to even get nominated. The least yall (beliebers) can do is be happy for her.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. die die


    February 18, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Janet

    Rock that afro Baby! Even her hairstyle is better than bieber's – it actually looks like hair, not a helmet. i bet it even moves when she does. All around more real and nmore talented.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. retired and happy at home

    Esparanza was created to sing, justin was "made".

    February 18, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. go team

    Talented, musically gifted, esperanza.grow up bieber fans.she's better.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  16. go team

    Talented, musically gifted, esperanza.grow up bieber fans.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  17. doc

    Tic toc tic toc tic toc....listening bieber? Your 15 minutes is almost up

    February 18, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  18. the_dude

    Is bieber the hottest girl going right now? Is lady gaga the hottest male singer going?

    February 18, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  19. miss lady

    "best new artists" are nominated in the year they first come to prominence, not when they first come out. When No Doubt won they had already been out for 10 years and the tragic kingdom album was their 4th or 5th i believe. Same thing with Maroon 5. They'd been together for years already when they won.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  20. BieberFan

    I wanted Justin Bieber to win that Grammy. Why did they give it to someone who is completely unknown to 99% of all Americans. It just doesn't make sense. There should at least be some threshold of exposure to achieve before you get a Grammy nomination. Even though it's "Best New Artist", she's too new for me.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • zbtrocker

      Consider it a chance to find out about a great musician. Personally, I'm happy to see someone that media hasn't shoved down our throats get some recognition.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • MR

      Well put, zbtocker. And this comes from someone in that "one percent" of Americans who knew and admired Esperanza Spaulding before her Grammy win. She is a real talent and should not be penalized because she dares to make music that is not pop radio-friendly.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christopher

      Esperanza is unknown to 99% of all Americans....on what planet, ur-anus?? Apparenlty, that's where you're getting your facts from because you clearly don't know what you're talking about.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kellyddd

      You really need to pull out a dictionary and look up the following terms: "best" and "popular". They are not equal. They are not even close to being equal. Just because many thousands of tweens think JB is super cute and like his singing does not make him the most talented artist according to an unbiased audience.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • mystic7

      How's this for a threshold of exposure. More than one freakin' hit single to your name. It's been a year and still all I ever hear this twerp perform is Baby.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • sytraxia

      Well it was an award for "best new artist" not "most over exposed corporate teen crack product." Esperanza winning is a fluke I know but at least good music won over slick clinical corporate tween pop.

      February 18, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jango Davis

      The Grammys do have a standard, it's called talent. Popularity does not equal great talent, as the little boy Beabers so clearly demonstrates.

      February 18, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mukazzi

      @BieberFan- you knowledge of music is as limited as your statement. You not only have a WEAK pulse on what America thinks and knows, but no CLUE to think you could speak for me. Do yourself a favor (instead of parroting someone else's words of which you don't understand): look up and READ the ascention of Ms. Spaulding (it's a testament to effective home schooling) and WHAT SHE WAS DOING at the age of 20! Justin is the bubblegum flavor of the moment; his sustaining a music career has to evolve with his age. He's "cute and antiseptic" -figure it out; eventually, the cuts heal.

      February 18, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  21. MacLeod

    I said it in the last article and I'll say it in this one... As much as I didn't want Bieber to win, he at least was a new artist (along with the other nominees, 1st albums no earlier than 2009). Eseranza's first album came out in 2006, and she's had two others. She is NOT a new artist, and shouldn't have been nominated in the category.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christopher

      Esperanza won and the beaver boy lost to REAL music. Move on and get over it already.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ziggy1570

      Esperanza is best new artist. During those past years, she was teaching, performing and learning in Boston. The Beib was tooling his craft on YouTube. So his music was always available prior to 2009. (Ask the tweens).

      Her recent high profile performances in Oslo and for Stevie Wonder at The White House showcased her artistry in a manner the screammed out "the best."

      February 22, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  22. T Force

    Pretty much says it all:

    February 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  23. old hippy

    GOD we need JIimi Hendrix back. Please put on Voodoo Child really really really loud and smile. Now that was music.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  24. lgbarn

    I listened to her CD for the first time this week and it really is no contest. She is better that Bieber will ever be in 3 lifetimes. Not to say he isn't talented but she is incredible.

    February 18, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  25. moo

    I heard she is going to be an opening act for Canned Heat and Jefferson Airplane this summer. I sure hope JImi Hendrix will be there. Also Country Joe and the Fish. NOW THAT WAS MUSIC ! 🙂

    February 18, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  26. JR

    They do have something in common.... Esperanza is a cute chick....and so is Justin.

    February 18, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • ann


      February 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Swearengen

      I was going to say that they she used to be a sixteen year old girl just like the BEEB is now. As a Canadian I apologize on behalf of all Canadians for his teriible "music"

      February 18, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      LOL,you are so right, I can just imagine all the Biebkins hissing and pounding their limp little fists on her picture...

      February 18, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oscar

      They both have ovaries. That's just lovely.

      February 18, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  27. memememememememememememememememememememe


    February 18, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Christopher

      Drake sucks too. Move on fanboy.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fadoist2

      Of course you don't know who she is because you only listen to teeny bopper non-music...She is a real musical talent, not some pre-packaged media made minor talent, sold to "tweens"!

      February 18, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |

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