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6 Reasons Samara Joy Pulled Off That Upset Grammy Win for Best New Artist

todayFebruary 6, 2023

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It was one of the most jaw-dropping moments at the 2023 Grammy Awards on Sunday Feb. 5, when last year’s best new artist winner, Olivia Rodrigo, announced her successor.

It was a wide-open field, with no obvious winner such as Rodrigo or Billie Eilish, the 2020 champ. Latto and Måneskin were widely seen as the front-runners, with several other artists (Anitta, Muni Long, Molly Tuttle and Wet Leg) thought to be within striking distance.

The award instead went to Samara Joy, a 23-year-old jazz singer whose chances of winning were discounted by many pop-focused fans. They had much the same reaction 12 years ago to another talented jazz artist, Esperanza Spalding, and she wound up winning too — even among some stacked pop competition.

Joy won a second award on the night — best jazz vocal album for her second album, Linger Awhile. (She beat, among others, Cécile McLorin Salvant, a three-time winner in that category.)

Three of this year’s other best new artist candidates also went home with Grammys. Wet Leg won two awards – best alternative music album for Wet Leg and best alternative music performance for “Chaise Longue.” Long won best R&B performance for “Hrs & Hrs.” Tuttle won best bluegrass album for Crooked Tree (a collab with Golden Highway).

The other nominees in the category this year were Omar Apollo, Tobe Nwigwe and DOMi & JD Beck, whose Not Tight was nominated for best contemporary instrumental album.

So how did Joy pull off this surprise win? Here are six factors that likely played a role:

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5 Things to Know About Samara Joy, Best New Artist Winner at the 2023 Grammys

Samara Joy can now call herself a Grammy-winning artist. During the 65th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday (Feb. 5), past winner Olivia Rodrigo presented the 23-year-old jazz singer with the best new artist award. “I’ve been singing all of my life. Thank you so much for this honor, thank you to everyone who has listened to me or supported me,” she told the audience in her acceptance speech, as fellow […]

todayFebruary 6, 2023

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