The best new artist award at the 2023 Grammys was given to Samara Joy, a 23-year-old jazz singer from the Bronx, New York. There were ten performers up for the award, and they included Anitta, Omar Apollo, Muni Long, and Latto.
The previous year’s winner Olivia Rodrigo gave the presentation, calling the accolade “an award that has gone to heroes of mine, from The Beatles to Billie Eilish.” That moment will remain a high point of my life.
Two-time Grammy nominee Joy was visibly shocked and pleased to hear her name called as the winner; while taking the prize on stage, she gave credit to the other musicians in the audience, stating, “all of you are so motivating to me.”
“I’ve been singing all my life. … Thank you so much for this honor, thank you to everyone who has listened to me and supported me,” Joy said, adding: “To be here because of who I am … to be here by just being myself, by just being who I was born as, I’m so thankful.”
Singer’s paternal grandparents, Elder Goldwire and Ruth McLendon founded the Philadelphia gospel group The Savettes, hence she was born into a musical family. To claim her prize on Sunday night, Joy chose a red leather outfit and a braided updo.
In a post-win interview in the press room, Joy said:
“[Some of] my biggest inspirations were in the room, as far as being confident in who you are and singing your own song, not letting anybody tell you what to do, being your own boss — Beyoncé and Lizzo, to name a few.”
The singer discussed her introduction to jazz and her desire to spark interest in the genre among the younger generation. She has been performing jazz for the past five or six years. Sarah Vaughn’s unabashed, self-assured singing is one of the reasons jazz has always resonated with me.
The #Grammy for best new artist goes to Samara Joy.
— Variety (@Variety) February 6, 2023
“I went to public schools my whole life, so I’d love to go back to my schools in the Bronx and give a performance, or start a partnership, or invite them to shows… just sharing passion, sharing that dreams can come true,” she says of her desire to give back to the institutions that gave her so much.
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