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The 21-year-old singer has risen in popularity after her single “Here” topped the charts and she toured as the opening act for Coldplay in the U.K.
“I’ve been pretend winning Grammys since I was a kid, like in my shower, so you’d think I’d have this speech thing down but I absolutely don’t,” Cara said in her acceptance speech before she thanked her family and fans for all of their support.
Cara also gave a nod to all the up-and-coming artists who made waves in 2017.
“I just want to say that there are some incredible artists out there that are making incredible music that deserve to be acknowledged— that don’t always get acknowledged because of popularity contests or numbers games,” she said. “That’s kind of unfortunate. I just wanted to encourage everyone to support real music and real artists because everyone deserves the same shot.”
Fans of Cara—including Nick Jonas—were ecstatic on Twitter.
I have sung and cried and shouted to every single lyric and every single melody you've shared with the world. Congratulations @alessiacara Thank you for being unafraid to be you, to be real. I am so happy and so proud of you. Enjoy this moment. @RecordingAcad— Sofia Carson (@SofiaCarson) January 29, 2018
Others, however, were dismayed that Cara won the award over artists like SZA and Khalid, who put out albums in 2017, despite the fact that Cara’s last album came out in 2015.
alessia cara hasnt dropped an album since 2015. uzi has dropped 6 projects since 2015. talk about snubbery— fbg mike (@trapyeezus) January 29, 2018
how did best new artist not go to SZA ... or khalid .. or uzi....?? I love her too but alessia cara has had music on the radio since 2016 .....— nancy Botwin (@itsmarkjohns) January 29, 2018
The Daily Dot interviewed Cara in June 2016, right before she embarked on a tour with Coldplay. The former YouTube star reached another milestone for digital entertainers Sunday night.
Tess Cagle is a reporter who focuses on politics, lifestyle, and streaming entertainment. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Texas Monthly, the Austin American-Statesman, Damn Joan, and Community Impact Newspaper. She’s also a portrait, events, and live music photographer in Central Texas.