Alessia Cara won Best New Artist at the Grammys Sunday night, beating out a crowded field that also included SZA, Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, and Julia Michaels. The award marked the 21-year-old singer-songwriter’s first Grammy and came on an evening where she was nominated in three other categories, including Song of the Year for her work with Logic and Khalid on “1-800-273-8255.”
“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, thanking her family and fans, the latter of whom she called “the reason I don’t have to win Grammys in my shower anymore.”
Cara also emphasized the importance of recognizing music’s vast array of emerging artists. “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.”
In her young career, Cara has already launched multiple singles into the top 10 of Billboard‘s Hot 100. Her 2015 album Know-It-All included “Here” and “Scars To Your Beautiful,” which peaked at Nos. 5 and 8, respectively. And in 2017, her collaboration with Logic hit No. 3, while her team-up with Zedd, “Stay,” reached No. 7.
“For a while, pop music was really stagnant,” Cara told EW in an interview last December. “There was a moment where it felt like everyone wanted fluff and they didn’t want a message. And I know there are people who still don’t, but there has been a new wave of music that has meaning. It’s a good time to be positive and help each other.”
See the complete list of winners at the 2018 Grammy Awards here.