Alessia Cara is defending her win as the Recording Academy’s best new artist.
The 21-year-old singer, who was the only woman to take home a top award at Sunday’s 2018 Grammy Awards, posted a passionate note on Instagram Monday as online haters questioned why she won the best new artist title over “newer” artists like SZA, Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, and Julia Michaels.
She began by explaining that she had “no control over” her win and didn’t submit herself or as to be submitted for the award knowing “there are other artists that deserve the acknowledgment.”
That said, Cara still felt happy about her nomination and win. “I am not going to be upset about something I’ve wanted since I was a kid, not to mention have worked really hard for,” she wrote. “I will not let everything I’ve worked for be diminished by people taking offense to my accomplishments and feeling the need to tell me how much I suck.”
In her acceptance speech, Cara — who many felt was snubbed for a Grammy in 2017 — urged fans to support musicians who might not be recognized at awards shows.
“There are some incredible artists out there that are making incredible music that deserve to be acknowledged that don’t always get acknowledge because of popularity contests or numbers games. And that’s kind of unfortunate,” she said. “So I just want to encourage everyone to support real music and real artists because everyone deserves the same shot.”
“I meant everything I said about everyone deserving the same shot,” she added on Instagram. “There is a big issue in the industry that perpetuates the idea that an artist’s talent and hard work should take a back seat to popularity and numbers. And I’m aware that my music wasn’t released yesterday, I’m aware that, yes, my music has become fairly popular in the last year. But I’m trying very hard to use the platform I’ve been given to talk about these things and bring light to issues that aren’t fair, all while trying to make the most of the weird, amazing success I’ve been lucky enough to have.”
Elsewhere in her note, Cara said that she’s already beat her haters to the punch when it comes to criticizing her worth as an artist.
“Here’s something fun! I’ve been thinking I suck since I was old enough to know what sucking meant. I’ve beat u to it,” she said. “And that’s why this means a lot to me. Despite my 183,625 insecurities, I’ve been shown that what I’ve created is worth something and that people actually give a s—.”
“All of the years feeling like I wasn’t good at anything or that I was naïve for dreaming about something improbable have paid off in a way that I have yet to process,” she continued. “I know it sounds cheesy and dumb but it’s the honest truth. Thanks to everyone who’s shown me kindness and support along the way. I’ll stop talking now.”
In addition to best new artist, Cara was up for song of the year and best music video (for Logic’s “1-800-273-8255,” also featuring Khalid) and best pop duo/group performance for her Zedd collab “Stay.”
The 60th annual Grammy Awards, hosted by James Corden, were broadcast live on CBS from Madison Square Garden in New York City.