Alessia Cara’s, the Brampton, Ont.-raised singer became the first Canadian-born winner of the best new artist Grammy at Sunday night’s televised ceremony.
She accepted the award – the first Grammy of her career – saying that she’s been “pretend winning” Grammys in the shower since she was a kid.
The 21-year-old encouraged people to “support real music and real artists,” saying “everyone deserves the same shot.”
Her passion for music began with a birthday gift.Cara’s parents gave her a guitar for her 10th birthday, and she could barely put it down — but she mostly kept her music to herself. Instead, she studied drama and theatre in school and only then began performing in talent shows.
She said, “That helped me get more comfortable singing in front of people.And the reaction I got — that they liked my music and what I was doing — that made me more comfortable, too.”
While other Canadian-born artists including Drake, Alanis Morissette and Justin Bieber have been contenders for best new artist, none of them emerged victorious. The category has existed since the awards were first handed out in 1959.
Robert Goulet, who won at the 1963 event, spent his teenage years in Edmonton after being born in Massachusetts. He had parents of French-Canadian ancestry.
It’s been a stellar rise for Cara, who swept through the Juno Awards nearly two years ago, winning breakthrough artist.
Since then she’s appeared on a number of big hits, including Logic’s suicide prevention anthem “1-800-273-8255,” and Zedd’s “Stay.”