Samara Joy

On Sunday night, Samara Joy, a 23-year-old jazz singer from the Bronx, New York, won best new artist at the 2023 Grammy Awards. In this category, ten artists were nominated, including Anitta, Omar Apollo, Muni Long, and Latto.

Olivia Rodrigo, who won the award in the category last year, presented it, calling it “an award that has gone to heroes of mine, from The Beatles to Billie Eilish.” It will always be a bright spot in my life.”

Joy was visibly surprised and excited when her name was announced as the winner; when accepting the award on stage, she acknowledged the talent in the room, thanking everyone for their contributions to the music industry, saying “all of you are so inspiring to me.”

“I’ve been singing my whole life… “Thank you so much for this honour, and thank you to everyone who has listened to and supported me,” Joy said, before adding, “To be here because of who I am… I’m grateful to be here simply by being myself, by being who I was born to be.”

Samara Joy

The singer, who was born into a musical family, also thanked her grandparents and father; Elder Goldwire and Ruth McLendon, her paternal grandparents, founded the Philadelphia gospel group The Savettes.

Samara Joy
Samara Joy

Joy accepted her award in a red leather gown and a braided updo on Sunday night.

“[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,” Joy said in a post-win press room interview.

The singer, who began singing jazz about six years ago, also discussed what first drew her to the genre and how she hopes to inspire the next generation to enjoy it. “What drew me to jazz was its authenticity; I love how people like Sarah Vaughn just stood confidently in who they were and sang.” I’m looking forward to hopefully giving back to my high school — I’ve always gone to public schools, so I’d love to go back to my Bronx schools and give a performance, or start a partnership, or invite them to shows… just sharing passion, sharing that dreams can come true.”


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