Before Esperanza Spalding won the Grammy for best new artist Sunday night, Marietta residents Amber Davis and Justin Arthur had never heard of her.
But Arthur was pleased to see the jazz singer and bassist upset her better-known competition, including teen superstar Justin Bieber.
Davis? Not so much.
Regine Chassagne, center left, and Win Butler, center right, are joined by fellow band members of Arcade Fire to accept the award for album of the year at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles.
Mumford and Sons perform at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles.
The Associated Press
Justin Bieber performs at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles.
"I'm a big Justin Bieber fan," said Davis, a 22-year-old Marietta College senior from Ravenna. "I might have shed a tear. I wish I was joking."
Arthur, 27, is not a Belieber.
"He's got songs that are hardly classified as songs in my opinion," said the local musician, a member of bands Radio 1 and Sacra Via. "It's nice to see someone else (win) besides the flavor of the month."
By the Numbers
* 45 - Awards won by independent label artists, the most since 2008.
* 108 - Categories in which awards were given.
* 273 - Nominations for independent label artists.
* 542 - Total nominations.
* 26.7 million - Number of people who watched Sunday's Grammy telecast, up about a million from last year. Source: The Associated Press.
Spalding's victory was one of several surprises at the musical awards show that also saw Canadian indie band Arcade Fire take album of the year honors over some pretty popular competition - Eminem, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.
It marked one of the biggest nights in years for independent record labels, setting the stage for a surge in their online music sales. In all, independent label artists won awards in 45 of 108 categories, the most since 2008, and they accounted for 273 of the 542 nominations, up from 231 three years ago, according to the American Association of Independent Music.
The presence of the indies during the annual awards show has grown in recent years as more bands appeal to fans directly through Facebook and YouTube instead of traditional sales channels.
Google was flooded with "Esperanza Spalding" searches after her win was announced. Online album sales hit 3,000 over 12 hours on Sunday night up from an average of 300 the previous week, according to Mike Gillespie, senior vice president of sales for Spalding's label, Concord Music Group. The company plans to ship up to 100,000 physical CDs this week, up from the normal 2,000 to 3,000 discs, as stores like Best Buy stock up on the winners. If sold, the amount would more than triple her sales so far.
Arthur said he's among those whose curiosity about Spalding was piqued Sunday night.
"I'm interested enough that I would go look for it," he said.
Joe Davis, owner of the Sound Exchange in Parkersburg (and no relation to Amber Davis), said he didn't stock Spalding's latest album, "Chamber Music Society," before Sunday. Now, his distributor's out of it for the time being.
"I'd heard the name but I wasn't really familiar with her," Joe Davis said. "We will get it in stock."
The Sound Exchange sells a few Arcade Fire albums, but not in great numbers, he said.
Another lesser-known artist that had some time in the Grammy spotlight - Mumford & Sons, also a best new artist nominee - has a bit stronger local following, Joe Davis said.
That band's inclusion in the show, along with a performance by one of his favorite bands, the Avett Brothers, is what drew Arthur to watch part of the ceremony, something he usually avoids.
"I really don't get caught up in a lot of today's hit music," he said.