Remember Esperanza Spalding? The little-known wildcard of a jazz singer who upstaged Florence & The Machine, Drake, Justin Bieber, and Mumford and Sons to win Best New Artist at the Grammys — the same year a fractured public bemusedly wondered “Who Is The Arcade Fire?”
The renowned 26-year-old singer and multi-instrumentalist has scored yet another surprise victory, this time in fashion editorial: she’s on the cover of the new issue of T, the New York Times Style Magazine this weekend. As WWD reveals, President Obama is to thank — albeit indirectly.
Sally Singer, T‘s current editor and former fashion and news director of Vogue, claims she first encountered Spalding’s music at a poetry slam at the White House. She was instantly impressed by the musician’s versalitiy and soul. “If [President Barack Obama] had a favorite jazz musician, it would be her,” Singer told the paper. “I knew she was going to be that person, the one we would put on the cover. She’s a celebrity for all the right reasons and at the top of her game, in her artistic medium.”
The new issue also features timely photography from Hedi Slimane, who just shot Frances Bean Cobain. Always a provocateur, he went to Los Angeles and photographed women willing to chop off most of their hair for his T spread.
Meanwhile, Spalding is currently enjoying a successful jazz festival tour, including upcoming dates in her hometown of Portland, Oregon. Her full list of tour dates can be found here.
Watch Spalding perform at the White House: