The original song of the Beach Boys, “Esperanza” is also one of the most iconic songs of all time. With a simple phrase, Beach Boys guitarist, Ray Wilson creates a stirring tune that remains a fan favourite for decades. Born in Portland, Oregon, Ray Wilson is a versatile player who has played with many different groups throughout his career. As a bassist he has played on albums by the Monkees, Jannick Johnson, the Temptations, and many other high-profile bands.
Today, Ray Wilson is best known as the lead singer of the band, The Beach Boys. He has also spent time with other notable artists such as: Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, and John Lennon. In this article, I would like to introduce you to the man behind the best new artist of the year, named after him.
In June of 2008, the world was introduced to the best new artist of the year, named after him…Esperanza Spalding. Born in San Francisco, California, Espadowsa became well known worldwide when her debut album “Age Of Youth” was released in May of that year. Her first major break came just weeks later when she appeared on MTV’s reality show, “Love It”. She went on to record several singles, including the hit single “Mystery Train”.
Following her excellent performance on Love It, she went on to make a name for herself as a member of the cast of “American Idol” as she teamed up with Adam Lambert. A series of well-received singles followed, including the massive smash hit “Relax”. Unfortunately, despite her popularity, little was done to help promote the album, which eventually went back into the bargain bin. Following an appearance on the final episode of American Idol, Espadowsa was somewhat disappointed with the lack of promotion and appeared to point this fault in the direction of the record company, explaining to the audience that she would give them a bit more promotion as she went, however.
Esperanza Spalding Personal Details
- Date Of Birth: 18 October 1984
- Birth Place: Portland, Oregon, USA
- Birth Name: Esperanza Emily Spalding
- Nickname: Esperanza
- Zodiac Sign: Libra
- Occupation: Singer, Musician, Composer, Educator, Bandleader
- Nationality: American
- Race/Ethnicity: African-American, Welsh, Hispanic, and Native American
- Religion: Unknown
- Hair Color: Black
- Eye Color: Black
- Sexual Orientation: Straight
Esperanza Spalding Body Statistics
- Weight in Pounds: 117 lbs
- Weight in Kilogram: 53 kg
- Height in Feet: 5′ 6″
- Height in Meters: 1.68 m
- Body Build/Type: Slim
- Body Measurements: 34-25-33 in (86-64-84 cm)
- Breast Size: 34 inches (86 cm)
- Waist Size: 25 inches (64 cm)
- Hips Size: 33 inches (84 cm)
- Bra Size/Cup Size: 32B
- Feet/Shoe Size: 7 (US)
- Dress Size: 4 (US)
Esperanza Spalding Family Details
- Father: Unknown
- Mother: Unknown
- Spouse/Husband: Unmarried
- Children: No
- Siblings: She has a brother
Esperanza Spalding Education
- She was homeschooled for much of her childhood.
- Portland State University
- Berklee College of Music
Esperanza Spalding Facts
- She was born on October 18, 1984 in Portland, Oregon, USA.
- Esperanza and her brother were raised by a single mother.
- First jazz artist to win a Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
- Her album Radio Music Society sold over 114,000 copies in the United States.
- She has cited Ella Fitzgerald as her musical inspiration.
Entertaining on both the television and the stage has always been an issue for Joanna Espadowsa. As a child, she only managed to get a part in one movie, “The Cable Guy” where her character was a cable guy who talked rubbish to her. Throughout her life, she has also attempted numerous acting roles, most notably in the movies “The Damned United” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, but each of these outings failed to reach the same level of mainstream success as “The Cable Guy” or “Eden of the East” did. Then in late 2008, things really began to happen. In the movie “The Cable Guy”, Espadowsa finally achieved a co-frontline role, playing the irrepressible Christian Grey.
The role ultimately brought forth many discussions about the racial aspects of her character, as well as what a role model she would be for any young person considering a profession in acting. While many people are quick to condemn such a move, as it is typically seen as a clear case of diversity pandering, Joe Vardon and Joanna Espadowsa have remained unapologetic about their choice of acting in the film industry. They both stated that they were happy to portray Esperanza as a representative of the native American culture. Additionally, they maintained that their intention was never to pander to anyone who might be offended by their choice of performance. Instead, they hoped that by presenting an alternative view of Esperanza to those who might otherwise view her as a stereotype, they would allow the character of Esperanza to be more human and memorable for everyone. Viewers would be able to see the positive side of this otherwise inexplicable character.