Well, we knew this was coming: Bon Iver has won Best New Artist at the 2012 Grammy Awards. Commence your Google searches now! Not quite on the level of last year’s winner Esperanza Spalding—Bon Iver released the debut For Emma, Forever Ago in 2007 and has been steadily gaining mainstream attention ever since—yet putting a bearded white dude who thanks the small town of Eau Claire, Wisconsin on a prime-time stage has likely lead many to call upon their strongest Internet searching abilities to find out what the Recording Academy’s decision is all about. You’re off the hook, Arcade Fire! This is the band you’ll have to explain to your parents. And luckily kind souls are already making it easy.
Justin Vernon, the folk singer with the distinct and warbled voice and the man behind the band Bon Iver, hails from the great state of Wisconsin where he made his full-length debut For Emma, Forever Ago following a bad break-up—proving heartache was the source of terrific music long before Adele’s 21. Tracks like “Skinny Love” got attention from film and television, leading Vernon to collaborate with St. Vincent for the song “Roslyn” on the The Twilight Sage: New Moon soundtrack in 2009, reaching the demographic of screaming, sun-deprived girls. In 2010 Vernon was tapped for Kanye West’s brooding My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, lending his distinct voice to “Lost In The World” and “Monster.” With more anticipation surrounding the release of his second album, his self-titled disc debuted at No. 2 last June with just under 104,000 copies sold in its first week. A two-time Grammy winner tonight for both Best New Artist and Best Alternative Album, the vastness of his latest disc has proven the ability to connect with a larger audience that should only increase given his televised win. Plus, we now know that he’s got the ability to give quite the interview—or, at least stray quote.
Meanwhile, those who thought a deranged ex-Disney World employee had crashed tonight’s ceremony are not familiar with deadmau5. Born Joel Thomas Zimmerman, the Canadian DJ and electronic producer has released five studio albums since 2006, most recently 4X4=12 in 2010. Nominated for three Grammy Awards, he performed with David Guetta, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and Foo Fighters during the show’s dance tribute, furthering the air of mystery that surrounds him by attending the ceremony in his signature mouse head. While his relentless beats have found themselves the soundtracks to MTV programming, MLB baseball player at-bats, and mainstream commercials, it’s likely his appearance will be the biggest topic of conversation following his performance on such a grand stage. Better acquaint yourself below.