Bon Iver, aka Justin Vernon, took home two out of the four Grammy awards he was nominated for last night at the 54th Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist and Best Alternative Album. His song “Holocene” was nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year, but lost in both categories to the towering juggernaut that is Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” Some may be asking, “Who is Bon Iver?” or racing to create the best “Who is Bon Iver?” inspired Tumblr—slow down, this one and this one have the game on lock—but CMJ wasn’t too shocked by Vernon’s victory, especially after residing at number three on CMJ’s 2011 year-end chart.
By grabbing the coveted Best New Artist award, Bon Iver beat out Skrillex, The Band Perry, J. Cole and Nicki Minaj. In his speech Justin Vernon neurotically gave props to his parents; his hometown Eau Claire, WI; the non-nominees “that have never been here, that will never be here;” and the band’s label Jagjaguwar for “having transparency and friendship.”
It was nice to see Vernon so genuinely receptive of the wins. After all, he did tell Billboard about his conflicts with the Grammy producers, saying, “We kind of said ‘fuck you’ a little bit, and they sort of acted like they wanted us to play, but I don’t think they wanted us to play.” This came only a few months after telling the New York Times about his general discomfort with the Grammy Awards.
Perhaps it was the scraggly beard and haggard English professor suit he chose to wear to The Grammys that put a little honey in his tea this time around.
Watch his awkward acceptance speech for Best New Artist below: