Many thought the 21-year-old singer was undeserving of the award — which she won over SZA, Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, and Julia Michaels — because though she gained popularity in 2017, her breakout song “Here” was released in 2015.
Cara, though, defended her win in an empowering Instagram message to her critics. “I didn’t log onto grammy.com and submit myself,” she wrote. “I didn’t ask to be submitted either because there are other artists that deserve the acknowledgement. But I was nominated and won and I an not going to be upset about something I’ve wanted since I was a kid, not to mention have worked really hard for.”
The singer, determined to not let anyone squash her win, also addressed her haters. “I will not let everything I’ve worked for be diminished by people taking offense to my accomplishments and feeling the need to tell me how much I suck.”
The powerful message resonated with fans, and even with Cara’s peers, many of whom reached out to support the singer after she posted her rant on social media. Sam Smith tweeted, “Congratulations on the Grammy beautiful.” Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jauregui also tweeted, “Amen! Proud of my Lil nena @alessiacara though, she was incredibly deserving.”
@alessiacara congratulations on the Grammy beautiful ❤️
— Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) January 29, 2018
— Lauren Jauregui (@LaurenJauregui) January 30, 2018
Still, most fans thought Cara shouldn’t have to defend herself. The singer was the only woman to be awarded in the top categories at the 2018 Grammys, and she was the only one to be personally attacked for her win. Though both Bruno Mars’s and Ed Sheeran’s wins were controversial, the anger was directed at the Recording Academy, not at the artists themselves — and neither Mars nor Sheeran felt the need to address the backlash.
Fans thought Cara’s singled-out attacks were unfair.
And this is not about @alessiacara she is an incredibly talented hardworking young woman who followed a dream to its fruition. Don’t direct your anger at her.
— h (@halsey) January 30, 2018
thank you, the anger towards her is so unnecessary
— (@stylesinhiding) January 30, 2018
yes sza deserved it too but shouldn’t you be happy? like y’all are all about supporting women and when female artist wins this is what you do. it’s sad she doesn’t deserve this. the hypocrisy at it’s finest
— teodora (@Ietmehoeyou) January 29, 2018
Cara, however, felt the need to address the issue, which is why she has become so popular over the last few years. She is open and honest, and it shows in her music: She’s always been willing to write about issues that matter to her fans, even when addressing a backlash she didn’t deserve.