The Week's Most Famous Nonfamous Person (Whose Life Has Been Threatened by 11-Year-Old Girls) Is ...

Dumenco's Trendrr Chart of the Week

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On Twitter, 15 minutes can last for days. Consider the strange case of Esperanza Spalding, the (formerly) little-known jazz singer/bassist who won the Best New Artist Grammy on Sunday night. She's been a huge presence on Twitter since then largely because she's suddenly famous for not being famous -- or at least not as famous as Justin Bieber, whose fans felt he'd been robbed of the Best New Artist nod.

One of the most popular tweets regarding Spalding came from the @DudeItsTrue account: "That awkward moment when Esperanza Spalding wins 'Best New Artist' and NOBODY knows who the heck she is. #dudeitstrue." According to Twitter, it's been retweeted at least 3,000 times. Among the runners-up (retweeted at least 1,000 times): "@BieberDigits: and the best new artist award goes to .... Esperanza Spalding" *awkward silence* "SHE DOESN'T EVEN GO HERE!"

OK, I'm sorry, that's kind of funny. (Click here for a 20-second refresher on the "Mean Girls" reference.)

Generally, we seem to take fame -- even instant fame -- for granted. One day, somebody's an unknown, the next day they're, say, a reality-TV sensation, and we accept that they're a "celebrity." (Hello, Kardashians!) But in Esperanza Spalding's case, the Twittersphere has seemed rather obsessed with dwelling on her relative obscurity. Take a look at the expandable chart embedded here, which shows hourly tweet volume mentioning "Esperanza Spalding" (or #esperanzaspalding) as measured by our editorial partner Trendrr, the social-media monitoring service. She was averaging just single-digit mentions per hour on Twitter until she won, at which point she spiked to 13,925 in a single hour. On Monday, her full-day peak on Twitter, she racked up a total of 68,065 mentions.

Trendrr chart

Recent hourly volume of tweets mentioning "Esperanza Spalding" or "#esperanzaspalding"

Within the first 48 hours or so of her Grammy win, judging from periodic samples I took, the vast majority of tweets mentioning her were of the "Who?!" and/or hater variety. (To get a sense of how up-in-arms Beliebers were over his "unfair" Grammy loss, take a look at this rather shocking list compiled by BuzzFeed: Top 10 Esperanza Spalding Death Threats By Justin Bieber Fans.)

Now, though, the conversation about Spalding on Twitter is being reclaimed by fans -- old and new -- who are sharing links to her music and videos. Here's one making the rounds: Esperanza Spalding | Little Fly music video, on YouTube. At the moment, the top-rated comment on that page is "I'm actually very grateful to the Justin Bieber grammys hooha. If not I would not have discovered this gem."

Dumenco's Trendrr Chart of the Week is produced in collaboration with Wiredset, the New York digital agency behind Trendrr.


Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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