If you had no idea who Bon Iver was when the Wisconsin-based singer songwriter took home Best New Artist at the 54th Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 12, rest easy — you weren’t alone.
First of all, the correct spelling is Bon Iver (pronounced all French-like), not Bonny Bear, Bonnie Bear, Ron Iver or any other way people have been trying to Google the stage name of Justin Vernon after his Grammy win.
The 30-year-old actually self-released his first album as Bon Iver back in 2007, but “For Emma, Forever Ago” picked up steam once the indie label Jagjaguwar released it in 2008. You might’ve heard the single “Skinny Love” on shows like “Chuck” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
But Vernon truly rose to fame once he collaborated with Kanye West for a song on the latter’s Grammy-winning “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.” Bon Iver’s self-titled second album landed at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart during the first week of its release back in June of 2011.
Vernon seemed a little sheepish accepting his award at the ceremony, saying, “It’s really hard to accept this award. There’s so much talent out there and on this stage. There’s so much talent that not’s here. … It’s also hard to accept because when I started making songs I started for the inherent reward of making songs.”
As for the name issue, don’t worry: plenty of celebs had trouble pronouncing the name too. VH1 asked celebs on the Grammys red carpet how they say the name, and not many were right. Our favorite was Snooki, though. “I thought it was boner,” she tells VH1.