In 2002, relative newcomer India.Arie was nominated for an impressive seven Grammy Awards. Surprised and excited, the singer/songwriter attended the award ceremony anxious to see what she might win… but she went home that night with nothing.
Called "the worst snub in Grammy history," India.Arie's loss was one of the most talked-about events from that night. India.Arie opens up about the experience to Oprah for an episode of "Super Soul Sunday," sharing not just her reaction to the very public shut-out, but also reflecting on what she learned from losing.
"I realize two things about that [Grammy loss] now," India.Arie tells Oprah. "One is that it was really God's way of giving me a breakthrough, because I was on everybody's lips all of a sudden, because I lost. Everybody was still talking about me."
As she became more talked about, India.Arie's fan base grew and her record sales rose. Yet, she reveals that her self-talk still kept her from feeling worthy of winning. "All I felt was, maybe I'm not meant to have all of that," India.Arie says. "Maybe that's just not how I'm built… I wasn't the prom queen, I wasn't this, I wasn't that. Why would everybody want to give me all these awards? Winning seven Grammys -- that sounds nuts. Doesn't even sound like something that would be my life."
In hindsight, India.Arie says that those thoughts led her to realize the second thing from that Grammy experience. "I was scared of failing and I was scared of succeeding," she admits. "I just wanted to be in a safe space and not grow too big or be too little."
Upon first hearing of her nominations, India.Arie says she immediately felt chest pains -- and not even a pre-Grammy phone call from Stevie Wonder could calm her nerves, as she explains in the video. India.Arie also reveals what she did on the night she lost all seven Grammys and how she really felt in the quiet hours after the loss.
Also on HuffPost:
2012 MusiCares Person Of The Year Tribute To Paul McCartney - Arrivals
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Singer India Arie arrives at the 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute To Paul McCartney held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 10, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
India.Arie arrives on the red carpet at
India.Arie arrives on the red carpet at the 52nd Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on January 31, 2010. AFP PHOTO/Gabriel BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Nobel Peace Prize Concert - Press Conference
OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 11: India.Arie attends the Nobel Peace Prize Concert press conference at the Plaza Hotel on December 11, 2010 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Sandy Young/ Getty Images for Nobel Peace Prize Concert)
Apollo Theater Fourth Annual Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony
NEW YORK - JUNE 02: Singer India.Arie attends the Apollo Theater Fourth Annual Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Apollo Theater on May 2, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
Nobel Peace Prize Concert
OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 11: India.Arie performs during the Nobel Peace Prize Concert at Oslo Spektrum on December 11, 2010 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Sandy Young/ Getty Images for Nobel Peace Prize Concert)
2011 Pre-GRAMMY Gala And Salute To Industry Icons Honoring David Geffen - Arrivals
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Singer India Arie arrives at the 2011 Pre-GRAMMY Gala and Salute To Industry Icons Honoring David Geffen at Beverly Hilton on February 12, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
43rd NAACP Image Awards - Arrivals
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 17: Singer India Arie arrives at the 43rd NAACP Image Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on February 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)
39th NAACP Image Awards - Backstage
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 14: ***EXCLUSIVE ACCESS*** Joyce Simpson and singer India.Arie backstage at the 39th NAACP Image Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on February 14, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for NAACP)
BET's Black Girls Rock 2012 - CHEVY Red Carpet
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 13: Singer India Arie attends BET's Black Girls Rock 2012 CHEVY Red Carpet at Paradise Theater on October 13, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images for BET)
GEMS Benefit Gala For Girls Educational And Mentoring Services
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: India Arie attends GEMS Benefit Gala For Girls Educational And Mentoring Services at El Museo Del Barrio on October 17, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
Lupus Foundation Of America Butterfly Gala 2012
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Singer India Arie performs Lupus Foundation of America Butterfly Gala 2012 at Gotham Hall on October 18, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for The Lupus Foundation Of America)