When Mary Lambert was a struggling beat poet/folk singer busking her way through Seattle's coffee shops and street corners, she started a Kickstarter campaign to fund her first EP, "Letters Don't Talk." The big carrot she dangled for pledges of $1,000 was the chance to be her date to the Grammy Awards.

"It was a little tongue-in-cheek," she says. "So I threw in the disclaimer, 'I don't know when it's happening -- it could be in five years or 10.'"

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