The JUNO Awards, Canada’s music awards, are just around the corner. Nomination for the 43rd annual ceremony will be presented tomorrow, February 4th. This year’s eligibility period ranges from September 1, 2012 to November 13, 2013.
For those who don’t know: The JUNOs, colloquially known as the ‘Canadian Grammys’, are organized by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (CARAS); and are presented exclusively to Canadian musicians. There is one category, the “International Album of the Year”, presented to foreign acts for the best-selling album in the Canadian market. In most categories, both winners and nominees are determined by CARAS members. However, there are some categories, like Album and Single of the Year, were they are determined by a combination of sales and votes. On the other hand, the Juno Fan Choice is awarded exclusively to the top selling domestic act based on album and singles sales during the calendar year.
Let’s now take a look at the most outstanding Canadian performers of 2013:
The Toronto rapper is possibly the most famous second most famous Canadian in the music scene (behind Bieber, whatsoever). He’s won four awards out of fourteen nomination in the past four years. His last two albums, Thank Me Later and Take Care, had been nominated for Album of the Year with the latter taking the Rap Recording of the Year. In 2011, he was the most nominated artist and could possibly repeat this steak at the 2014 JUNOs. His album Nothing Was the Same received much critical acclaim, a GRAMMY nod for Best Rap Album, and was certified platinum by Music Canada. Thus, he is now in the lead for both Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Juno Fan Choice, and off course, Rap Recording of the Year. The video for “Started from the Bottom” received the MuchMusic Video Award (MMVA) for Best Director and two other nods at the VMAs; making it to the top contender for the Video of the Year category.
Bublé is one of CARAS’ darlings. He has received fourteen awards and has received at least one nomination every year since 2006 –including Album of the Year for Christmas in 2012. He’s also hosted the awards in the past two years and is rumoured to host this year. His 2013 release, To Be Loved, was the best-selling album by a Canadian artist selling more than 2 million copies worldwide. Last week, this record also let him grab his fourth Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. That being said, the BC singer has received on his favour to conquer nominees for Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, and Pop Album of the Year. Just to name a few.
Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” was not only the best-selling Canadian single, but also the best-selling single in the world for 2013 with more than 6 million copies. He was also the most controversial domestic act: Accused of misogynist by feminists, getting sued by Marvin Gaye’s family, and off course, his infamous performance with Miley Cyrus at the 2013 VMAs. All that is categorized as ‘buzz’ possibly prompting a win for the Juno Fan Choice Award. Other nominations in which he’s a lock include Single of the Year for “Blurred Lines” and Artist of the Year. His album Blurred Lines wasn’t as big as his single but he might still grab a nod for Pop Album or R&B/Soul Recording. He only holds one previous nomination, in 2012.
Tegan and Sara
The Calgary duo are yet to win a JUNO. They have been nominated five times; thrice for Alternative Album and twice for Music DVD. However, their latest album, Heartthrob was a critical success, being ranked among the Best Albums of 2013 by SPIN, Rolling Stones, Pop Matters, and Stereogum. It also sold moderately well; it was certified gold in Canada and topped Billboard’s Rock and Alternative Albums for a week. This should be enough to give them an Album of the Year nod for the very first time and possibly, Artist and Songwriter of the Year. Both the single and video for “Closer” spawned good reviews; so it could also be up for Single and Video of the Year.
Céline Dion is the best-selling Canadian singer of all-time. She might not be as huge as she was in the mid-to-late 90s but she’s still selling pretty well. In fact, her album Loved Me Back to Life was the first album in two years to receive the quadruple-platinum certification in Canada. All of her English-language recordings, and two Francophone (D’eux in 1996 and Sans attendre last year) have received nominations for Album of the Year. She has received a total of 20 JUNO awards in her career, making her the second artist with the most awards right behind Anne Murray. However, it is worth mentioning that she hasn’t win anything since 1999. Her chances of winning are rather slim but expect her to grab some nods at Album, Artist, and Pop Album of the Year.
Other front-runners include: Arcade Fire for Reflektor, critics call it the worst album by the band yet the best for today musical standards’; rapper Classified for his eponymous album; YouTube’s breakthrough group Walk Off the Earth might sneak into New Artist and Pop or AAA; Urban contemporary artist The Weeknd has the best shot at the R&B category; and Marc Dupré, who is the top contender for the Francophone category.
On the other hand, among the non-Canadian artists vying for the International Album of the Year category (based on sale) are, in random order: One Direction for Take Me Home; Justin Timberlake for The 20/20 Experience; Daft Punk for Random Access Memories; Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for The Heist; and Lorde for Pure Heroine.
The 2014 JUNO Awards will be held on March 30th at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Western Canada).