Tag Archives: Michael Buble
Mr. Entertainment, Michael Bublé, and Argentine wife Luisana Lopilato are now the proud parents of a baby boy. Noah arrived 2:26 a.m. in Vancouver. Congratulations to this awesome couple!
A number of you may remember Stereos, a JUNO-nominated, multi-platinum band from Edmonton. Member Patrick Kordyback of the now defunct outfit has formed a new one called i65 which has been signed by Vancouver label 604 Records (Carly Rae Jepsen, Marianas Trench). Their debut single “Another Summer” is available now.
From “Painted Ladies” in 1973 to “Levity” in 1985, The Ian Thomas band enjoyed radio airwave success across the country, the front man being the real life brother of adored Canadian comedic actor Dave Thomas (Grace Under Fire and Bob & Doug McKenzie, eh). The band has reunited after 33 years to help their ailing band mate. You can read about it HERE.
Due to the success of Harmony and its first two singles, Serena Ryder‘s team will be releasing the album in the United States. Billboard magazine has all the info HERE.
It appears that a number of upcoming album releases are getting pushed back to November. Yes, those strategizing record companies! This may have to do with taking advantage of Christmas shopping culture or it may not. In any case, it appears that the new albums from Céline Dion and Avril Lavigne are now to be in record stores in November rather than early autumn.
Speaking of November, multi-platinum, JUNO-winning BC band Hedley has announced a brand new studio album, Wild Life, due out on Remembrance Day. Lead single “Anything” has cracked the iTunes Top 5.
City and Colour and Michael Buble have become the first artists to be awarded gold/platinum certification by Music Canada on albums released in 2013. The Hurry and the Harm by City and Colour, released not too long ago, has already gone gold. To Be Loved, the latest studio album from Burnaby, BC’s Michael Buble has been awarded double-platinum status making it by far the best-selling 2013 album. The package of three albums released back in 2011 – Trilogy - by The Weeknd has also been awarded double-platinum status. Dean Brody’s Dirt from last year has gone gold.
As far as singles go, “Inner Ninja” by Classified featuring David Myles is now a triple platinum digital download making it the best-selling single of the year so far. Serena Ryder’s “Stompa” has been certified double platinum. Walk Off the Earth’s “Red Hands” and Trevor Guthrie’s “This Is What It Feels Like” are now platinum singles. Gold status has been awarded to hot new country artist Tim Hicks for “Get By”.
Gold = 40,000 units sold.
Platinum = 80,000 units sold.
2x Platinum = 160,000 units sold.
3x Platinum = 240,000 units sold.
Michael Bublé, winner of 11 JUNO awards, wrapped up his hosting this year’s gala by releasing what is set to become his sixth straight multi-platinum studio album, To Be Loved, which has already gone gold in Australia. Working with Bob Rock (who co-produced his previous two albums), the production is crisp and slick. There are 10 covers and four originals, recorded in Vancouver and Los Angeles (USA). The work opens with the bright “You Make Me Feel So Young,” a 1946 song featured in the musical film Three Little Girls in Blue. His current hit single “It’s a Beautiful Day,” which has been on top of the AC radio charts for the past few weeks, follows. From the Bee Gees’ debut album in 1967, Michael tackles “To Love Somebody” and adds a splash of soul as well to Smokey Robinson’s 1960 tune “Who’s Lovin’ You”. “Somethin’ Stupid” was a 1966 song by Carson and Gaile; Buble performs it with Hollywood actress Reese Witherspoon. “Come Dance with Me” was a song written for Frank Sinatra in 1959; Diana Krall has also covered this.
“Close Your Eyes” is the album’s most remarkable track in that it sees Michael take a stab at pop/rock. He co-wrote this fabulous song with fellow Canadian Jann Arden. Another Canadian superstar co-wrote the jazz-rock “After All” with Michael and sings it with him—Bryan Adams. “Have I Told You Lately that I Love You?,” written by Scotty Wiseman in 1945,was one of the first country songs to crossover onto the pop charts; American R&B group Naturally 7 adds some nice backing vocals. “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” was written by Randy Newman for the animated film Toy Story. “Nevertheless” was first recorded by Bing Crosby in 1931; the Bublé version features England’s The Puppini Sisters. “I Got It Easy” is the final original track. To Be Loved closes with the well-known “Young at Heart” first recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1953. While the album marks familiar Bublé territory—swinging jazz-pop—some peppering with soulful Motown and rock will serve to broaden its appeal.
Recently, Michael performed “Who’s Lovin’ You” at a New York subway station. Check it out:
To Be Loved on iTunes Michael Bublé’s Official Website
The week leading up to the JUNO Awards’ main gala on Sunday April 21, 2013, saw a few events make the news. In the United Kingdom, fierce debates ensued over the question of Scottish separation. Never underestimate the power of the kilt? In the United States, they were occupied with their Boston Marathon bombing and aftermath, the avaricious press making a fortune off of the story (though nowhere near as much as they have made off stories about Canadian pop stars). In Ottawa, future rehab attendees were busy attempting to remodel Parliament Hill after Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. But while all these shenanigans were going on, in Regina, they were throwing the finest party of the year, a two-hour celebration of the past year of Canadian music, hosted by multi-platinum, Burnaby-raised crooner Michael Bublé.
Most of the awards had been presented the night before with seven given out at the main gala, a night filled with skits, humour, and live performances.
The show opened with a pre-recorded sketch of Bublé wheeling his luggage down a London hotel corridor and running into comedian Russell Peters who offered his suggestion that the JUNOs be hosted by a real man’s man with a chiselled jaw like Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy. Next, Bublé appeared in New York with American chat show hostess Kelly Ripa who said she loved Canadian music and expressed her desire to sing Céline Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” hand-in-hand with Michael. He then appeared in a Hollywood piano bar where Scottish actor Gerard Butler, surrounded by a bevy of beauties, patronizingly tossed some coins into a glass bowl atop the piano and commanded Bublé to play but “whatever you do, don’t sing”, to which the girls giggled. Bublé finally appeared laying on a chesterfield getting his woes off his chest to therapist Dr. Phil who told him to man up, get out there and host. When Michael departed, Phil commented, “They should have got Jim Cuddy.”
To a cheering crowd, a Miami Vice bearded Michael Bublé entered the stage in black trousers, white collared shirt, black bowtie, and burgundy jacket with peaked lapel. The camera zoomed in on a grinning Jim Cuddy seated among the packed arena’s audience. “Ah, Regina, the city that rhymes with fun,” our host exclaimed. Capping off his opening remarks, Bublé linked his hat-tip to the Riders with the first performer, Serena Ryder, who performed her Top 10 hit, “Stompa”.
Singer-songwriter Adam Cohen (Leonard Cohen’s son), rapper JD Era, and country artist Dean Brody took the stage to present the first award of the night—Songwriter of the Year. The JUNO went to Leonard Cohen (his 6th JUNO win). Leonard was absent from the JUNOs this year. His son delivered a speech and accepted the award on his behalf, joking, “I feel so used.”
What followed was a performance by Saskatoon’s retro boogie rockers, The Sheepdogs and then Bahamas and Kathleen Edwards (the latter singing the Jeopardy theme song) presented the award for Breakthrough Group of the Year. The JUNO went to Monster Truck. This was their 1st JUNO win. They poked fun at the madness of being a little over the hill for the category, “Breakthrough group of the year when you’re 30 years old is nothing to scoff at.”
Michael Bublé returned appearing very nervous and lost for words, mimicking the laugh and lingo of a teenage girl obsessed with British boy band One Direction. The band appeared from Manchester via satellite, “How are you Canada?” A jittery Bublé asked, “So, do you guys like … stuff?” “We love stuff,” they answered. Bublé bashfully replied, “Me too. Stuff’s awesome. So cool.” One Direction introduced the next act, “People of Canada, this is Carly Rae Jepsen.” Carly, surrounded by a squadron of female dancers, performed “Call Me Maybe” and “Tonight I’m Getting Over You” in medley format.
West coast rapper Madchild and electropoppers Dragonette presented the award for Group of the Year. The award went to Marianas Trench, the best-selling of the nominated bunch last year. Believe it or not, this was the popular band’s first JUNO win.
Bublé who had changed into a white jacket with shawl lapel commented on the beauty of Canadian female singers like Serena Ryder, Metric’s Emily Haines, and Carly Rae Jepsen. “I don’t know if you just saw Carly Rae,” he quipped, “But she was so hot. Like, did you see those little shorts? They looked good on her, but they’d look better crumpled up on my bedroom floor, if you know what I mean.” He gazed out toward the crowd, “Oh, and it’s my pregnant wife.” The camera panned over to Michael’s wife sitting in the stands giving him a stern look. She pointed at him and then ran her finger across her neck in a throat slitting gesture.
The Tenors performed “Forever Young” and talked about the musical education work of MusicCounts, which was elaborated on by Shania Twain from Las Vegas. Marianas Trench performed next. Canada’s godfather of rap Maestro Fresh Wes and Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy presented the award for Single of the Year. The JUNO was awarded to Carly Rae Jepsen for “Call Me Maybe”, the all-time best-selling single in Canada by a Canadian artist. Incidentally, it was the best-selling song on iTunes worldwide in 2012. The host Michael Bublé performed his latest single “It’s a Beautiful Day”.
Canadian icon, winner of 24 JUNO awards, Anne Murray, introduced the latest inductee into the Music Hall of Fame, k.d. lang. “She went on to prove that a great voice can sing just about anything it wants,” Anne said of k.d. A brief biographical video was shown including tributes to the Albertan from Tony Bennett, Jian Ghomeshi, Leonard Cohen, and Shania Twain. Before the backdrop of a standing-o, a tearful and grateful k.d. lang mounted the stage to accept her award and delivered a powerhouse speech.
“I think the fact that I’m standing here receiving this award actually says more about Canada than it says about me, because only in Canada could there be such a freak as k.d. lang receiving this award. Only in Canada could there be people like Stompin’ Tom Connors and Rita MacNeil. So I am here to tell you my friends and my countrymen, it is okay to be you. It is okay to let your freak flags fly and embrace the quirkmeister that’s inside of all of us.”
Billy Talent rocked the stage with Serna Ryder before Bublé on skates and hockey gear at the rink got boarded by two Vancouver Canucks. He then appeared backstage in a Riders’ shirt where The Sheepdogs were engaged in a discussion about tuna sandwiches. They questioned the Riders’ shirt given that he is from BC. He brushed them off and congratulated their making the cover of the United States’ Rolling Stone magazine saying that he had been on the cover too. They questioned him again, “I don’t remember you being on the cover.” Bublé pulled out a magazine with a photo cut out of his face pasted on the cover.
Atlantic Canadians Classified and David Myles performed their Top 5 hit “Inner Ninja” before presenting the JUNO Fan Choice award which went to Justin Bieber, his third consecutive win in the category and 4th JUNO award. He was not able to attend. Both Bieber and Leonard Cohen were fulfilling their busy touring schedules set out for them by their respective employers. The next performance was by Hannah Georgas.
Victoria Duffield, Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew, and Regina-born actress Tatiana Maslany presented the award for Adult Alternative Album of the Year. The Canadian Music Blog is not sure what the term “adult alternative” music means, but it does not sound G-rated. The award went to Serena Ryder for her album Harmony. Metric followed, performing “Synthetica”.
Tom Cochrane and Regina’s Colin James presented the final and biggest award of the night, Album of the Year. They commented that they remembered when vinyl was used to make albums … and pants. The JUNO was awarded to Kiss by Carly Rae Jepsen. She was congratulated by Hedley’s Jacob Hoggard on her way to the platform. Obviously surprised at the win, she was speechless and nearly in tears. Carly had scored a hat trick at the JUNOs: Pop Album of the Year and the two biggest awards, Single of the Year and Album of the Year.
The newest inductee into the Music Hall of Fame, k.d. lang, performed next. Michael Bublé closed the show by singing his song “Home” with a little help from the crowd. Aside from the lack of a much-needed Francophone performance, this was a fabulous show and serves as a true standard for how the Grammy and BRIT Awards ought to conduct themselves. Canadian music is the best in the world and will continue to get even better, so, as k.d. lang so Canadianly put it, “Go, team, go!”
To view a list of all JUNO nominees and winners this year, click HERE.
To view the entire broadcast of the main gala, click HERE.
To view pictures from the gala, click HERE.
There’s an old saying that a prophet has no honour in his own country. Not to compare a celebrity with a prophet, but the principle often holds true. Michael Bublé’s latest single, “It’s a Beautiful Day” debuted on the Canadian Hot 100 at #26. This sounds good given that it spent 1 week on the U.S. Billboard chart at #94. After being released in the United Kingdom, however, the single debuted on their official singles chart today at #10. It is the first British Top 10 song by a Canadian artist so far in 2013. Bublé who grew up in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby is scheduled to appear on the #1 chat show in Britain, The Graham Norton Show, this coming Friday.
“It’s a Beautiful Day” on iTunes MV on YouTube Michael Buble Official Website
This just in, Mr. Bubbles himself, Michael Bublé, will be hosting the 2013 JUNO Awards which will be broadcast from Regina on April 21. Last year, it was William Shatner who did the hosting honours, participating in some comedic sketches where he attempted to convince bands to take him on as a member. Buble, always full of good humour, won the Album of the Year award at the JUNOs last year for 8x Platinum Christmas. The announcement was made via a funny television advert today featuring him with Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger. Check it out below. Nominations for the JUNO Awards will be unveiled on February 19.
The Grammy Awards are the U.S. equivalent of the JUNOs. They differ though in that JUNO awards, unless in the international categories, are given to Canadian artists. Grammy awards are given out to anyone in the world, provided their music was popular within the borders of the United States. In scrolling through the list of nominees to find Canadian artists, we found some amusing category titles. First off, given that the definition of a song is “a piece of music that is sung”, the title “Best Rap Song” is a contradiction in terms. We can at least give them credit for not using the often misplaced term “hip hop” which refers to the dance that goes with rap music rather than rap music itself. Another peculiar one is that the U.S. uses the term “Latin” to refer not to music that is performed in the Latin language but in Spanish. Latin is much closer to Italian than to Spanish. Did it not come from Italy? Let’s get the terminology right, guys, lest the rigatoni masters squirt you with pasta sauce and the sombrero dudes demand Texas is returned to Mexico.
The other bizarre thing about the Grammy Awards, and I suppose the same is true of the JUNOs, is that there are songs and albums nominated that were big prior to 2012 (i.e. old).
Congratulations to our hard-working Canadian artists on the nominations, eh.
SONG OF THE YEAR
Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call My Maybe”
BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE
Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call My Maybe”
BEST DANCE/ELECTRONICA ALBUM
Deadmau5, > Album Title Goes Here <
BEST TRADITIONAL POP VOCAL ALBUM
Michael Bublé, Christmas
BEST SCORE SOUNDTRACK FOR VISUAL MEDIA
Howard Shore, Hugo
BEST SONG WRITTEN FOR VISUAL MEDIA
Arcade Fire, “Abraham’s Daughter” for The Hunger Games
BEST TRADITIONAL R&B PERFORMANCE
Melanie Fiona, “Wrong Side of a Love Song”
BEST R&B SONG
Tamia, “Beautiful Surprise”
BEST R&B ALBUM
Tamia, Beautiful Surprise
BEST RAP PERFORMANCE
BEST RAP SONG
Drake, “The Motto”
BEST RAP ALBUM
Drake, Take Care
BEST NEW AGE ALBUM
Loreena McKennitt, Troubadours on the Rhine
BEST LONG FORM MUSIC VIDEO
Tegan and Sara, Get Along
Christmas by Michael Buble (Deluxe Special 2012 Edition)
Last year, in late October, Michael Buble released his 7x Platinum Christmas LP which became the best-selling Canadian album of 2011 both at home and abroad. This year, on December 4, Mr. Bubbles is re-releasing the work with three or four new tracks. Recently, he appeared on the top televised chat program in the United Kingdom, The Graham Norton Show, for one of the funniest interviews in recent memory, prior to performing “Jingle Bells”. You can watch it HERE (warning: adult humour).
Noel by Star Academie
Earlier this year, contestants of Montreal’s hit TV reality series Star Academie (somewhat of a French language version of Canadian Idol) released an album of covers of classic Francophone tunes that has been certified double-platinum. In November, the gifted singers released Christmas album Noel. In just 17 days, it went Platinum. Most of the tracks are in fabulous French with a couple of English. iTunes
This is Christmas by Suzie McNeil
After releasing her Dear Love album earlier this year, Mississauga-born charmer Suzie McNeil has just released her first Christmas album, This is Christmas. She has written an original Christmas song annually for the past four years. To these, she added four classic Christmas tunes for a sweet eight-track disc. She says, “This album is light and fun, and I truly hope that it adds a festive feeling to your holiday experience.” iTunes
Bundled Up by the Artists of 604 Records
Vancouver’s 604 Records has become a powerful little label, the one that launched Carly Rae Jepsen to international superstardom. What is becoming a tradition for them is releasing an annual Christmas album with both traditional and original tunes sung by its various artists. This year, they have released Bundled Up which includes Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Mittens”, Jessica Lee’s “Wouldn’t Be Christmas”, and a delicious rendition of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Ian Casselman. iTunes
A Cup of Kindness Yet (EP) by Hey Rosetta!
Finally, for those of you dreaming of a … grey? Christmas? JUNO-nominated, Newfoundland, indie folk-rock band Hey Rosetta! has released a four-track Christmas-themed EP in time for the holidays called A Cup of Kindness Yet. In the cup, you will find a couple of originals with traditionals reworked. iTunes
Update: 2013 Christmas Releases are HERE.
Before Canadian artists begin cranking out new albums this year, we wanted to conduct a poll to see what your favourite Canadian album was last year. For this particular poll, we’re just going to limit answers to the five best-selling 2011 Canadian albums worldwide. Perhaps you didn’t like any of them or perhaps you liked all of them. But, if you had to choose one, what would it be?
Born: 1975, Burnaby, BC
Genres: Jazz, AC
• All 5 studio albums quadruple platinum or higher
• 3 Top 10 hits
• Nominated for 2 BRITs
• 3 Grammy Award wins
• 21 Juno Nominations, including 10 wins
Major Juno Awards
2006: Song of the Year, “Home”
2006: Artist of the Year
2006: Album of the Year, It’s Time
2010: Album of the Year, Crazy Love
2010: Song of the Year, “Haven’t Met You Yet”
Studio Albums and Hit Singles
2003: Michael Bublé
• 4x Platinum
• Singles: “Sway” (#15 AUL), “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart”, “Kissing a Fool”
2005: It’s Time
• 6x Platinum
• Juno Album of the Year
• Singles: “Home” (Juno Song of the Year; Platinum Digital Download), “Feeling Good”, “Save the Last Dance for Me”
2007: Call Me Irresponsible
• 4x Platinum
• Singles: “Everything” (#10 CA), “Me and Mrs. Jones”, “Lost” (#19 UK), “It Had Better Be Tonight”, “Comin’ Home Baby”
2009: Crazy Love
• 4x Platinum
• Juno Album of the Year
• Singles: “Haven’t Met You Yet” (#5 CA & UK; #31 CA-YE; Juno Song of the Year), “Hold On”, “Cry Me a River”, “Crazy Love”, “Hollywood” (#2 IL)
• 8x Platinum
• “Spider-Man Theme” (#6 CA) from the 2004 Spider-Man 2 soundtrack
• “Let It Snow!” (#22 AUL)
Legend: AUL-Australia, CA-Canada, UK-United Kingdom, US-YE-United States Year-End Chart, IL-Ireland
Note: Only countries with highest positions mentioned
Michael Bublé was born in Burnaby, a suburb on the east side of Vancouver. He was attracted to jazz vocal music as a child, especially Bing Crosby. His family noticed his singing talents when he was 13. As an avid Canucks fan, initially, Buble wanted to become a hockey player, and played the game in his youth. From age 14, he spent his summers working with his father, a commercial fisherman.
It was Michael’s Italian grandfather, a plumber, who began encouraging his musical talents and who paid for his singing lessons. Any nightclubs that needed plumbing work done were offered service in exchange for giving Michael stage time. He was 16. Two years later, Buble entered a local talent contest and won but was disqualified because he was underage. The organizer, Bev Delich, made it up to him by entering him in the Youth Talent Search which he won as well. Michael asked Delich to become his manager; she accepted. Over the next several years, Buble performed every gig possible, performing on cruise ships, at shopping malls and corporate events, in hotel lounges, bars, clubs, for corporate events, even doing singing telegrams. He made appearances in several television shows like The X-Files. But success eluded him.
In 1997, when he was 22, he performed on national television via a documentary called “Big Band Boom!” The same year he became a frequent guest on CTV’s Vicki Gabereau show as a fill-in for guests who cancelled. He performed with Diana Krall who was impressed with him. He began composing songs for Canadian cinema which led to a couple of Genie nominations. He recorded a self-financed independent album, First Dance, which went unnoticed. He pursued high-profile Vancouverite Bruce Allen to be his manager but was ignored. He relocated to Toronto to appear in some musicals.
At the end of the decade, Bublé’s musical career was, despite all the effort, going nowhere. He was ready to give up and pursue a career in journalism.
In the summer of 2000, Michael McSweeney, a speech writer for former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, heard Michael Buble sing at a corporate party. Mulroney’s daughter Caroline was getting married in September. McSweeney recommended Buble to sing at the wedding giving the Mulroney’s a copy of his independent album. The former P.M. extended the invitation, and Buble sang “Mack the Knife”. Guess who else was attending the wedding? David Foster. Bingo!
Foster was indeed impressed; however, he was honest in saying that he did not know how to market Bublé’s style of music. Buble followed Foster to Los Angeles, refusing to give up hope. He appeared in the films Duets and Totally Blonde. He recorded two more independent albums, Babalu (2001) and Dream (2002). At some point Paul Anka arrived on the scene to personally endorse Buble and Foster finally agreed to sign him onto his label 143 Records with no assurances from Warner.
The self-titled 2003 release contained contemporary standards of such songs as Van Morrison’s “Moondance”, George Michael’s “Kissing a Fool”, The Bee Gees “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart”, Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, and Paul Anka’s “Put You Head on My Shoulder”. “Sway” became, perhaps, the best-known track. Originally, a 1953 Spanish mambo song by a Mexican composer, it was recorded by Dean Martin the following year with English lyrics by Norman Gimbel.
Buble went on tour to promote the album and made a number of TV appearances. The album was eventually certified 4x Platinum in Canada but saw its greatest success in Australia where it topped the album charts and went 7x Platinum.
The following year, Buble was asked to sing the spider-man theme for the huge blockbuster Spider-Man 2. It became his first Top 10 hit in Canada.
Bublé’s sophomore release It’s Time became his biggest-selling album at home, selling over 600,000 copies. “Home”, an original song, which Buble co-wrote, won the Juno for Song of the Year. Buble performed songs with Nelly Furtado and world-renowned trumpeter Chris Botti. “Save the Last Dance for Me” was a 1960 hit for Ben E. King. “Feeling Good” was originally written for the musical “Roar of the Greasepaint”. It’s Time won the Juno for Album of the Year and Bublé for Artist of the Year.
Call Me Irresponsible came next, in 2007. “Everything”, another song Buble co-wrote, was a Top 10 hit at home. The album also contains the song “Lost” which he co-wrote with Jann Arden. He sang with English actress Emily Blunt for “Me and Mrs. Jones”, originally a hit for Billy Paul in 1972. He performed the original song “Comin’ Home Baby” with American vocal group Boys II Men.
In 2009, Buble released Crazy Love which was especially well-received in the U.K. & Ireland (8x and 9x Platinum). With it, Buble received his second song and album of the year awards. Co-composed “Haven’t Me You Yet” became his biggest hit: Top 5 in the U.K. and Canada and appearing on the year-end American Billboard chart at #39. Buble co-wrote a second song on the album—”Hold On”. He performed Ron Sexsmith’s “Whatever It Takes”. “Hollywood” was included on a re-release of the album and made it to #2 on the Irish charts.
Buble released a Christmas album in October, 2011. It became his highest certified studio album, 7x Platinum, making it the best-selling Canadian album of the year.
Copyright 2011 by the Canadian Music Blog
As mainstream pop and rock was being taken over by contestants of Canadian Idol and Star Academie, artists who signed with record labels directly began to produce music that was on the fringes—either ultra-soft or ultra-hard. This resulted in a polarization of music. On the soft side was David Foster-produced jazz-singing virtuoso Michael Bublé, the biggest new star to arise in the middle of the decade. Folky Ariane Moffatt, Mes Aïeux, and Gregory Charles were other stars on the mellow side of the spectrum. On the hard side were grungy Nickelback copycat bands like Simple Plan, Billy Talent, and Three Days Grace. Heavily-tattooed Canadian Idol contestant, Jacob Hoggard, who finished 3rd in the second season, became the lead singer of grunge outfit Hedley. The only prominent artist, outside of the talent shows, to stand in the comfortable middle was Ontario’s Fefe Dobson.
Across the river from Quebec City, pianist-guitarist, singer-songwriter, Juno and Felix award winner Ariane Moffatt hit the airwaves. Her 2002 debut release, Aquanaute, was certified platinum due in large part to the hits “Pointe de Mire” and “Poussière d’ange”. Five of her singles were to be nominated for the Felix Song of the Year award, “Je veux tout” winning such a prize at the 2008 gala. The album on which the song appeared, Tous les Sans won the Juno for Francophone Album of the Year. Another female voice emerged this year, coming from Toronto’s former suburb of Scarborough. She was a beautiful model of mixed English, French, Aboriginal, and Jamaican ancestry. The singer-songwriter scored her first of three Top 10 hits, “Bye Bye Boyfriend”, her debut , self-titled, album attaining platinum sales. Her name was Fefe Dobson. Andrée Watters, from the northeastern Quebec City borough of Charlesbourg, released her first of three Felix song of the year nominees, “Si exceptionnel”. She won the Felix for best rock album of the year. Sadly, her brother Patrick was killed in a 2007 helicopter crash near Fort McMurray, AB, while combatting a forest fire.
The most significant male artist to debut this year was a multi-talented Vaughan, ON native with Portuguese roots named Shawn Desman. His “Shook” made it to #3 on the charts. His 2005 album Back for More won the Juno for best R&B release. Besides singing, he plays the piano, produces, dances, and does choreography.
From Mississauga, ON, high school band Pezz transformed itself into Billy Talent, signing with Warner Music. Sales of their first (self-titled) heavy metal release under the major label, reached triple platinum status and won the Juno for album of the year. Their song “Try Honesty” was nominated for a song of the year Juno.
Outside the country, the biggest Canadian hits this year were Avril Lavigne’s gorgeous power ballad “I’m with You”, Shania Twain’s soothing “Forever and For Always”, and Nickelback’s grungy “Someday”. Within the country, Celine Dion revamped Cyndi Lauper’s “I Drove All Night” (originally written for Roy Orbison) and topped the charts. Canadian Idol winner Ryan Malcolm’s “Something More” was also a #1 hit. Despite being a French song, “Meme Les Anges” made it to #2 on the charts due to Audrey De Montigny’s high-profile exposure on Canadian Idol. Celine Dion’s “Tout l’or des hommes” was as successful. Nicola Ciccone’s beautiful “J’t'aime tout court” was song of the year in French Canada and Nelly Furtado’s fusion piece “Powerless” in English Canada.
There were three albums released this year that sold half a million copies: Sarah McLachlan’s Afterglow, Nickelback’s The Long Road, and the compilation Star Academie (featuring songs sung by the various contestants of the show).
First and foremost this year was Vancouver’s Michael Bublé. He debuted last year with his self-titled album, and, thanks to the blockbuster film Spider-Man, he scored his first big hit in 2004. Buble was discovered by David Foster while singing at the wedding of Caroline Mulroney, daughter of the former Prime Minister. Initially Foster was reluctant to sign him because he was unsure how the market would react to Michael’s brand of music—traditional pop and big band jazz. With the support of Paul Anka, David eventually agreed. It turned out to be a wise decision because Buble’s albums have sold 35 million copies worldwide.
In Britain, a Canadian artist scored three Top 10 hits. But in his own country, he was not as noticed. The Canadian music industry, in the interests of commercialism, has tagged along with its southern neighbours and become a blacks-and-whites only club, largely closing its doors to recording artists of Asian descent, who represent a much greater population in the country than those with African roots. Because of this racialism, artists of any and every visible minority, in order to flourish, have, rather than creating a style of rock music they can call their own, reverted to adopting African American styles of R&B and rap. This was true of Indian-Albertan Raghav. (He did sneak in some Indian-style rhythms).
Rap-R&B singer Jérôme Philippe scored a Felix-nominated song, “Pour le ghetto”. Kevin Brereton, known as k-os, grew up in Toronto and delivered the beautifully-arranged Juno song of the year, “Crabbuckit”, somewhat of an alternative reggae piece. He has managed two platinum albums and a couple of Top 20 hits.
Several new bands hit the airwaves this year, most of them dabbling in various combinations of grunge, punk, and metal. The most successful of all of them was 8-time Juno nominee, Montreal quintet Simple Plan. Recording since 2002, they enjoyed their first big hit this year, “Perfect” (not to be confused with Hedley’s song of the same name). Oddly, the lead singer Pierre Bouvier has chosen to sing with an American rather than Canadian accent. The band’s second album, Still Not Getting Any, went 4x Platinum, making it the third most successful Canadian album released this year (after Shania Twain’s Greatest Hits and Avriil Lavigne’s Under My Skin).
Drummondville, Quebec’s Les Trois Accords paid homage to Saskatchewan in their Felix-nominated song. After releasing a platinum album, they scored a couple more hits through the decade. Finger Eleven, from Burlington, ON, gave the world the international acoustic guitar hit “One Thing”. Besides Avril Lavigne, the band was the only Canadian act to appear on the U.S. Billboard year-end chart. The Scott Anderson-led group scored an even bigger hit in 2007—the grungy “Paralyzer”.
Toronto’s independent punk label Underground Operations signed Closet Monster and Hostage Life who churned out the hits “We Re-Built This City” and “Sing for the Enemy” respectively. The Trews, originally from Antigonish, NS, enjoyed a Juno-nominated song, “Not Ready to Go”. Winnipeg’s The Waking Eyes had the Top 10 hit, “Watch Your Money”.
Uruguayan-Swiss Quebecer, Carole Facal, after dabbling with snowboarding in B.C., teamed up with Dorianne Fabreg to form the duo DobaCaracol, complete with dreadlocks. Later, as a soloist, Facal, under the stage name, Caracol, scored the hit “Le Mépris”. Montréal’s Marie-Chantal Toupin came out with the power-ballad “Naître” and enjoyed two platinum albums in the decade.
Three bands broke up in the new millennium and members formed a new outfit in St. Catharines called Alexisonfire. A platinum album released this year helped them garner the Juno for New Group of the Year in 2005. At the end of the decade, member Dallas Green announced his departure. He went solo under the name City and Colour.
Big hits this year from previously profiled artists included two top fives from Avril Lavigne: the rock masterpiece “My Happy Ending” and her first Top 5 hit at home: “Don’t Tell Me”. “A prophet knows no honour in her own country?” Although her singles did better elsewhere, her albums sold better at home than abroad. Canadian Idol winner Kalan Porter had the #1 “Awake in a Dream” which became the best-selling single of all time in Canada (8x Platinum). Star Academie’s Marie Elanie Thibert had the second best-selling single of all-time, “Toi L’inoubliable”. Shania Twain’s “Party for Two” fittingly made it to #2. The Felix song of the year was “Les Étoiles filantes” by Les Cowboys Fringants.
One of the biggest international hits of the decade came out this year from a Vernon, BC lad named Daniel Powter. He was bullied as a child for studying the violin (since when is there something wrong with the violin?). He switched to piano but struggled with dyslexia. “Bad Day” was released first in the U.K. where it made it to #2. At home, it was a Top 10 hit. But in 2006 the song not only made it to #1, it was the biggest song of the year in the United States. “Voyager vers toi” was a hit in Quebec for Marc Dupré. Hamilton’s Tomi Swick scored a radio hit called “A Night Like This” which helped him win the Juno for New Artist of the Year in 2006.
Third-place finalist of Canadian Idol, Jacob Hoggard, formed the successful Abbotsford, BC rock band Hedley who enjoyed six Top 10 hits through the decade, two double-platinum albums, and, until now, 15 Juno nominations. From the same city as Les Trois Accords, folk band Kaïn scored subsequent hits “Embarque ma belle” and “Mexico”. Ska band Bedouin Soundclash won the Juno for best new group and “When the Night Feels My Song” was nominated for best song. In 2007, they scored the Top 10 hit “Walls Fall Down”.
Brandon, Manitoba’s country singer Amanda Stott crossed over onto the pop charts with the #1 hit song, “Paper Rain”.
There were not too many hit songs this year from Canadian artists. The only other big hit, besides those mentioned above, was chart-topping “Alive” from Canadian Idol winner Melissa O’Neil who incidentally (and refreshingly) is half Chinese. Star Academie contestant Annie Blanchard won the Felix song of the year award with “Évangéline” and Michael Buble’s “Home” won the equivalent Juno award.
Hit albums this year were Nickelback’s All the Right Reasons (7x Platinum), Michael Bublé’s album of the year Juno winner It’s Time, and Céline Dion’s On ne change pas.
Nickelback’s lead singer Chad Kroeger started his own record label called 604 Records. It signed the Vancouver band Marianas Trench whose song “Say Anything” was a #3 hit. The Adam Gontier-fronted outfit Three Days Grace from Norwood, ON recorded the double-platinum Juno-nominated album One-X but did not manage any big hit singles. Speaking of double-platinum albums, Mes Aïeux achieved one and also won the Felix song of the year for folk hit “Dégénérations”. They have been named Group of the Year three times at the Felix galas. Combining male-female lead vocals, pop group Alfa Rococo enjoyed a few big hits in Québec, including “Les Jours de pluie” this year. Stabilo, a rock band from Maple Ridge, BC, scored the raio hit “Flawed Design”. Montreal’s alternative rock band Mobile won a Juno for New Group of the Year in 2007 thanks to their debut album released this year, Tomorrow Starts Today.
Sherbrooke, Quebec’s Vincent Vallières had been around since 1999 but began scoring some hits, like “Je pars à pied”. Retired hockey player Étienne Drapeau turned to singing and enjoyed the hit “Je l’ai jamais dit à personne”. Montreal’s Gregory Charles, of Trinidadian origin, had a very popular debut album, the triple-platinum I Think of You. Dumas’ “Au gré des saisons” was popular this year.
Exotic Indian-Irish-Italian beauty Cindy Daniel had a very big hit, “Sous une pluie d’étoiles” and Egypt-born Chantal Chamandy had the platinum-selling hit single “Feels Like Love”.
Nelly Furtado scored three Top 10 international hits this year and two more next year with her 5x Platinum album Loose which won the album of the year Juno. Her song “Promiscuous” was named song of the year. Canadian Idol winner Eva Avila topped the charts performing in American R&B style for her song “Meant to Fly”. Nickelback scored three big hits this year.
Coming up are mini-profiles on semi-major artists Billy Talent, Gregory Charles, Fefe Dobson, Marie-Élaine Thibert, Finger Eleven, Shawn Desman, Mes Aïeux, and Marianas Trench. Following that will be features on major artists Michael Bublé, Hedley, Simple Plan, Raghav, and Ariane Moffatt.
Copyright 2011 by the Canadian Music Blog