1870: Emma Albani becomes Canada’s first singing superstar.
1879: The most popular traditional Canadian song of all-time is published—”Alouette!” The composer remains a mystery.
1922: Ragtime piano prodigy “Mr. Fingers” (William Eckstein) composes “Lest You Forget”.
1924: Canada’s first composer to sell phonograph records emerges when Guy Lombardo forms The Royal Canadians.
1929: Canada’s first singer-songwriter debuts—La Bolduc or Mary Rose-Anna Travers.
1932: Wilf Carter debuts, the grandfather of Canadian country.
1945: Canada’s first star of jazz appears—Oscar Peterson.
1947: Classical pianist Glenn Gould debuts.
1948: Vancouver nurse (Carmen) Elizabeth Clarke writes “There’s a Bluebird on Your Windowsill”.
1951: Félix Leclerc becomes Canada’s first international folk star.
1952: The Four Lads become Canada’s first successful R&B group.
1953: Gisele McKenzie’s “Seven Lonely Days” becomes a Top 10 hit in Britain.
1954: The Crew Cuts top the charts with their rendition of “Sh-Boom”.
1957: Paul Anka becomes Canada’s first teen idol and rock and roll superstar. His “Diana” becomes one of the best-selling singles of all-time worldwide.
1960: The Beau-Marks release the first rock recording made entirely in Canada: “Clap Your Hands”.
1960: Percy Faith has the #1 single of the year: “Theme from a Summer Place”.
1963: Ian & Sylvia record one of the biggest folk songs of all-time, “Four Strong Winds”.
1964: Walt Grealis begins publishing RPM magazine containing weekly charts of the most popular music across Canada.
1964: Gilles Vigneault’s “Mon Pays” makes him a legend.
1968: John Kay’s Steppenwolf coins the term “heavy metal” in their chart-topper “Born to Be Wild”.
1968: Montreal’s psychedelic rock show, L’Osstidcho, stirs things up in French Canada.
1969: Andy Kim co-writes The Archies’ “Sugar, Sugar”, the biggest song of the year.
1969: The Guess Who launches the Canadian invasion in the U.S. beginning with “These Eyes”.
1970: The CRTC introduces new broadcast legislation designed to compel radio to promote Canadian music.
1970: The Gold Leaf Awards, shortly renamed to the Juno Awards, begins to honour the best in Canadian music annually.
1970: Anne Murray becomes an international sensation with “Snowbird”.
1972: Neil Young is the first Canadian to top the British Album Chart with Harvest.
1972: Diane Dufresne becomes the first Canadian female rocker.
1973: Michel Pagliaro’s “J’entends Frapper” is named the best-selling single to date in Quebec.
1974: Terry Jacks’ “Seasons in the Sun” is the #1 song of the year and sells 11 million copies worldwide.
1975: Canada introduces gold, platinum, and diamond sales certifications.
1978: Andre Gagnon’s Neiges released in 1975 becomes the first Canadian album to achieve multiplatinum certification.
1979: In response to the Juno Awards’ lack of attention to Francophone artists, Québec launches the Félix Awards.
1981: Diane Tell’s “Si j’étais un homme” win’s the Félix for Song of the Year.
1982: Bob and Doug McKenzie release their album The Great White North.
1985: A supergroup of Canadian stars, Northern Lights, record a charity single for African famine-relief: “Tears Are Not Enough”.
1985: Corey Hart’s “Never Surrender” is the #1 song of the year.
1985: Bryan Adams’ Reckless becomes the first album by a Canadian artist to sell a million copies in Canada (diamond).
1988: British Columbia’s Sally Yeh becomes a superstar in Greater China.
1989: Mitsou’s Franco song “Bye Bye Mon Cowboy” receives radio airplay in English Canada.
1989: Roch Vosine becomes the first Canadian to score a diamond album in France.
1989: Kon Kan’s “I Beg Your Pardon” becomes the decade’s highest-charting Canadian song in the U.K. (#5).
1990: Alannah Myles becomes the first female Canadian artist to score a diamond album in Canada.
1990: Céline Dion attains international superstardom with the release of her English crossover album, Unison.
1991: Bryan Adams’ “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” is the biggest song of the year all over the world.
1992: Marie Carmen’s cover of “L’aigle noir” is the biggest Franco hit of the year.
1993: The world’s all-time best-selling female jazz artist debuts, Diana Krall.
1994: Six tracks off Éric Lapointe’s debut album make the Top 20 singles chart in Québec.
1995: Susan Aglukark becomes Canada’s first major Inuk recording artist.
1995: Kevin Parent’s Francophone debut album sells 360,000 copies.
1996: The year sees seven #1 singles from Canadian artists, a record.
1996: Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill becomes the first Canadian album to sell 2 million copies in Canada (double-diamond certification).
1997: Shania Twain releases the best-selling country album of all-time worldwide, Come on Over.
1997: Sarah McLachlan’s “Building a Mystery” is the biggest song of the year.
1998: Les Colocs score the year’s biggest Franco hit, “Tassez-vous de d’la”.
1998: “My Heart Will Go On” is a huge hit for Celine Dion, the theme song for Canadian director James Cameron`s Titanic which becomes the highest grossing movie of all-time.
2000: Isabelle Boulay and Garou score diamond albums in France.
2000: RPM magazine folds.
2002: Nickelback has the biggest song of the year, “How You Remind Me”.
2003: Canadian Idol begins its six-year run.
2004: Raghav scores three Top 10 hits in the U.K.
2004: Star Academie contestant Marie Elanie Thibert releases the single “Toi L’inoubliable” which is certified 6x Platinum.
2005: Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day” is the #1 song of the year.
2007: Nelly Furtado becomes the only Canadian artist through the decade to win a BRIT award.
2007: The Best Damn Thing is Avril Lavigne‘s third album to go diamond in Japan.
2008: Elise Estrada becomes the first Canadian singer of east-Asian descent to score a radio hit across Canada.
2009: Justin Bieber becomes an international teen sensation.
2010: Many Canadian recording artists perform during the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.
2010: A supergroup of Canadian singers, as Young Artists for Haiti, record a reworking of K’naan’s ”Wavin’ Flag” for earthquake relief.
2011: Michael Buble‘s Christmas becomes the 2nd best-selling album of the year worldwide (after Adele’s 21).
2012: Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” is the best-selling single of the year worldwide and the best-selling domestic Canadian single in history.