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Headlines and Footdots: The Launch of 2018 Edition

Ontario indigenous artist Logan Staats tops iTunes Canada with “The Lucky Ones (The Launch)”. CTV’s much hyped The Launch … launched … January 10, a six-part television series, in which five promising new artists showcase their vocals on cover songs. Two finalists are selected, and big-name mentors prep them to compete through the performance of a song that will, within 48 hours, be released as a single. Advisers for Episode 1 were Shania Twain (as main mentor), Scott Borchetta, and busbee. Logan was chosen over fellow finalist Vivian Hicks for his soulful treatment of song “The Lucky Ones”. Released as a single, the track skyrocketed to the summit of iTunes surging past Ed Sheeran, Camila Cabello, and Justin Timberlake. Staats is from Six Nations, Ontario. Performances from the two finalists embedded below.

Meghan Patrick releases her sophomore album Country Music Made Me Do It. The Ontarian 2017 CCMA Female Artist of the Year winner has served the public her second country delicacy, and it has been well received, landing a spot in the iTunes Top 10 and receiving a score of 9/10 over at Exclaim! Magazine.

The Weeknd takes offence to H&M advertisement stating he will no longer be sponsoring the brand. The Stefan Persson (personal net worth $18.9 billion) retail clothier shot a promo photo of a hoodie that reads, “Coolest monkey in the jungle.” Because it was worn by a non-White child, many chose to take offence including The Weeknd, who had formerly inked a deal with the company to model for them and develop pieces under his XO brand. Now regarding H&M as the uncoolest monkey in the jungle, he remarked on Twitter, “Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. I’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore…”

Alessia Cara will be performing at the 2018 United States’ Grammy Awards on January 28. The Ontario native has been nominated for three awards. She will be joining Khalid and Logic to deliver song “1-800-273-8255”. The shindig is to take place in New York City this year.

Two Canadian acts are nominated for 2018 BRIT Awards. The United Kingdom’s JUNOs, The Brits, recently unmasked the 2018 nominations. There are three international award categories and two of them have a Canadian artist in the running. Up for Best International Group is Arcade Fire and International Male Solo Artist is Drake.

Multiplatinum Albertan Jann Arden is releasing new album These Are the Days in mid-March. Jann joins a number of artists with album release dates set for the next few months: Grounders, Mild & Bone, Bahamas, Dumas, The Sheepdogs, Gord Bamford, Adrian Underhill, Hubert Lenoir, Jonathan Kawchuk, Good Lovelies, Séba et Horg, Cadence Weapon, The Fugitives, Leaving Thomas, Collette Savard, The Jim Cuddy Band, Grand Analog, Zaki Ibrahim, Ellen Doty, Suuns, Born Ruffians, U.S. Girls, Ought, Young Galaxy, and many more!

2017 Hits Internationally by or Featuring Canadians

Find below a list of all songs by or featuring a Canadian artist that made it into the year-end Top 100 of Canada (17), The United Kingdom (10), Australia (11), The United States (12), and Japan (3). It is interesting to note that Shawn Mendes’ “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” was biggest in Australia where it finished 10th of the year. Aussies also liked “Stay” with Alessia Cara more than the other countries. Brits preferred Drake’s “Passionfruit” over the other nations, while Americans had it in for “Both” featuring the rapper. Enjoy the table below.

TITLE ARTIST CA UK AU US JP
Despacito Ft. Justin Bieber 2 2 2 2  
Starboy  The Weeknd 6 59 42 20  
There’s Nothing Holdin’…  Shawn Mendes 16 16 10 23  
Stay  Zedd & Alessia Cara 22 37 14 17 66
I Feel It Coming  The Weeknd 23 66 39 34  
Passionfruit  Drake 33 30 66 65  
Let Me Love You Ft. Justin Bieber 41     46  
Fake Love  Drake 49 91   37  
Signs  Drake 52        
2U Ft. Justin Bieber 54 64 69    
Scars To Your Beautiful  Alessia Cara 70   87 30  
Treat You Better  Shawn Mendes 71     92  
Friends J. Bieber + BloodPop 83 93 63    
Mercy  Shawn Mendes 84     54  
Reminding Me  Shawn Hook 86        
Party Monster  The Weeknd 91        
Portland  Drake 95        
What Do You Mean? Justin Bieber         21
Sorry Justin Bieber         92
Both Ft. Drake       83  
How Far I’ll Go Alessia Cara     76    
Never Be Like You Ft. Kai     97    
One Dance Drake   80      

Sykamore Opens 2018 with An Ace EP

It’s pouring rain right now in Vancouver, as we read some news stories that got 2018 off to a bizarre start. But we came across some very good news and a portent of wonderful things to come in terms of the year’s music. Calgarian singer and songwriter Sykamore has opened 2018 in music with a wonderful new EP called Self + Medicine. It is essentially country, but she also sifts in some pop and adult contemporary. Hear her syrupy vocals on track “Better Half” in the new MV embedded below. The new disc follows 2013 album Petal which was more on the folk side.  iTunes

Nielsen Music Releases 2017 Year-End Report

Nielsen Music Canada has come out with a year-end report for 2017 and we post some highlights below.

Top Canadian Artists by Consumption

1. Drake, 505,000
2. The Weeknd, 266,000
3. The Tragically Hip, 203,000
4. Shania Twain, 168,000
5. Shawn Mendes, 132,000
6. Arcade Fire, 100,000
7. Justin Bieber, 94,000
8. Nickelback, 90,000
9. Leonard Cohen, 87,000
10. Bryan Adams, 85,000

Top 10 Albums by Total Consumption
(Album Sales + TEA + SEA)

1. Divide by Ed Sheeran, 501,000
2. More Life by Drake, 257,000
3. Damn by Kendrick Lamar, 209,000
4. Starboy by The Weeknd, 190,000
5. Reputation by Taylor Swift, 178,000
6. Evolve by Imagine Dragons, 157,000
7. Memories… by The Chainsmokers, 146,000
8. Beautiful Trauma by P!nk, 140,000
9. Stoney by Post Malone, 137,000
10. Hardwired… by Metallica, 127,000

Top 10 Albums by Sales Only

1. Divide by Ed Sheeran, 200,000
2. Reputation by Taylor Swift, 128,000
3. Hardwired… by Metallica, 112,000
4. Beautiful Trauma by P!nk, 109,000
5. Now by Shania Twain, 106,000
6. Everything Now by Arcade Fire, 68,000
7. Agnus Dei by Mario Pelchat & Les Pretres, 60,000
8. Damn by Kendrick Lamar, 59,000
9. Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack, 58,000
10. Evolve by Imagine Dragons, 56,000

Top 10 Albums by CD Sales

1. Now by Shania Twain, 100,000
2. Divide by Ed Sheeran, 89,000
3. Hardwired… Metallica, 87,000
4. Beautiful Trauma by P!ink, 83,000
5. Reputation by Taylor Swift, 62,000
6. Agnus Dei by Mario Pelchat & Les Pretres, 59,000
7. Everything Now by Arcade Fire, 54,000
8. Noel Ensemble by Mario Pelchat Presente Les Pretres, 47,000
9. Witness by Katy Perry, 43,000
10. Icon by Bryan Adams, 41,000

Top 10 Digital Tracks by Total Consumption

1. Despacito by Fonsi/Yankee Ft. Justin Bieber, 1,128,000
2. Shape of You by Ed Sheeran, 1, 024, 000
3. Unforgettable by French Montana Ft. Swae Lee, 508,000
4. Believer by Imagine Dragons, 491,000
5. Humble by Kendrick Lamar, 481,000
6. Something Just Like This by Chainsmokers & Coldplay, 472,000
7. It Ain’t Me by Kygo & Selena Gomez, 456,000
8. Rockstar by Post Malone Ft. 21 Savage, 455,000
9. Perfect by Ed Sheeran, 430,000
10. I’m the One by DJ Khaled Ft Justin Bieber et al. 425,000

Top 10 Digital Track Sales

1. Despacito by Fonsi/Yankee Ft. Justin Bieber, 501,000
2. Shape of You by Ed Sheeran, 436,000
3. Believer by Imagine Dragons, 235,000
4. Something Just Like This by Chainsmokers & Coldplay, 200,000
5. Perfect by Ed Sheeran, 194,000
6. Rockabye by Clean Bandit, 170,000
7. Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran, 170,000
8. It Ain’t Me by Kygo & Selena Gomez, 166,000
9. Body Like a Back Road by Sam Hunt, 162,000
10. Say You Won’t Let Go by James Arthur, 149,000

Top 10 Canadian Artists by Airplay

1. The Weeknd, 269,000
2. Shawn Mendes, 223,000
3. Hedley, 206,000
4. Drake, 171,000
5. Alessia Cara, 136,000
6. Virginia to Vegas, 117,000
7. Dallas Smith, 114,000
8. Shawn Hook, 103,000
9. Serena Ryder, 96,000
10. Dean Brody, 89,000

Vote for the Best Music of 2017: Results

On December 1, 2017, CMB readers were invited to vote for the best music of the year in three polls. Voting was open daily through the month. The polls are now closed, and it is time to reveal the winners. The race was extremely close, so close in fact that one of the polls has a tie!

Best #1 Album of 2017

The year saw five 2017 Canadian albums reach the top of the charts. They were

Everything Now by Arcade Fire
Introduce Yerself by Gord Downie
More Life by Drake
Now by Shania Twain
La Science Du Coeur by Pierre Lapointe

And the winner is … Now by Shania Twain!

Best Track of 2017

Fou by Andréanne A. Malette
Kamikaze by Patrice Michaud
Reminder by The Weeknd
Signs by Drake
There’s Nothing Holding Me Back by Shawn Mendes

And the winner is … Kamikaze by Patrice Michaud!

2017’s Best Collaborative Single

Despacito, Fonsi/Yankee Ft. Justin Bieber
Friends, Justin Bieber + BloodPop
Reminding Me, Shawn Hook Ft. Vanessa Hudgens
Stay, Alessia Cara & Zedd
2U, David Guetta Ft. Justin Bieber

And the winner is … It’s a tie! Despacito, Fonsi/Yankee Ft. Justin Bieber and Reminding Me, Shawn Hook Ft. Vanessa Hudgens!

From Now to Everything Now: 2017 in Music

Introduction

In a year filled with disillusionment and uncertainty, Canadian recording artists in general kept things optimistic offering hope and assurance for a better future. The word utopia titled a Serena Ryder album and an Austra song. But besides future politics, there was also focus on the present, care of Now by Shania Twain and Everything Now by Arcade Fire. Recording artists also ensured we were reminded of the past thanks to The Weeknd‘s “Reminder” and Shawn Hook‘s “Reminding Me”.

The Singles That Sizzled Slid in Numbers

The domestic charts did not see the appearance of as much homegrown talent as in the past; many blamed this on streaming. Debut entries on the weekly Billboard Canadian Hot 100 dropped from 106 in 2016 to 72 in 2017, a 47% loss. Main artists represented in these were 40 last year and 32 this year. Artists who debuted on the chart for the first time slipped from 14 in 2016 to 11 this year (see below). The number of weekly Canadian artist entries (whether as the main or lone featured artist) averaged 26 in 2016 but only 16 in 2017. By the end of the year, the final Billboard Canadian Hot 100 weekly chart contained only 6 Canadian artist entries plus one with a featured Canuck, the lowest in the history of the chart. Whereas five songs involving Canadians reached the top in 2016, only one managed the feat this year, “Despacito” featuring Justin Bieber. Peaking within the Top 40 were 47 Canadian artist songs in 2016 sliding to 34 this year.

The most successful maple glazed song according to the year-end Hot 100 was the aforementioned “Despacito” at #2. The Weeknd‘s “Starboy” was the most successful with a Canadian as the main artist. The song was #32 for 2016 and #6 for 2017. An impressive 32 entries representing 13 artists made the year-end chart of 2016 plummeting to a dreary 17 entries representing only 6 artists for 2017.

Before the streaming era, it was not uncommon for a French language Canadian song to appear on the weekly Hot 100. Times have changed; 2017 had none. Among those appearing on the year-end CKOI Top 50 were “Une p’tite bière by Anthony Gaudet (#21) and “J’pas stressée” by Roxane Bruneau (#24).

Smell What First-Time Charting Artists Cooked

While Eleven proved the coolest girl on television (Stranger Things), 11 Canadian artists made the Hot 100 for the first time through 2017. They were 88Glam, Aaron Goodvin, Baka Not Nice, Charlotte Cardin, James Barker Band, Jazz Cartier, Jessie Reyez, NAV, and Neon Dreams. Two Canadian actors enjoying a stint at singing joined them. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson spent eight weeks on the chart with “You’re Welcome” from animated feature film Moana. Rachel McAdams’ former beau Ryan Gosling made the chart for one week only c/o “City of Stars” from La La Land. “Some Way” by NAV featuring The Weeknd was the most successful of the new Canadian artist entries peaking at #31.

The Albums That Aced

The only Canadian artist album released in 2017 to be certified multiplatinum by the end of the year was Drake‘s More Life (double platinum) which was #3 on the year-end Billboard Canadian Albums chart. Twenty-six 2017 Canadian albums peaked in the weekly Top 10 through the year which is way down from 36 last year. Five of these made it to #1, down from eight in 2016.

JUNO Awards

The 2017 JUNO Awards gala, a 150-minute affair, celebrated 150 years since Confederation. The event held April 2 saw a sold-out crowd of 13,000, including the Governor General, in Ottawa, applaud recipients of awards and cheer on performances amidst visually stunning display panels. The event was co-hosted by international comedic superstar Russell Peters and diamond rocker Bryan Adams (“Brussell”), both filling in for the initially booked Michael Bublé who pulled out to take care of his son who is going through cancer. Most of the awards were doled out at the dinner and awards ceremony the previous evening.

The JUNO award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year went to Ruth B, Fan Choice Shawn Mendes, Single of the Year “Spirits” by The Strumbellas, Francophone Album of the Year XO by Laurence Nerbonne, and Adult Contemporary Album of the Year Wonderland by Sarah McLachlan who was inducted into the Music Hall of Fame. Kiss Me Quiet by Jess Moskaluke was named Country Album of the Year. Alessia Cara won Pop Album of the Year for Know It All. Leonard Cohen‘s You Want It Darker was declared Album of the Year.

The 2018 JUNO Awards recognizing the best of 2017 Canadian music will be held in Vancouver March 25, 2018.

Few JUNO galas go off without a controversial hitch. Following some criticism of this year’s affair, it was announced that CTV would no longer be broadcasting the event; the honours will now be done by the CBC.

Gala ADISQ

The Quebec music industry awards where the bulk of Canada’s musique francophone receives honours took place in the fall. Klô Pelgag was the big winner winning Critics’ Choice Album of the Year, Alternative Album of the Year, and Songwriter of the Year (L’Étoile thoracique). Daniel Bélanger took Pop Album of the Year (Paloma). Patrice Michaud‘s “Kamikaze” was named Song of the Year.

2017 Headlines

♦ The biggest, though underreported, news story of the year was that Canada became the world’s sixth largest music industry/market surpassing its commonwealth cousin Australia. Out of close to 200 countries, Canada can now boast more clout than all but The United States, Japan, The United Kingdom, Germany, and France.

Alanis Morissette‘s former manager admitted to stealing over 5 million dollars from her and more than a million dollars from other celebrities. By pleading guilty to the charges, he expected to serve less jail time.

Carly Rae Jepsen performed the National Anthem at the 62nd annual all-star game of the National Hockey League. During the weekend’s festivities, Robin Thicke honoured his Canadian father actor Alan Thicke who had recently passed away.

♦ Speaking of Carly, Billboard magazine awarded her song “Call Me Maybe” as having the #1 greatest chorus of all songs in the 21st century. The Top 100 ranking included maple glazed entries Celine Dion’s “That’s the Way It is” at 80th; Avril Lavigne‘s “Girlfriend” at #62 and “Sk8er Boi” at #22; Justin Bieber’s “Baby” was 55th. The “Call Me Maybe” music video sped past 1 billion views on YouTube in 2017. The Biebs also climbed up to a new plateau securing 100 million followers on Twitter.

Alessia Cara hosted the February 4th Saturday Night Live show and later in the year was nominated for four Grammy Awards in the States.

♦ HMV shut down all operations in Canada leaving many without a nearby record store. Sunrise Records trotted in to the rescue opening locations nationwide including many spaces formerly occupied by HMV.

Drake became the first Canadian artist in history to score a diamond single. The gold/platinum program at Music Canada awarded “One Dance” diamond certification which is equivalent to 10x platinum or 800,000 units. The units are determined by the sale of digital downloads and streaming at the rate of 150 streams equivalent to 1 unit. “One Dance” is not an original composition but a reworking of “Do You Mind” by Crazy Cousinz and Kyla.

♦ One diamond certification was awarded to a Canadian artist album in 2017, albeit an older work. The Tragically Hip‘s Road Apples (1991) became the group’s third album to chalk the milestone joining already diamond-certified discs Up to Here and Fully Completely.

♦ Frontman of The Tragically Hip Gord Downie succumbed to glioblastoma (brain cancer). He was 53.

♦ Another loss was Patrick Bourgeois, singer of multiplatinum Canadian band Les BB who passed away from cancer at 55.

♦ Attracting 50% of the vote among the four finalists, 24-year-old Ludovick Bourgeois of Lorraine, QC was crowned the 2017 winner of The Voice, Season 5.

♦ The flagship Canada Day concert took place as usual on Parliament Hill with the impressive lineup of Alessia Cara, Cirque du Soleil, Dean Brody, Gordon Lightfoot, Kelly Bado, Kinnie Star, Lisa Leblanc, Louis-Jean Cormier, Marie-Mai, Mike Tompkins, Serena Ryder, and Walk Off the Earth.

♦ Canada’s largest record label Universal Music came under fire for its exclusion of French-language music in its Canada 150 compilation and issued an apology which was not well received.

♦ 2017 saw the uncovering of a scandalous profiteering scheme by 30-year-old Montrealer Julien Lavallee who employs high-tech means in growing his now multimillion-dollar empire to scoop up hundreds of concert tickets at lightning speed to big names like Adele, Ed Sheeran and Drake and then resell them to reap massive profits.

♦ Among this year’s inductees to Canada’s Walk of Fame was musical legend Stompin’ Tom Connors. Recording artist Shawn Hook was named recipient of the Allan Slaight award which “recognizes young, inspirational Canadians who have achieved international success in the music industry.”

Shania Twain became the first homegrown artist in four years to headline the Grey Cup Halftime show. The game was played during an Ottawa snowstorm and Shania was whisked to the stage with a real dog sled team.

The Year’s Best Music

While magazines, as usual, were listing their best albums of the year based on which artists were endorsers of the brands that paid the magazines the most for advertising, the Canadian Music Blog, untouchable from such interests, revealed its favourite EPs (10), albums (25), songs (30), and music videos (10) of 2017. The CMB named Ralph‘s Ralph as EP of the Year, Louise BurnsYoung Mopes as Album of the Year, Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Cut to the Feeling” as Song of the Year, and Grimes‘ “Venus Fly” as Music Video of the Year.

CKOI Year-End Top 50 of 2017

lettrage-camion-ckoiC’est quoi? Well, Montreal radio station CKOI has published a year-end Top 50 chart annually since 1976. It includes both international and Canadian and both Anglo and Franco songs. While the latter have a tough time making it onto the national charts, the CKOI chart gives us a good idea of the more popular Franco songs by year. Of all the year-end charts, this one is the most inclusive offering a very balanced presentation. There is greater variety of genres with pop, rock, dance, R&B, folk, soul, and even country. Because of this and other factors, you may find on the chart international Anglo songs that are absent from English language radio playlists. The top Canadian Franco song of 2017 on the chart is (surprise!) “Une p’tite bière” by Anthony Gaudet at #21. Canadian artists are in red. Franco songs are in blue. Of the 50, 13 involve Canadian artists, down from 18 last year.

1 – SHAPE OF YOU / ED SHEERAN

2 – KATCHI / OFENBACH

3 – DESPACITO / LUIS FONSI & JUSTIN BIEBER

4 – BELIEVER / IMAGINE DRAGONS

5 – SOMETHING JUST LIKE THIS / CHAINSMOKERS & COLDPLAY

6 – BE MINE / OFENBACH

7 – SIGN OF THE TIMES / HARRY STYLES

8 – 13 / ALLAN RAYMAN

9 – TUESDAY / BURAK YETER

10 – ROCKABYE / CLEAN BANDIT & SEAN PAUL

11 – MAIN GIRL / CHARLOTTE CARDIN

12 – FEEL IT STILL / PORTUGAL THE MAN

13 – FEELS / CALVIN HARRIS

14 – NO ROOTS / ALICE MERTON

15 – PERFECT / ED SHEERAN

16 – THUNDER / IMAGINE DRAGONS

17 – ONE MORE LIGHT / LINKIN PARK

18 – UH HUH / JULIA MICHAELS

19 – REDBONE / CHILDISH GAMBINO

20 – WHAT ABOUT US / PINK

21 – UNE P’TITE BIERE / ANTHONY GAUDET

22 – DOWN / MARIAN HILL

23 – RX / THEORY OF A DEADMAN

24 – J’PAS STRESSÉE / ROXANE BRUNEAU

25 – DANCING ON MY OWN / CALUM SCOTT

26 – THERE’S NOTHING HOLDIN’ ME BACK / SHAWN MENDES

27 – ROADTRIP / LES CHIENS DE RUELLES

28 – GALWAY GIRL / ED SHEERAN

29 – SKIN / RAG’N’BONE MAN

30 – YOUNG DUMB & BROKE / KHALID

31 – T’EMBELLIS MA VIE / YANN PERREAU

32 – I FEEL IT COMING / THE WEEKND

33 – HAVANA / CAMILA CABELLO

34 – BODY LIKE A BACK ROAD / SAM HUNT

35 – DOMMAGE / BIGFLO & OLI

36 – LEGENDARY / WELSHLY ARMS

37 – HIGHWAY TUNE / GRETA VAN FLEET

38 – NOT EASY / ALEX DA KID

39 – NATION / TIBZ

40 – MALIBU / MILEY CYRUS

41 – NO WITNESS / LP

42 – FOU / ANDREANNE A. MALETTE

43 – WILD HORSES / BISHOP BRIGGS

44 – SAY YOU WON’T LET GO / JAMES ARTHUR

45 – KAMIKAZE / PATRICE MICHAUD

46 – CASTLE ON THE HILL / ED SHEERAN

47 – ONE DAY / ASAF AVIDAN

48 – IL Y A TANT A FAIRE / DANIEL BELANGER

49 – HEAR ME NOW / ALOK

50 – LAY IT ON ME / VANCE JOY

The 10 Best Music Videos of 2017

music-video

We are counting down our favourite music videos of 2017. A good music video as far as we are concerned is one that keeps one’s attention even with the sound turned off. We admire MVs that are cinematic, adventurous, fun, sentimental, clever, artistic, original, that have attractive wardrobe choices, breathtaking shots, architectural or natural wonders, or a stellar message. With high standards, we prefer MVs that are low on violence, lechery, expletives, self-mutilation, and do not display the use of toxic substances, all of which are ugly to us. We select videos that are beautiful to look at, colourful, with crisp, clear photography and brightness/contrast controls properly balanced. Below is a list of our 10 favourite Canadian MVs released in 2017. As YouTube often changes the addresses of videos, we have not embedded the MVs here but have provided links to them for your convenience. (Do note that these may become invalid in the future). As usual, we allowed only one entry per artist on the list and have provided a screen capture for each video below.

10Over and Over by Madeline Merlo


Sometimes a music video is good from what it does not include. You won’t find any depravity in this clean, beautifully shot MV from one of Canada’s finest talents in country music. It’s urban cowgirl time, and the video shows us both the urban, with views from skyscrapers in downtown Vancouver, as well as rural via horses in their stables. The video combined with the song gives you a nice warm fuzzy feeling.  Link.

921 Days by Scott Helman


We love the details in this; there is lots to look at. We get to see Scott at work designing his single cover artwork by hand. As well is the singer and his band recording the song live off the large floor space, complete with Persian rugs and endless bundles of cords.  Link

8There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back by Shawn Mendes


Shawn is in the world capital of romance – Paris – with companion Ellie, circumambulating the Eiffel Tower. The MV is effective in having the pair take on a laidback stance during the music’s slower bits and picking up the action when it bursts into the punchy chorus. This video has clocked up to 374 million views to date.  Link

7Life’s About to Get Good by Shania Twain

shania-twain-lifes-about-to-get-good1

Shania always makes everything fun. She talks about her heartbreaking relationship and moving on with a smile, as colourfully clad dancers surround her in and around a mansion by the ocean. They perform cartwheels and help her rearrange her furniture, i.e. life, even rolling themselves up in a carpet.  Link

6I Believe in You by Michael Bublé


This one is just so heartwarming. We are not sure how many couples met as children, but the thought of it is spectacular. Follow these two from childhood to seniors. It’s not all leisurely sentiment, however. Michael adds some extra pizazz by including the couple’s fancy footwork and Jackie Chan like moves especially on and around a table which keep things exciting.  Link

5Future Politics by Austra

This slick work of art begins with a bleak concrete environment causing nosebleeds of pink blood. With a positive facial expression of hope and a slight smile stands Katie Stelmanis. The scene transforms itself into a pristine, warm, and colourful expanse albeit with factory smoke and dead-end pipelines. With despair casting a dark shadow over the year, Austra helped us keep our chins up and hope for a better future.  Links

4Toit de pierre by Catherine Durand


Catherine treated us with this mysterious almost mystical video. It is a winter setting featuring a shirtless boy running through a dark, snowy forest. We also find a pregnant woman preparing the baby’s room. It is certainly worrisome for many parents to have and raise children surrounded by a dark, cold world. And with many types of vultures out there, erecting a roof of stone may be a good idea.  Link

3Feed the Machine by Nickelback


A big budgeted MV, this amazing sci-fi infused work has lots of shots to please the eyes. It’s THX-1138 Alberta style. Great costumes and set designs, you can’t take it all in via a single viewing.  Link

2Electric Love by Serena Ryder


It’s the season of the triangle, hopefully not a love triangle. This colourful, kaleidoscopic work has a variety of beautiful people lip synching to the song interspersed with shots of good old Serena.  Link

1Canadian Music Blog’s 2017 Music Video of the Year

This Vancouver princess of ethereal pop delivered 2015 album Art Angels that found itself on many best-album lists of the year. Track 12 featuring U.S. alt-R&B singer Janelle Monáe was given a music video this year, and from the standpoint of visuals is quite possibly the most eye-popping MV ever made. Artistic, dazzling, directed by the recording artist herself, this pretty much decimates all that has gone before. Find yourself transported to another fantastical dimension with futuristic colourful costumes; floating feathers, paper hearts, and rose petals; and flaming swords and violin bows. This is art! The Canadian Music Blog declares “Venus Fly” by Grimes as 2017’s Music Video of the Year.  Link

Billboard Canada Year-End Top Artists by Radio Format, 2017

RANK ALL FORMAT CHR
1 Ed Sheeran Ed Sheeran
2 Shawn Mendes The Weeknd
3 The Chainsmokers Shawn Mendes
4 Bruno Mars The Chainsmokers
5 The Weeknd Drake
6 Niall Horan Bruno Mars
7 Alessia Cara Alessia Cara
8 Hedley Niall Horan
9 Maroon 5 Virginia to Vegas
10 Virginia to Vegas Maroon 5
     
RANK HOT AC AC
1 Ed Sheeran Ed Sheeran
2 Shawn Mendes Shawn Mendes
3 Bruno Mars Bruno Mars
4 Alessia Cara Maroon 5
5 The Chainsmokers Adele
6 Hedley Justin Timberlake
7 Niall Horan Niall Horan
8 The Weeknd Hedley
9 Maroon 5 The Chainsmokers
10 Adele Michael Buble
     
RANK COUNTRY ROCK
1 Dallas Smith Arkells
2 Blake Shelton Green Day
3 Thomas Rhett July Talk
4 Jon Pardi Imagine Dragons
5 James Barker Band Kings of Leon
6 Jason Aldean Rag ‘N’ Bone Man
7 Old Dominion Mother Mother
8 Dustin Lynch The Glorious Sons
9 Kenny Chesney Queens of the Stone Age
10 Chad Brownlee Foo Fighters

Billboard Canada Year-End Country Airplay of 2017

You’ll have to scroll down quite a bit to find a Canadian artist on Billboard Canada’s year-end country airplay chart. Tops was Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road”. Dallas Smith has the highest Canadian artist entry with “Sky Stays This Blue” at #20. Nineof the Top 50 were by Canadian acts down from 11 last year and 14 in 2015. Canadian artists are bolded in red in the chart below. The data was collected between the dates of December 6, 2016 and November 25, 2017.

RANK TITLE ARTIST PLAYS
1 Body Like A Back Road Sam Hunt 26,211
2 No Such Thing As A Broken Heart Old Dominion 23,659
3 Dirt On My Boots Jon Pardi 21,766
4 Heartache On The Dance Floor Jon Pardi 20,165
5 In Case You Didn’t Know Brett Young 19,933
6 Black Dierks Bentley 19,451
7 Yours If You Want It Rascal Flatts 19,411
8 Better Man Little Big Town 19,131
9 Every Time I Hear That Song Blake Shelton 19,030
10 It Ain’t My Fault Brothers Osborne 18,896
11 Craving You Thomas Rhett 18,734
12 Drinkin’ Problem Midland 18,546
13 Fast Luke Bryan 18,404
14 More Girls Like You Kip Moore 18,298
15 You Look Good Lady Antebellum 18,248
16 Small Town Boy Dustin Lynch 18,024
17 Kill A Word Eric Church 17,891
18 For Her Chris Lane 17,852
19 Any Ol’ Barstool Jason Aldean 17,602
20 Sky Stays This Blue Dallas Smith 17,465
21 Do I Make You Wanna Billy Currington 17,378
22 Yeah Boy Kelsea Ballerini 17,376
23 Chills James Barker Band 17,326
24 Flatliner Cole Swindell 17,073
25 All The Pretty Girls Kenny Chesney 16,791
26 Fix A Drink Chris Janson 16,753
27 Hurricane Luke Combs 16,752
28 Somebody Else Will Justin Moore 16,645
29 Time Dean Brody 16,304
30 Star Of The Show Thomas Rhett 16,257
31 I Could Use A Love Song Maren Morris 16,044
32 They Don’t Know Jason Aldean 16,021
33 A Guy With A Girl Blake Shelton 16,001
34 Round Here Buzz Eric Church 15,838
35 God, Your Mama, And Me Florida Georgia Line 15,744
36 The Fighter Keith Urban 15,636
37 Side Effects Dallas Smith 15,439
38 Slide Over Tim Hicks 15,356
39 I Be U Be High Valley 15,276
40 Seein’ Red Dustin Lynch 15,154
41 When It Rains It Pours Luke Combs 14,993
42 Hometown Girl Josh Turner 14,537
43 Bar At The End Of The World Kenny Chesney 14,478
44 Today Brad Paisley 14,205
45 Wanna Be That Song Brett Eldredge 14,147
46 Slow Burn Tim Hicks 13,999
47 Dirty Laundry Carrie Underwood 13,770
48 Crazy About You The Road Hammers 13,701
49 Every Little Thing Carly Pearce 13,646
50 Just Sayin’ James Barker Band 13,623

Billboard Canada Year-End Rock Airplay of 2017

Hamilton’s Arkells topped the rock radio year-end Billboard Canada chart with “Knocking at the Door”. Fifteen of the Top 40 were by Canadian acts, the same number as last year. These artists are bolded in red in the chart below. The data was collected between the dates of December 6, 2016 and November 25, 2017.

RANK TITLE ARTIST PLAYS
1 Knocking At The Door Arkells 19,083
2 Believer Imagine Dragons 16,986
3 Human Rag’n’Bone Man 16,959
4 The Way You Used To Do Queens of The Stone Age 16,250
5 Still Breathing Green Day 13,896
6 Lights Out Royal Blood 13,584
7 Waste A Moment Kings Of Leon 13,108
8 Freeze Me Death From Above 1979 11,869
9 The Drugs Mother Mother 11,621
10 She’s Out Of Her Mind Blink-182 11,406
11 Picturing Love July Talk 11,222
12 Highway Bleeker 11,196
13 Beck + Call July Talk 10,670
14 Run Foo Fighters 9,193
15 High Sir Sly 8,870
16 The Violence Rise Against 8,725
17 Devil’s On Fire Headstones 8,591
18 Highway Tune Greta Van Fleet 8,490
19 Feel It Still Portugal. The Man 8,346
20 Everything Is Alright The Glorious Sons 8,342
21 Kill The Lights The Glorious Sons 8,193
22 Square Hammer Ghost 8,186
23 13 Allan Rayman 8,127
24 Born Yesterday Hollerado 8,054
25 Love Is Mystical Cold War Kids 7,900
26 Wish I Knew You The Revivalists 7,624
27 My Heart’s Always Yours Arkells 7,619
28 Go Robot Red Hot Chili Peppers 7,539
29 Raging Bull One Bad Son 7,492
30 One Good Piece Of Me Big Wreck 7,409
31 Near To The Wild Heart Japandroids 7,108
32 Sky Is A Neighborhood Foo Fighters 7,018
33 The Man The Killers 6,554
34 Help Papa Roach 6,392
35 Blood In The Cut k.flay 6,281
36 Reverend Kings Of Leon 6,224
37 Cold Cold Cold Cage The Elephant 6,023
38 Revolution Radio Green Day 5,735
39 No Good Kaleo 5,655
40 Cocoon Milky Chance 5,637

Vote for the Best Music of 2017

It’s time to vote for the best music of 2017! We have created three polls. You may vote once daily through the month of December. We will publish the winners of the three polls on New Year’s Day 2018. If you did not like any of the works listed, vote for the one you disliked the least.

Ladies of the Eighties

We were asked by a fan to provide a list of popular female Canadian singers of the 1980s. When we think of the 80s, Canadian male superstars come to mind – Bryan Adams and Corey Hart in particular. Also, there were the bands like Loverboy, Glass Tiger, and Men Without Hats. So how about female soloists? First of all, there were a number of groups led by female singers who scored hits such as the following:

Martha and the Muffins / M+M (Martha Johnson)
Rough Trade (Carole Pope)
Toronto (Annie “Holly” Woods)
National Velvet (Maria Del Mar)
The Headpins (Darby Mills)
The Parachute Club (Lorraine Segato)
One to One (Louise Reny)
Candi (Candita “Candy” Pennella)

Note that the above is not a complete list.

Anne Murray scored some big hits in the 80s, even crossing over to pop, though we associate her more with the 70s.

Besides Anne, there were only two other Canadian female soloists who made a year-end Top 100 chart through the 80s, and they are

Luba
Alannah Myles

The latter appeared the last year of the 80s and is more associated with the 90s whereas Luba broke through in 1984 and scored hits through the rest of the decade. If there was ever a Canadian female to represent the 80s, she was the one.

Singers who scored hits in the weekly Top 40 through the decade that didn’t make any year end charts number at five:

Sherry Kean
Jane Siberry
Sass Jordan
Lee Aaron
Eria Fachin

Francophone women were much more successful than Anglophones in the decade. The following dozen scored French language hits through the 80s appearing on CKOI’s annual year-end charts.

Mitsou
Diane Tell
Diane Dufresne
Fabienne Thibeault
Véronique Béliveau
Marie-Michèle Desrosiers
Martine St-Clair
Marjo
Sylvie Daviau
Marie Philippe
Marie Carmen
Céline Dion

Music Canada Releases Gold/Platinum Year-End Report for 2017

Above: Ria Mae is presented with Gold plaque for “Ooh Love”.

“2017 was a tremendous year of growth for Music Canada’s historic Gold/Platinum program, which experienced a surge in Album and Single Award certifications from the addition of on-demand audio streams and a modernized application process” states the trade organization in its recently published Gold/Platinum year-end report for 2017.

In September 2016, Music Canada replaced its sales-based Digital Download Award first introduced in March 2006 with the Single Award which includes physical sales, digital downloads, and streaming data. As a result, in 2017, track certifications grew by nearly 45% from 2016’s total. Several Canadian artists received their first Gold Single certifications in 2017 including Aaron Pritchett, Dani and Lizzy, and Jonathan Roy. Drake’s Double Platinum single “Signs” was the highest certified track by a Canadian artist released in 2017, followed by the Platinum-certified tracks “Reminding Me” by Shawn Hook and “Figures” by Jessie Reyez.

In July 2017, Music Canada overhauled the album certification guidelines to accept TEAs (Track Equivalent Album) and SEAs (Stream Equivalent Album), resulting in an increase of album certifications by more than 90% over 2016. The highest certified Canadian albums released in 2017 were Arcade Fire’s Everything Now and Shania Twain’s Now, both achieving Platinum status.

Seven singles earned Diamond awards, the highest annual total in the certification program’s 42-year history. The highest certified singles released in 2017 were Ed Sheeran’s “Shape Of You” and Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” featuring Justin Bieber both going diamond. With a Canadian as the main artist, Drake is the only one to receive a Diamond track certification this year for his 2016 smash “One Dance.” Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip is the sole act to receive a Diamond album certification for 1991 LP Road Apples.

Music Canada expanded the Gold/Platinum program’s reach by launching the Gold In Canada playlist on streaming services Google Play and Spotify. The playlist updates every Thursday with the latest tracks to earn Gold certification in the world’s sixth largest music market. The organization has also put together a 2017 Year-End Recap playlist, which contains nearly 300 songs that were certified in 2017.

You can read Music Canada’s report here.
Find a list of all Canadian artist certifications in 2017 here.

Billboard Canada Year-End AC Airplay of 2017

Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” topped the Adult Contemporary airplay year-end Billboard Canada chart. The top spun Canadian artist track at the format was The Weeknd’s “I Feel It Coming” at #5. Eighteen of the Top 40 were by or featuring a Canadian artist, up from 16 for the past two years. Canadian artists are bolded in red in the chart below. The data was collected between the dates of December 6, 2016 and November 25, 2017.

RANK TITLE ARTIST PLAYS
1 Shape Of You Ed Sheeran 15969
2 Don’t Wanna Know Maroon 5 13404
3 Water Under The Bridge Adele 13075
4 Can’t Stop The Feeling! Justin Timberlake 12455
5 I Feel It Coming The Weeknd 11195
6 Something Just Like This The Chainsmokers & Coldplay 11084
7 Say You Won’t Let Go James Arthur 10788
8 Cheap Thrills Sia 9758
9 Castle On The Hill Ed Sheeran 9700
10 Love On The Brain Rihanna 8809
11 Chained To The Rhythm Katy Perry 8712
12 There’s Nothing Holdin’… Shawn Mendes 8667
13 24K Magic Bruno Mars 8618
14 Scars To Your Beautiful Alessia Cara 8605
15 Kinda Complicated Scott Helman 8231
16 Electric Love Serena Ryder 7928
17 It Ain’t Me Kygo x Selena Gomez 7636
18 I Believe In You Michael Buble 7341
19 Let Me Love You DJ Snake Ft. Justin Bieber 7209
20 That’s What I Like Bruno Mars 7150
21 Closer The Chainsmokers 6810
22 Love Me Now John Legend 6801
23 Treat You Better Shawn Mendes 6619
24 Lights Out Virginia To Vegas 6573
25 Despacito Fonsi/Yankee Ft. Justin Bieber 6542
26 Love Again Hedley 6179
27 Play That Song Train 5955
28 Slow Hands Niall Horan 5887
29 This Town Niall Horan 5820
30 Mercy Shawn Mendes 5705
31 Reminding Me Shawn Hook 5521
32 Can’t Slow Down Hedley 5298
33 Fire In My Soul Walk Off The Earth 5127
34 Who Do You Love Marianas Trench 5078
35 What About Us P!nk 4945
36 Sign Of The Times Harry Styles 4932
37 Cold Maroon 5 4746
38 Superficial Love Ruth B 4522
39 The Greatest Sia 4417
40 Bend Ria Mae 4295