2015 may have been a male heavy year in terms of media coverage, music sales, radio spins, and 2016 JUNO nominations, but these ten women were absolute fire, and we love them. Based on the success of albums and singles on the Canadian charts, here are the Top 10 female soloists of 2015.
#10. Mia Martina
While “Danse” was her big hit of 2014 (and gold-certified), the New Brunswick superstar who launched her career from the nation’s capital, released her second album, a self-titled affair, and single “Beast” which clawed itself into the Top 40. She also gave the track a spectacular performance at the Much Music Video Awards. Mia has been nominated for 3 JUNO Awards in the past though none this year.
#9. Jann Arden
It’s pretty daunting to launch a Christmas album after Michael Bublé’s juggernaut, but Calgary’s Jann Arden did, and it was so good it impressed the likes of Rod Stewart. The album reached the Top 5 on the Billboard charts, received gold certification for sales of 40,000 units, and got her a JUNO nomination for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year.
#8. Ria Mae
Hailing from Halifax, Ria Mae’s “Clothes Off” became a sizable hit, reaching #31 on the Billboard Hot 100 and eventually going gold. It is nominated for Single of the Year at the JUNOs. Hopefully an album will appear in 2016.
#7. Brigitte Boisjoli
A remarkable tribute album of Patsy Cline numbers, this native of Drummondville, QC has not yet been nominated for a JUNO but has won a number of other awards and accolades. The album reached #2 on the Billboard charts and struck gold.
#6. Jocelyn Alice
Calgary’s Jocelyn Alice hit gold with “Jackpot”. It was the 80th biggest song of the year. Jocelyn put the release of an album on hold due to the success of the single, and many resulting approaches from bigger record labels. Now that she has inked a deal, an LP should appear in 2016.
#5. Carly Rae Jepsen
Carly released her critically acclaimed album Emotion. It did fairly well on the charts reaching #8. The album also spawned gold single “I Really Like You” (88th of the year). The song could have done better had it received stronger radio support. Carly is nominated only for JUNO Fan Choice this year. She won 3 awards in 2013.
#4. Ariane Moffatt
Ariane’s song “Debout” was 43rd of the year at CKOI which ranks both Anglo and Franco and both Canadian and international hits. Her album 22h22 made it to #4 on the weekly Billboard charts. It won Best Pop album at the ADISQ Felix Awards in Quebec. The album is nominated for Francophone Album of the Year at the JUNOs. Ariane won a JUNO in the same category in 2009.
#3. Cœur de pirate
Beatrice Martin’s “Carry On” was the Billboard Hot 100 charting single (her first) from album Roses. The native of Outremont, QC released a Franco version of the song called “Oublie-Moi”. The bilingual album was the second most successful from a Canadian female at 29th of the year (Billboard). It peaked on the weekly charts at #2 and went gold. Coeur de Pirate is nominated for 2 JUNOs this year: Songwriter of the Year and JUNO Fan Choice.
#2. Diana Krall
Diana’s gold-certified album Wallflower was the most successful album of the year from a Canadian female soloist. It is nominated for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year at the JUNOs. Diana is originally from Nanaimo, BC.
Before we reveal the number one female soloist, here are a few honourable mentions: Grimes (critically acclaimed #16 album), Jess Moskaluke (Billboard Hot 100), Shania Twain (Billboard Top 10 album), Andee (Billboard Hot 100), Ash Koley (Billboard Hot 100), Avril Lavigne (Billboard Hot 100), Alyssa Reid (Billboard Hot 100), Charlie (Billboard Hot 100), Marie-Pierre Arthur (Felix Award winner), Bia (Felix Award winner), Jorane (Felix Award winner), Janina Fialkowska (Felix Award winner).
#1. Alessia Cara
From Brampton, Ontario, this Italian Canadian teen star had the biggest and only platinum recording of the year from a home-grown female soloist. “Here”, the anti-party anthem, was a huge success internationally as well and brought the singer to perform on high-profile televised chat shows, not to mention at the last show on Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour. At 60th of the year overall, the song has given Alessia four JUNO nominations, and she was the first confirmed performer at the gala.