CCMA Announces New Batch of Performers at September 2017 Gala

The Canadian Country Music Association® (CCMA®) announced today that Gord Bamford joined by Jim Cuddy, Tim Hicks, Meghan Patrick and The Washboard Union will all perform at the 2017 CCMA Awards gala. They will countrify the stage along with already booked performers Dean Brody, James Barker Band, Brett Kissel, Jess Moskaluke, Dallas Smith, and international guest, Blake Shelton.

Additionally, beloved Canadian sportscaster Ron MacLean will present Paul Brandt’s induction into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

The 2017 CCMA gala will take place at the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on Sunday, September 10. The show will broadcast on CBC at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT) that night.

Four-time JUNO nominee Gord Bamford scored #1 country radio single “When Your Lips Are So Close” in 2013, a gold single. His Christmas in Canada album is platinum certified. Active since 2001, Gord has won 22 CCMA awards. Singer-songwriter Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo) will join him on stage.

Tim Hicks, since 2013, has established himself as one of the nation’s most popular country acts. He has two platinum singles and a gold album.

Meghan Patrick has quickly made a name for herself since signing to Warner Music Canada. Her debut album, Grace & Grit features her Top 10 hit “Still Loving You”, the top 15 singles “Be Country with Me” and “Grace & Grit” and her Top 20 debut “Bow Chicka Wow Wow”. She has three CCMA Award nominations.

Led by Aaron Grain, Chris Duncombe and David Roberts, The Washboard Union is a two-time CCMA Award winner. The band had 3 Top 20 singles (2 Top 10) last year with “Maybe It’s the Moonshine” and “Shot of Glory”.

Paul Brandt, winner of 8 JUNO Awards, is the most played Canadian country artist in the history of country radio (Nielsen/BDS). According to Nielsen, of the top 10 Canadian country songs, four were Paul Brandt singles, and his “My Heart Has a History” has been the most played Canadian country song since the chart began in 1996. Paul’s album Calm Before the Storm is certified at triple platinum.

Ron MacLean has worked with Brandt over the years at the Calgary Stampede and Roger’s Hometown Hockey and will present Paul’s induction into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

Canadians Populate 2017 MTV VMA nominations

The Fantastic Four – Mister Fantastic (Shawn Mendes), Invisible Woman (Alessia Cara), Human Torch (The Weeknd), and Thing (Justin Bieber) have populated the MTV Video Music Award nominations for 2017. Nine of the 15 categories have a Canadian artist nominated, whether as the main or featured artist. Mendes receives 1 nomination, Cara 4, The Weeknd 5, and the Biebs 2.

Shawn Mendes’ “Treat You Better” is nominated for Best Pop Video.

Alessia Cara’s “Scars to Your Beautiful” is up for Video of the Year, the peculiar category of Best Fight Against the System, and Best Direction. Her “Stay” with Zedd is nominated for Best Dance Video.

The Weeknd is nominated for Artist of the Year. His “Reminder” receives nods for Video of the Year, Best Direction, Best Art Direction, and Best Editing.

Justin Bieber is nominated as a featured artist in both DJ Khaled’s “I’m the One” (Best Rap Video) and Major Lazer’s “Cold Water” (Best Dance Video).

Viewership of the MTV VMAs has tanked over the last few years, as the gala has become barely watchable with its irresponsible promotion of drug smoking and cringe-worthy displays of lechery, involving twerking, foam fingers, and the like. Katy Perry as this year’s host has her work cut out for her if things can be turned around.

Music videos were initially the #1 vehicle that converted underground artists, ignored by radio, to make it to the mainstream. This was especially true of British new wave acts in the early 80s. Nowadays, making music videos is par for the course for any artist who has the budget to make them.

Meet the 2017 Female Artist of the Year CCMA Nominees

Below are, as reckoned by the Canadian Country Music Association, the five women who are currently making the hottest country music in the land: Edmonton’s Alee, Calgary’s Lindsay Ell, British Columbia’s Madeline Merlo, Saskatchewan’s Jess Moskaluke, and Ontario’s Meghan Patrick. We’ve provided some info on the fabulous five with an embedded MV for each to give you a taste of their music. Who’s gonna win the award? And whom are you rootin’ for?

Alee

Edmonton’s Alee scored a couple of Country Top 40 hits from her debut independent album which drew the attention of Wax/Universal who signed her. Album Bad Habit came out this year. We have embedded the MV for her latest hit single “When I Do” below.

Lindsay Ell

Lindsay Ell, based in Nashville, is from Calgary. She is one of the few Canadian country artists – male or female – who is doing relatively well in the United States. She hasn’t quite cracked the Top 40 there but has a few Top 50 hits in the Republic. At home, Lindsay scored her first Country Top 10 hit last year with “All Alright”. Lindsay’s “Trippin’ On Us” made the Billboard Hot 100 in 2014. Last week, Ell released the MV for her latest single, freestyle country song “Waiting on You” (see below).

Madeline Merlo

Hailing from Maple Ridge, BC, Madeline Merlo is doing very well: six Top 40 Country hits including a Top 10 (“Whatcha Wanna Do About It”). In 2015, she won the CCMA Rising Star Award. Below is “Over & Over” which peaked at #13 on country radio.

Jess Moskaluke

There is no question that Langenburg, SK’s Jess Moskaluke is currently country music’s leading lady. She is a platinum and Billboard Hot 100 charting recording artist who has won a JUNO award. Ten of her songs (one as a featured artist) have made the Country Top 40, four of which rolled into the Top 10. “Drive Me Away” peaked at #3. Jess has won the CCMA Female Artist of the Year award for the past three. The awards are being held in her home province this year. Can she win a fourth time or will the CCMAs decide to give the award to another for a change? Below is Jess’ MV for “Take Me Home” which has amassed over half a million views.

Meghan Patrick

With momentum on her side, Bowmanville, ON’s Meghan Patrick has three CCMA nominations this year, and she’s only just released her debut album, Grace & Grit, which has spawned four Top 25 country radio hits, including Top 10 “Still Loving You”. The album is the only one from a female artist up for Album of the Year and was produced by big names including Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger and Vince Gill! MV for her most recent hit “Be Country with Me” embedded below.

2017 CCMA Award Nominations Announced

The Canadian Country Music Association announced nominations for the CCMA awards today. There are 34 categories, and eight trophies will be presented during the artist gala to be broadcast from Saskatoon on Sunday, September 10 at 8 p.m. on CBC. Already booked to perform are Dean Brody, Brett Kissel and Jess Moskaluke. During country music week, there will be three award ceremonies including artist, musician, and industry for a total of 42 awards.

Leading the nominees with five each are first-timer James Barker Band (Woodville), Dean Brody (Jaffray), and Brett Kissel (Flat Lake). Find the list of nominees below. To view musician and industry awards, visit the CCMA website:  https://www.ccma.org/

You can vote for the Fans’ Choice Award here.
 

FANS’ CHOICE AWARD
Gord Bamford
Dean Brody
Chad Brownlee
High Valley
Dallas Smith

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Beautiful Freakshow – Dean Brody
Dear Life – High Valley
Game On – James Barker Band
Grace & Grit – Meghan Patrick
Side Effects – Dallas Smith

FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Alee
Lindsay Ell
Madeline Merlo
Jess Moskaluke
Meghan Patrick

MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Gord Bamford
Chad Brownlee
Tim Hicks
Brett Kissel
Aaron Pritchett
Dallas Smith

GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
Cold Creek County
High Valley
James Barker Band
The Road Hammers
The Washboard Union

ROOTS ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR
The Lovelocks
Jessica Mitchell
Lindi Ortega
JJ Shiplett
The Washboard Union

RISING STAR
Dan Davidson
Aaron Goodvin
James Barker Band
JoJo Mason
Meghan Patrick

SINGLE OF THE YEAR
Autograph – Dallas Smith
Cool With That – Brett Kissel
Lawn Chair Lazy – James Barker Band
Take Me Home – Jess Moskaluke
Time – Dean Brody

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Chills – James Barker Band
I Didn’t Fall In Love With Your Hair – Brett Kissel
That’s When You Know – Chris Buck Band feat. Kira Isabella
Time – Dean Brody
When A Momma’s Boy Meets A Daddy’s Girl – Aaron Pritchett

SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR
James Barker, Gavin Slate, Travis Wood, Donovan Woods
Song: Chills (Performed By: James Barker Band)

Ted Hewitt, Brett Kissel, Phil O’Donnell
Song: Cool With That (Performed By: Brett Kissel)

Clayton Bellamy, Dan Davidson
Song: Found (Performed By: Dan Davidson)

Dean Brody
Song: Time (Performed By: Dean Brody)

Patricia Conroy, Jessica Mitchell, David Thomson
Song: Workin’ On Whiskey (Performed By: Jessica Mitchell)

INTERACTIVE ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR
Shae Dupuy
Tim Hicks
Hunter Brothers
Brett Kissel
Wes Mack

Jess, Dean, and Brett to Perform at 2017 CCMA Gala

The Canadian Country Music Association has revealed the initial performers at the 2017 gala which will be held in Saskatoon September 10 and broadcast at 8 p.m. on CBC. They are Jess Moskaluke, Dean Brody, and Brett Kissel. For those unfamiliar with these three darlings of the Canadian country music scene, below are some tidbits. The CCMA plans to have over a dozen players take the stage, the remainder of which will be announced in the coming weeks. Eight trophies will be doled out at the gala. Nominations will be announced July 12.

Langenburg, SK’s Jess Moskaluke is a platinum recording artist c/o her hit “Cheap Wine and Cigarettes”. Jess is currently country music’s leading lady; she has won the CCMA Female Artist of the Year Award three years in a row. Her collaborative single with Paul Brandt “I’m an Open Road” was recently certified gold. This year (2017), Jess won the Country Album of the Year JUNO award for her EP Kiss Me Quiet.

Originally from Jaffray, BC, Dead Brody is a platinum recording artist thanks to three of his songs. As well, he has a gold album, Dirt. Two of his LPs have won the JUNO for Country Album of the Year. Dean has been active since 2009. His song “Bounty” made it to #1 at Country Radio. He has placed an amazing 20 songs on the Billboard Hot 100.

Brett Kissel is from Flat Lake, Alberta and has scored three gold singles, including the #1 Country Airplay hit “Airwaves”. Brett won the 2014 JUNO Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year which marked the first time in 17 years that a country artist nabbed the award. He has won six CCMA Awards. Eight of his songs have appeared on the Billboard Hot 100.

Louise Burns, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Klô Pelgag Make Polaris Prize Long List

When it comes to the Polaris Prize, there is no medium list. Today, the long one was unveiled with a kaleidoscope of styles including the indigenous-flavoured EDM of A Tribe Called Red, the heavy metal of Anciients, the artistic singer-songwriter prowess of Philippe B, the exquisite new wave of Louise Burns, the superb electro dance pop of Le Couleur, the ambitious project of folk artist Fiver, the alternative pop of Geoffroy, the delicious mainstream pop of Carly Rae Jepsen, the beauteous adult contemporary of Klô Pelgag, the sizzling sythpop of Peter Peter, the 60s pop of Tuns, and the cool-groove R&B of Charlotte Day Wilson.

In its own words, “The Polaris Music Prize is a not-for-profit organization that annually honours and rewards artists who produce Canadian music albums of distinction. A select panel of music critics judge and award the Prize without regard to musical genre or commercial popularity.”

The 40 albums on this year’s long list were presented earlier today at the National Arts Centre (NAC) in Ottawa. The albums are as below.

A Tribe Called Red – We Are The Halluci Nation
Alaclair Ensemble – Les Frères Cueilleurs
Anciients – Voice of the Void
Arkells – Morning Report
Philippe B – La grande nuit vidéo
BADBADNOTGOOD – IV
Louise Burns – Young Mopes
Chocolat – Rencontrer Looloo
Clairmont The Second – Quest For Milk and Honey
Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
Antoine Corriveau – Cette chose qui cognait au creux de sa poitrine sans vouloir s’arrêter
Le Couleur – P.O.P.
Marie Davidson – Adieux Au Dancefloor
Mac Demarco – This Old Dog
Gord Downie – Secret Path
Drake – More Life
Feist – Pleasure
Figure Walking – The Big Other
Fiver – Audible Songs From Rockwood
Geoffroy – Coastline
Hannah Georgas – For Evelyn
Japandroids – Near To The Wild Heart Of Life
Carly Rae Jepsen – E.MO.TION Side B
B.A. Johnston – Gremlins III
Lisa LeBlanc – Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen?
The New Pornographers – Whiteout Conditions
Klô Pelgag – L’Étoile thoracique
Peter Peter – Noir Éden
Lido Pimienta – La Papessa
Jessie Reyez – Kiddo
Daniel Romano – Modern Pressure
The Sadies – Northern Passages
John K. Samson – Winter Wheat
Tanya Tagaq – Retribution
The Tragically Hip – Man Machine Poem
TUNS – TUNS
Leif Vollebekk – Twin Solitude
Weaves – Weaves
The Weeknd – Starboy
Charlotte Day Wilson – CDW

Only 188 titles made the first ballots of the 201-member jury.

The list was announced by past multiple nominees Kathleen Edwards and The Acorn’s Rolf Klausener joined by Polaris jurors Lana Gay and Erik Leijon. Special guest Philippe B was in attendance to perform music from his excellent 2017 long-listed album, La grande nuit vidéo.

The 10-album short list will be revealed on July 13, and the winning album will be determined at the Polaris Gala September 18 at The Carlu in Toronto. The event will be livestreamed at CBCMusic.ca.

Albums eligible for Polaris nomination were those released between June 1, 2016 and May 31, 2017. The two lists are determined by a jury of music journalists, broadcasters and music bloggers from across Canada. Eleven from the pool are selected to serve on the Grand Jury, and they choose the 2017 Polaris Music Prize winner who will receive $50,000. Each of the nine other Short List artists will receive $3,000 courtesy of Slaight Music.

BBMAs 2017: My Drake Will Go On

Nominated for 21 Billboard Music Awards, Toronto rapper Drake was the champion of this year’s affair taking 13 trophies back to his crib. This is a new record. He won Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album (Views), Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Song Sales Artist, Top Streaming Artist, Top Streaming Song Audio (“One Dance”), Top R&B Song (“One Dance”), Top R&B Collaboration (“One Dance”), Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Album (Views), and Top Rap Tour.

The performances at the show had some major wow factors. Two of them were by Canadians: Céline Dion and yes Drake.

In 1997, Canadian director James Cameron launched Hollywood motion picture Titanic (Paramount). It had cost $200 million making it the most expensive in the history of cinema. The film had an international cast including Canadian actor Victor Garber. Parts of it were shot in Vancouver and Halifax. From December 19, 1997 to April 2, 1998, Titanic was the number one movie at the US box office, a new record at 15 weeks. It was so popular that Paramount had to send out replacement reels to cinemas which had literally worn out their copies.

Titanic became the first movie in history to pull in a billion dollars. Global box office totals eventually reached $1.8 billion USD, and Titanic captured the title of the most successful movie released in the 20th Century. The film’s theme song was performed by Canadian singer Céline Dion. “My Heart Will Go On” was the biggest song of 1998 and sold an estimated 15 million copies. The song was all over the airwaves that year, and just about everyone went to see Titanic. It was a phenomenon.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Dion performed the song at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards. She sang from inside a sky-high chandelier that hung from the venue’s ceiling. As it elevated, so did Dion’s vocals. While she sang the heart-tugging lyrics, scenes from the movie played on the screen behind her. And as the song reached its emotional climax, shimmering lights fell over the crowd.

Canadian rapper Drake delivered a memorable performance as well. He did the honours from inside the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas. The selection was “Gyalchester” from his 2017 album More Life. Surrounded by water, fire, and dressed all in white, Drake did his duties while fireworks exploded and blended with the fountain’s geysers above him.

According to Billboard, Drake now has the most U.S. Hot 100 hits by a solo artist in the history of the chart at 154.

2017 MMVAs: The Nominees Are…

Grimes, Shawn Mendes, and A Tribe Called Red are each nominated for four Much Music Video Awards. The outdoor spectacle will take place in Toronto June 18 at 9 p.m. local time. Mendes and ATCR are going head to head for the most prestigious award, Video of the Year which is an all-male nominees affair, the other three being Coleman Hell, Kaytranada, and Pup.

Earning three nominations apiece are Alessia Cara, Drake, Ed Sheeran, Lorde, Pup, The Weeknd, and Zeds Dead.

Booked performers thus far include no one from the United Kingdom and only two Canadian acts: Arkells and Jazz Cariter. International performers are DNCE (USA), Iggy Azalea (Australia), Imagine Dragons (USA), Julia Michaels (USA), Lorde (New Zealand), Niall Horan (Ireland), and Post Malone (USA).

View the nominations below.

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

“R.E.D.” – A Tribe Called Red
“Fireproof” – Coleman Hell
“Glowed Up” – Kaytranada
“Sleep In The Heat” – PUP
“Mercy” – Shawn Mendes

BEST POST-PRODUCTION

“Undone” – Coeur De Pirate
“Miracle” – Darcys
“Seeing Double” – Sleepy Tom
“Move Together” – Somewhere Else
“Too Young” – Zeds Dead

BEST EDM/DANCE VIDEO

“Stadium Pow Wow” – A Tribe Called Red
“Indomitable” – Dj Shub
“Easy Go” – Grandtheft & Delaney Jane
“Venus Fly” – Grimes
“Runaway” – MSTRKRFT

BEST DIRECTOR

Kevan Funk, “Stadium Pow Wow” – A Tribe Called Red
Didier Charette, “Rush” – CRi
Claire Boucher, “Venus Fly” – Grimes
Michael LeBlanc, “Spirit” – Wintersleep
Adam Beck, “Stardust” – Zeds Dead

BEST POP VIDEO

“Fireproof” – Coleman Hell
“Venus Fly” – Grimes
“Can’t Slow Down” – Hedley
“Mercy” – Shawn Mendes
“No Warm Up” – SonReal

BEST ROCK/ALTERNATIVE VIDEO

“Knocking At The Door” – Arkells
“Beck + Call” – July Talk
“Sleep In The Heat” – PUP
“In A World Possessed By The Human Mind” – The Tragically Hip
“Spirit” – Wintersleep

BEST HIP HOP VIDEO

“Disconnected” – Derek Wise
“Red Alert/100 Roses” – Jazz Cartier
“81” – Sean Leon
“Picasso Leaning” – Tasha The Amazon
“Let’s Go” – TassNata

BEST MUCHFACT VIDEO

“Rush” – CRi
“With Me” – DVSN
“Sleep In The Heat” – PUP
“Small Talk” – Majid Jordan
“Acid Test” – River Tiber

MOST BUZZWORTHY CANADIAN

Alessia Cara
Drake
Justin Bieber
Shawn Mendes
The Weeknd

MOST BUZZWORTHY INTERNATIONAL ARTIST OR GROUP

Ed Sheeran
Iggy Azalea
Kendrick Lamar
Lady Gaga
Lorde

BEST NEW CANADIAN ARTIST

Charlotte Day Wilson
Daniel Caesar
DVSN
Jessie Reyez
PARTYNEXTDOOR

BEST NEW INTERNATIONAL ARTIST

Chance The Rapper
Camila Cabello
Lil’ Yachty
Niall Horan
Post Malone

CANADIAN SINGLE OF THE YEAR

“Scars to Your Beautiful” – Alessia Cara
“One Dance” – Drake
“Starboy” – The Weeknd

INTERNATIONAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Ed Sheeran
Future
Katy Perry
Kendrick Lamar
Lorde

INTERNATIONAL DUO OR GROUP OF THE YEAR

Twenty One Pilots
DNCE
Imagine Dragons
Migos
The Chainsmokers

FAN FAVE VIDEO

“R.E.D.” – A Tribe Called Red
“Shutter Island” – Jessie Reyez
“Venus Fly” – Grimes
“Too Young” – Zeds Dead
“Knocking At The Door” – Arkells (WILDCARD WINNER)

FAN FAVE INTERNATIONAL ARTIST OR GROUP

Ed Sheeran
Katy Perry
Lorde
Niall Horan (WILDCARD WINNER)

FAN FAVE ARTIST OR GROUP

Drake
Justin Bieber
Shawn Mendes
The Weeknd
Alessia Cara (WILDCARD)

FAN FAVE MUCH CREATOR

Amanda Rach Lee
Jaclyn Forbes
Candace Leca
Mike on Much
YouTwoTV

MMVAs: First Batch of Performers Announced

The 2017 Much Music Video Awards will rock the CN Tower on June 18. And the first batch of performers announced to help out with that are American group DNCE, Aussie rapper Iggy Azalea, U.S. band Imagine Dragons, Canadian rapper Jazz Cartier, California singer-songwriter Julia Michaels, and New Zealand alt-rock superstar Lorde. We’ll keep you posted on upcoming announcements regarding the spectacle. Further performers will hopefully include more Canadian acts and a British one.

2017 Canadian Radio Music Award Winners

Fresh off winning a JUNO Award as Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Edmonton’s Ruth B received a couple more trophies to deck her shelf. The 20th annual Canadian Radio Music Awards (CMRAs) were recently held at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. The CRMAs honour first-time charting artists whose songs achieve top radio spins in different formats. Winners are determined based on votes from those in the broadcast industry. The 2017 shindig housed performances by Bleeker, James Barker Band, Jonathan Roy, Modern Space, the aforementioned Ruth B, and The Washboard Union. Folk pop group The Strumbellas, who recently earned a JUNO win for Single of the Year, won two CRMAs, interestingly in the “rock” categories. The band also won Factor’s Breakthrough Artist award. Nominations are below with winners bolded in indigo. In addition to these, Justin Bieber received the Chart Topper award.

BEST NEW GROUP OR SOLO ARTIST: HOT AC
JONATHAN ROY – DANIELLA DENMARK
LUCKY ROSE – THE WAY YOU WANT ME
MICHELLE TREACY – ARMAGEDDON
RUTH B – LOST BOY
THE STRUMBELLAS – SPIRITS

BEST NEW GROUP OR SOLO ARTIST: MAINSTREAM AC
ALESSIA CARA – HERE
JONATHAN ROY – DANIELLA DENMARK
RUTH B – LOST BOY
THE NEW ELECTRIC – LIFE’S WHAT YOU MAKE IT
THE STRUMBELLAS – SPIRITS

BEST NEW GROUP OR SOLO ARTIST: CHR
ALX VELIZ – DANCING KIZOMBA
BIT FUNK – OFF THE GROUND
RUTH B – LOST BOY
SONREAL – CAN I GET A WITNESS
THE STRUMBELLAS – SPIRITS

BEST NEW GROUP OR SOLO ARTIST: DANCE/URBAN/RHYTHMIC
NEON DREAMS – MARCHING BANDS
PARTYNEXTDOOR – NOT NICE
SARAH MARK – TUN UP
SHAUN FRANK – LET YOU GET AWAY
TORY LANEZ – SAY IT

BEST NEW GROUP OR SOLO ARTIST: MAINSTREAM ROCK
BLEEKER – HIGHWAY
MODERN SPACE – PEN TO PAPER
SAY YES – ONCE FORWARD TWICE BACK
THE DAMN TRUTH – HEART IS COLD
THE STRUMBELLAS – SPIRITS

BEST NEW GROUP OR SOLO ARTIST: MODERN ROCK
BOB MOSES – TEARING ME UP
MICHAEL BERNARD FITZGERALD – I WANNA MAKE IT WITH YOU
MODERN SPACE – PEN TO PAPER
THE DARCYS – MIRACLE
THE STRUMBELLAS – SPIRITS

BEST NEW GROUP OR SOLO ARTIST: COUNTRY
AARON GOODVIN – WOMAN IN LOVE
DAN DAVIDSON – FOUND
JAMES BARKER BAND – LAWN CHAIR LAZY
MEGHAN PATRICK – BOW CHICKA WOW WOW
THE WASHBOARD UNION – MAYBE IT’S THE MOONSHINE

SOCAN SONG OF THE YEAR
LOVE YOURSELF – JUSTIN BIEBER
2 HEADS – COLEMAN HELL
SORRY – JUSTIN BIEBER
TREAT YOU BETTER – SHAWN MENDES
WILD THINGS – ALESSIA CARA

FANS’ CHOICE
ALESSIA CARA
COLEMAN HELL
HEDLEY
JUSTIN BIEBER
SHAWN MENDES

Canadian Invasion: The Thriving 5 Populate Billboard Nominations

Nominations for the 2017 Billboard Awards have been announced, and Canadian names are all over. However, it is the fiery five who are supplying the heat: Justin Bieber, Alessia Cara, Drake, Shawn Mendes, and The Weeknd. Drake collaborator PartyNextDoor gains a nomination as well. The BBMAs will be held in the US city of Las Vegas on May 21.

The nominations are based on chart performance making it a democratic platform. Sales speak louder than praises, and the purchases (and streams) from the many outweigh the voices of the few. Bear in mind that the chart performance applies to the United States only, and American tastes in music are significantly though not radically different from ours.

Drake leads the pack with a total of 22 nominations, and The Weeknd has 13.

All five entries in the Top R&B Collaboration category involve Canadian artists: “Work” by Rihanna featuring Drake, “One Dance” by Drake featuring WizKid & Kyla, “Come and See Me” by PARTYNEXTDOOR featuring Drake, plus “Starboy” and “I Feel It Coming” both by The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk. Four of the 10 nominees of Top Artist are Canadian: Bieber, Mendes, Drake, and The Weeknd. Alessia Cara is nominated for Top New Artist. The Top Male Artist category sees four of five nominees Canucks; Future is very lucky to have elbowed his way in there. Drake and The Weeknd are both nominated in the Top Billboard 200 (albums) and Top Hot 100 (singles) categories. Drake alone reps the Great White North in the Top Song Sales Artist and Top Streaming Songs Artist designations while The Biebs joins him in Top Radio Songs Artist. Bieber is joined by Shawn Mendes in Top Social Artist, and the Biebs flies solo in Top Touring Artist.

Top R&B Artist includes The Weeknd, and Drake pops up in Top Rap Artist and Top Rap Tour. Starboy (The Weeknd) and Views (Drake) are two of five nominees in the Top Billboard 200 Album, and by genre Views gets a nod in Top Rap Album and Starboy in Top R&B album. Drake’s “One Dance” is up for Top Hot 100 Song, Top Selling Song, and Top Radio Song. It is also up for Top Streaming Song nominated along with The Weeknd’s “Starboy”. Those two songs find themselves in the Top Collaboration and Top R&B Song categories as well. Top Rap Song gives a nod to Drake’s “Fake Love”. Justin Bieber gets two in Top Dance/Electronic Song thanks to his features in Major Lazer’s “Cold Water” and DJ Snake’s “Let Me Love You”. Finally, The Weeknd is nominated for the Billboard Chart Achievement Award.

While the Canadian invasion is impressive, there is a lot of room for expansion. Most of the slayers are male soloists. With just one nomination, Alessia Cara is holding down the fort on behalf of all females currently. And Canada does not have any duos or groups making a significant mark on the charts these days. Maple music has also not been able to invade foreign rock and country territory lately.

We have included below the categories and their nominees that are mentioned above.

Top Artist:
Adele
Beyonce
Justin Bieber
The Chainsmokers
Drake
Ariana Grande
Shawn Mendes
Rihanna
Twenty One Pilots
The Weeknd

Top New Artist:
Alessia Cara
Desiigner
Lil Uzi Vert
Lukas Graham
Zayn

Billboard Chart Achievement Award:
Luke Bryan
Nicki Minaj
The Chainsmokers
The Weeknd
Twenty One Pilots

Top Male Artist:
Justin Bieber
Drake
Future
Shawn Mendes
The Weeknd

Top Billboard 200 Artist:
Beyonce
Drake
Prince
Twenty One Pilots
The Weeknd

Top Hot 100 Artist:
The Chainsmokers
Drake
Rihanna
Twenty One Pilots
The Weeknd

Top Song Sales Artist:
The Chainsmokers
Drake
Prince
Justin Timberlake
Twenty One Pilots

Top Radio Songs Artist:
Justin Bieber
The Chainsmokers
Drake
Rihanna
Twenty One Pilots

Top Streaming Songs Artist:
The Chainsmokers
Desiigner
Drake
Rihanna
Twenty One Pilots

Top Social Artist:
Justin Bieber
BTS
Selena Gomez
Ariana Grande
Shawn Mendes

Top Touring Artist:
Justin Bieber
Beyonce
Coldplay
Guns N’ Roses
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Top R&B Artist:
Beyonce
Bruno Mars
Frank Ocean
Rihanna
The Weeknd

Top Rap Artist:
J. Cole
Desiigner
Drake
Future
Rae Sremmurd

Top Rap Tour:
Drake
Future
Kanye West

Top Billboard 200 Album:
Beyonce, Lemonade
Drake, Views
Rihanna, Anti
Twenty One Pilots, Blurryface
The Weeknd, Starboy

Top R&B Album:
Beyonce, Lemonade
Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
Frank Ocean, Blonde
Rihanna, Anti
The Weeknd, Starboy

Top Rap Album:
J. Cole, 4 Your Eyez Only
Drake, Views
Kevin Gates, Isla
DJ Khaled, Major Key
A Tribe Called Quest, We Got It From Here…Thank You For Your Service

Top Hot 100 Song:
The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey, “Closer”
The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya, “Don’t Let Me Down”
Drake Featuring WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance”
Justin Timberlake, “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”
Twenty One Pilots, “Heathens”

Top Selling Song:
The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey, “Closer”
The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya, “Don’t Let Me Down”
Drake Featuring, WizKid & Kyla “One Dance”
Justin Timberlake, “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”
Twenty One Pilots, “Heathens”

Top Radio Song:
The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey, “Closer”
The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya, “Don’t Let Me Down”
Drake Featuring WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance”
Sia Featuring Sean Paul, “Cheap Thrills”
Justin Timberlake, “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”

Top Streaming Song (Audio):
The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey, “Closer”
Drake Featuring WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance”
D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty, “Broccoli”
Rihanna, “Needed Me”
The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk, “Starboy”

Top Collaboration:
The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey, “Closer”
The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya, “Don’t Let Me Down”
Drake Featuring WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance”
Sia Featuring Sean Paul, “Cheap Thrills”
The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk, “Starboy”

Top R&B Song:
Drake Featuring WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance”
Bruno Mars, “24K Magic”
Rihanna, “Needed Me”
Rihanna Featuring Drake, “Work”
The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk, “Starboy”

Top R&B Collaboration:
Drake Featuring WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance”
PARTYNEXTDOOR Featuring Drake, “Come and See Me”
Rihanna Featuring Drake, “Work”
The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk “I Feel It Coming”
The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk, “Starboy”

Top Rap Song:
Desiigner, “Panda”
Drake, “Fake Love”
D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty, “Broccoli”
Migos Featuring Lil Uzi Vert, “Bad And Boujee”
Rae Sremmurd Featuring Gucci Mane, “Black Beatles”

Top Dance/Electronic Song:
The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey, “Closer”
The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya, “Don’t Let Me Down”
Calvin Harris Featuring Rihanna, “This Is What You Came For”
Major Lazer Featuring Justin Bieber & MO, “Cold Water”
DJ Snake Featuring Justin Bieber, “Let Me Love You”

Prism Prize Whittles Down Fave MVs to 10

The Prism Prize announced May 14 may be a night to remember. The contender having the organization’s favourite music video of the year will receive $15,000, and it will be one of 10, a list the 120-member voting jury settled upon recently. The judges identify music videos based on originality, creativity, style, innovation, and effective execution. Some auxiliary awards will also be doled out at the ceremony. Philip Sportel won the Prism Prize last year for Kalle Mattson’s “Avalanche”. The 10 finalists are listed below. May the best MV win.

A Tribe Called Red ft. Black Bear – “Stadium Pow Wow” (Director: Kevan Funk)
Andy Shauf – “The Magician” (Director: Winston Hacking)
BADBADNOTGOOD ft. Kaytranada – “Lavender” (Director: Fantavious Fritz)
Grimes – “Kill V. Maim” (Directors: Claire and Mac Boucher)
Harrison ft. Clairmont The 2nd – “It’s Okay, I Promise” (Director: Scott Cudmore)
July Talk – “Picturing Love” (Director: Jared Raab)
Kaytranada – “Lite Spots” (Director: Martin C. Pariseau)
PUP – “DVP” (Director: Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux)
PUP – “Sleep in the Heat” (Director: Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux)
Wintersleep – “Amerika “(Director: Scott Cudmore)

Nominations Announced for the 2017 Canadian Radio Music Awards

The 20th annual Canadian Radio Music Awards (CMRAs) will be held April 19 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. The CRMAs honour first-time charting artists whose songs achieve top radio spins in different formats. Winners are determined based on votes from those in the broadcast industry. The shindig will house performances by Bleeker, James Barker Band, Jonathan Roy, Modern Space, Ruth B, and The Washboard Union. Nominations are below.

BEST NEW GROUP OR SOLO ARTIST: HOT AC
JONATHAN ROY – DANIELLA DENMARK
LUCKY ROSE – THE WAY YOU WANT ME
MICHELLE TREACY – ARMAGEDDON
RUTH B – LOST BOY
THE STRUMBELLAS – SPIRITS

BEST NEW GROUP OR SOLO ARTIST: MAINSTREAM AC
ALESSIA CARA – HERE
JONATHAN ROY – DANIELLA DENMARK
RUTH B – LOST BOY
THE NEW ELECTRIC – LIFE’S WHAT YOU MAKE IT
THE STRUMBELLAS – SPIRITS

BEST NEW GROUP OR SOLO ARTIST: CHR
ALX VELIZ – DANCING KIZOMBA
BIT FUNK – OFF THE GROUND
RUTH B – LOST BOY
SONREAL – CAN I GET A WITNESS
THE STRUMBELLAS – SPIRITS

BEST NEW GROUP OR SOLO ARTIST: DANCE/URBAN/RHYTHMIC
NEON DREAMS – MARCHING BANDS
PARTYNEXTDOOR – NOT NICE
SARAH MARK – TUN UP
SHAUN FRANK – LET YOU GET AWAY
TORY LANEZ – SAY IT

BEST NEW GROUP OR SOLO ARTIST: MAINSTREAM ROCK
BLEEKER – HIGHWAY
MODERN SPACE – PEN TO PAPER
SAY YES – ONCE FORWARD TWICE BACK
THE DAMN TRUTH – HEART IS COLD
THE STRUMBELLAS – SPIRITS

BEST NEW GROUP OR SOLO ARTIST: MODERN ROCK
BOB MOSES – TEARING ME UP
MICHAEL BERNARD FITZGERALD – I WANNA MAKE IT WITH YOU
MODERN SPACE – PEN TO PAPER
THE DARCYS – MIRACLE
THE STRUMBELLAS – SPIRITS

BEST NEW GROUP OR SOLO ARTIST: COUNTRY
AARON GOODVIN – WOMAN IN LOVE
DAN DAVIDSON – FOUND
JAMES BARKER BAND – LAWN CHAIR LAZY
MEGHAN PATRICK – BOW CHICKA WOW WOW
THE WASHBOARD UNION – MAYBE IT’S THE MOONSHINE

SOCAN SONG OF THE YEAR
LOVE YOURSELF – JUSTIN BIEBER
2 HEADS – COLEMAN HELL
SORRY – JUSTIN BIEBER
TREAT YOU BETTER – SHAWN MENDES
WILD THINGS – ALESSIA CARA

FANS’ CHOICE
ALESSIA CARA
COLEMAN HELL
HEDLEY
JUSTIN BIEBER
SHAWN MENDES

A Canadian Wins a 2017 BRIT Award

2017-brit-cn-copy

The BRIT Awards took place today. They are the UK’s version of the JUNOs but have been around for a shorter time and have much fewer categories. The United Kingdom is the world’s third largest music market after The United States and Japan, so the awards are quite prestigious. Michael Bublé was slated to host but pulled out due to family illness. His shoes were filled by British television presenters Dermot O’Leary and Emma Willis. British-born South African YouTube personality Caspar Lee hosted the live stream. A Canadian won an award in one of the three international categories. But before we get to that, let’s list winners in the other categories:

British Album of the Year: Blackstar, David Bowie
British Single: “Shout Out to My Ex”, Little Mix
British Artist Video: “History”, One Direction
British Male Solo Artist: David Bowie
British Female Solo Artist: Emeli Sandé
British Group: The 1975
British Breakthrough Act: Rag ‘N’ Bone Man
BRITs Global Success Award: Adele
International Group: A Tribe Called Quest
International Female Solo Artist: Beyoncé

The International Male Solo Artist nominees were Bon Iver, Bruno Mars, Drake, Leonard Cohen, and The Weeknd. With three Canadians, the odds were in our favour to win the category, and we did thanks to Drake.

Awards shows have proven to be favoured targets when it comes to criticism. Some is fair, some is not. Drake expressed some grievances over the U.S. Grammy Awards during an interview following the show with Apple Music which was highlighted in Billboard magazine. He feels that he has been working hard at making pop music but is still stuck with the persona of a rap artist only. “I’m a Black artist. I’m apparently a rapper, even though ‘Hotline Bling’ is not a rap song,” he said, continuing, “The only category that they can manage to fit me in is in a rap category, maybe because I’ve rapped in the past or because I’m Black.” He also submitted as an example the absence of record-breaking pop song “One Dance” from the slate of nominations.

The vast majority of “Hotline Bling” is sung. Drake does rap for about 10 seconds at the 3:10 mark. “Pop Style” which is rapped was nominated in the rap category. Views by Drake was nominated for Album of the Year. “One Dance”, not an original composition but a reworking of “Do You Mind” by Crazy Cousinz and Kyla, was not nominated except as a credit for producer Nineteen 85.

Drake has won both JUNO and Grammy awards. This is his first BRIT Award.

Canadians Snatch a Few Grammy Awards

Cultural roles in the big Anglo countries seem to have worked themselves out over the years to yield the following results. In the case of Britons, their job is to think. In the case of Americans, their task is to talk. The role then of Canadians is to ensure that the Brits think and don’t talk and that Americans talk and don’t think. There was certainly a lot of chatter at last night’s Grammy Awards, the biggest night in music for the United States. It is unfortunate that such empty talk often degraded into political commentary which does noting but divide citizens of the Republic into different camps who bicker back and forth having the rest of us strengthening our eye muscles by rolling them repeatedly.

What we are most concerned with here is looking at how Canadians did at that particular awards show held on foreign turf. Looking past some interesting performances which were set up not necessarily for excellence but for grabbing attention and gazing beyond the discovery of some exquisite music flying under Canadian radar (we were quite taken with electro-R&B trio KING), we restate that Canadians were nominated in some 18 categories. We won three of them. The media was quick to mention the two awards snatched by Drake: “Hotline Bling” won both Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Performance. The Torontonian rapper was not in attendance. The third award was given to Bob Moses for Best Remixed Recording on Andre Allen Anjos’ “Tearing Me Up (RAC Remix)”. We can sneak in a 4th nod to the maple, as Bernie Herms was a co-writer on song “Thy Will” by Hillary Scott & The Scott Family which won Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song.

The big winner of the night unsurprisingly was the UK’s Adele. Céline Dion was a presenter of one of Adele’s many awards—Song of the Year (“Hello”). The Weeknd, who has become quite a high-in-demand performer, did “Starboy” and “I Feel It Coming”. Fans were no doubt happy that he finally performed with Daft Punk though technically, the two could have been stand-ins hidden in the helmets arbitrarily turning knobs, making it seem like they were doing something…