Drake Receives Seven US Grammy Nominations

Yesterday morning, Alessia Cara, the first Canadian ever to win a Best New Artist US Grammy award, joined fellow Canuck Shawn Mendes, American singer Janelle Monae, and Apple Music host Zane Lowe to announce nominations for the 2019 installment of the annual gala. Californian rapper Kendrick Lamar leads with eight nods, while Canada’s Drake comes in second place with seven. Cara did not receive any nominations this year but Mendes was given a pair. Not having released any new music this year per se, Justin Bieber is not up for a trophy. Though his EP topped the US album chart and one of its tracks cracked the Top 5 there, The Weeknd was snubbed by the recording academy this season. Vocal jazz superstar Diana Krall, however, received two nominations for her collaborative efforts with New York’s Tony Bennett. Rising R&B star Daniel Caesar was given a thumbs up via his feature in H.E.R.’s “Best Part” (Best R&B Performance).

Several Canadians are up for awards in classical music: Marc-André Hamelin, James Ehnes, Peter Oundjian and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Gerald Finley, and Les Violons du Roy. Canada’s Boi-1da is up for the Producer of the Year, Non-Classical award and a couple of Canadian artist albums receive nominations for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical – discs from Bahamas and Chromeo.

Drake, who has already won three Grammy awards, was left off the slate last year because he did not submit album More Life for consideration stating in an interview that he was tired of being pigeonholed as a rapper. With his seven nominations this year, he has obviously patched things up with the American recording academy. The 2019 gala will determine whether he takes home the trophies for Best Rap Performance (“Nice for What” and, as a featured artist, “Sicko Mode”), Best Rap Song (“Sicko Mode” and “God’s Plan”), Record of the Year (“God’s Plan”), Song of the Year (“God’s Plan), and Album of the Year Scorpion.

Shawn Mendes’ nominations are for Song of the Year (“In My Blood”) and Best Pop Vocal Album (Shawn Mendes). Diana Krall (with Tony Bennett) receives the honours for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (“S Wonderful”) and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album (Love Is Here to Stay).

Canada Represented at ACM Awards

Canadian country is beginning to infiltrate the United States, and one of the more recent signs could be seen at the 2018 Academy of Country Music Awards which went down tonight. Albertan duo High Valley was nominated for an award – New Vocal Duo or Group of The Year. Although HV lost out to Midland, the duo’s song “She’s with Me” is big news in the Republic, reaching #7 at US Country Airplay. The song is from album County Line released way back in 2014. Amazingly, then, it took four years for the song to make it big in the States. The MV has over 4 million views.

Calgary’s Lindsay Ell was not nominated; however, she was present at the gala with her #1 Canadian Country hit “Criminal” at #20 Stateside. Lindsay revealed major news – that she will be featured in a track on Keith Urban’s upcoming album. She will be playing Canadian arenas with the Kiwi slayer in the fall.

JUNOs Gear Up Amidst Grammys Backlash + Charts and Other News

Shawn Hook Reaches a New Plateau

First off, some very good news concerning British Columbian singer and songwriter Shawn Hook. Music Canada has certified his hit “Sound of Your Heart” a DOUBLE PLATINUM single elevating his rank to a multiplatinum recording artist. Huge congrats to the gentleman.

Alessia Cara … Shouldn’t Have to Defend Herself

Honours, as we previously reported, have also been given to Ontarian Alessia Cara who, on Sunday, became the first Canadian ever to win a Best New Artist Grammy. Unfortunately, a handful of vocal naysayers attempted to rain on her parade calling into question whether or not she should be considered new since she has been releasing music since 2015. Cara took to social media having to defend herself.

She pointed out that she did not submit her music for contention and does not make the Grammy Award rules. We point out that her fellow nominees with the exception of only one have been releasing music since before her: Lil Uzi Vert since 2014, Sza since 2012, and Julia Michaels since 2010.

We also call into question the motivations of the naysayers given that Alessia Cara was the only female who accepted an award onstage during the three-plus-hour live broadcast.

Grammys So Male

The above phenomenon caused hashtag #GrammysSoMale to trend on Twitter for hours following the telecast compelling Recording Academy president Neil Portnow to respond, saying that if women want to win Grammy Awards, they need to “step up”. This resulted in a huge backlash. Platinum, multiple JUNO winner LIGHTS pointed out that women have been stepping up for years, working tirelessly and that “power and talent oozes from every woman I know in this industry”. Of the 84 Grammy awards, only 11 went out to women. The New York Times determined that in the last six years only 9 percent of Grammy Awards have gone to women.

Grammy Ratings Tumble

Perhaps due to the large gender imbalance on Sunday, ratings for the show tumbled. While 26.1 million tuned in last year, the numbers fell to 19.8 million this year, a drop of 24%. Billboard suggested another reason may be the over emphasis on rap music, which is only the tenth most popular at radio in The United States. The lacklustre audience is the lowest in numbers since 2009.

JUNO Awards Gear Up

The JUNO Awards have their work cut out for them if they want to impress following on the heels of this. Nominations will be announced Tuesday, February 6.

The JUNOs also announced that the 2019 awards will be held in London. This year’s awards will be held March 25 in Vancouver and hosted by the king of swing, Michael Bublé.

This Week’s Charts

Last week we reported that Logan Staats failed to make the Billboard Hot 100 despite reaching #1 at iTunes. Drake, however, sees better luck on the Hot 100, as “God’s Plan” crowns it. B-side “Diplomatic Immunity” finishes the week at #6. Staats fellow The Launch victor Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine squeaks into the Top 40 with “Ain’t Easy”. The latter tops the Emerging Artists chart. The three new tracks save the Top 40 from an annihilation of CanCon which charred last week’s chart. Bahamas scores the first Top Ten 2018 Canadian artist album as Earthtones debuts at #5.

Alessia Cara Becomes the First Canadian Ever to win a Best New Artist Grammy

January 28, 2018, New York City – Brampton, Ontario Italian Canadian R&B singer Alessia Cara wins the United States’ Grammy Award for Best New Artist over other nominees Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, Julia Michaels, and SZA. She is the first Canadian ever since the inception of the awards ceremony in 1959 to win the trophy in the category. “Holy cow,” she remarked upon taking the Madison Square Garden stage, “I’ve been pretend-winning Grammys since I was a kind in my shower. You think I’d have the speech thing down, but I absolutely don’t.”

Other Canadians who won Grammy Awards were The Weeknd whose album Starboy was named Best Urban Contemporary Album. It is the Toronto native’s third trophy. The deceased Leonard Cohen picked up the award for his song “You Want It Darker,” a bit misplaced in the category Best Rock Performance. He had previously received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy.

Nova Scotian soprano Barbara Hannigan won the award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album thanks to Crazy Girl Crazy, and Burlington, Ontario’s Charles Moniz, co-nominated for his work on Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic, won a Grammy for Best Engineered Album.

The Grammy Awards Show Alessia Cara the Love

The United States’ flagship of music award galas – The Grammy Awards – unmasked nominations for the 2018 ceremony which will take place January 28 in New York City. A number of Canadian acts have been given nods as follows:

Alessia Cara – 3 nominations – Song of the Year “1-800-273-8255” (as a featured artist), Best New Artist, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance “Stay” (as a co-credited artist).

Alex Cuba – 1 nomination – Best Latin Pop Album Lo Unico Constante.

Arcade Fire – 1 nomination – Best Alternative Music Album Everything Now.

Daniel Caesar – 2 nominations – Best R&B Album Freudian and Best R&B Performance “Get You”.

Jane Bunnett & Maqueque – 1 nomination – Best Latin Jazz album Oddara.

Justin Bieber – 3 nominations – Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance “Despacito” (as a featured artist).

Leonard Cohen – 2 nominations – Best Rock Performance “You Want It Darker” and Best American Roots Performance “Steer Your Way”.

Michael Bublé – 1 nomination – Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Nobody but Me.

Northern Cree – 1 nomination – Best Regional Roots Music Album Miyo Kekisepa, Make A Stand [Live].

Sarah McLachlan – 1 nomination – Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Wonderland.

The Weeknd – 1 nomination – Best Urban Contemporary Album Starboy.

Also of note, Rose CousinsNatural Conclusion is nominated for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. Glenn Gould‘s The Goldberg Variations – The Complete Unreleased Recording Sessions June 1955 is nominated for Best Historical Album. Director Andy Hines is nominated in the best video category for 1-800-273-8255 by Logic. David Hein & Irene Sankoff‘s Come From Away is up for Best Musical Theatre Album. Under Best Choral performance is Handel: Messiah by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.

As far as the snubs go, there is Drake. He did not submit album More Life to the Grammys as we reported earlier. Shawn Mendes, while racking up nominations and winning awards at just about every other music awards ceremony. is passed over by the Grammys.

Canadians Take Home American Music Awards

On the day that Toronto beat Saskatchewan and Calgary defeated Edmonton in the CFL semifinals, The American Music Awards took place south of the border, and Canadian recording artists took home some hardware.

Shawn Mendes was named Favourite Artist – Adult Contemporary.

Drake took Favourite Artist – Rap.

As a featured artist, Justin Bieber helped ”Despacito” win Favourite Song – Pop/Rock.
He also helped “I’m the One” snatch Favourite Song – Rap.

In the one category in which she was nominated (Favourite Female Artist – Pop/Rock), Alessia Cara lost to Lada Gaga; however, Moana was named Top Soundtrack, and the album contains a track from her (“How Far I’ll Go”).

The Weeknd had five nominations but failed to snag a win in any of them. You can bet he’ll be cheering on the Argos at the Grey Cup.

Shawn Mendes Wins 4 MTV EMAs, Breaks Billboard Record

The lad from Pickering, Ontario is really on a roll. Teen superstar Shawn Mendes was the lone Canadian performing at this year’s MTV Europe Music Awards, and he won four trophies – Best Song “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”, Best Artist, Best Canadian Act, and Biggest Fans.

Mendes recently made Billboard history setting a new record. At just 19-years-old, he has scored three number one songs on the Billboard U.S. Adult Contemporary chart before turning the age of 20. No other artist in history has accomplished this.

The 2017 MTV EMA Best song winner has been certified triple platinum in Canada. A JUNO award winner, Shawn Mendes has a following of 14.9 million on Twitter, and both of his albums have achieved platinum sales.

American Music Awards Nominate The Furious Five

The furious five are back in the nominations spree. This time it is the American Music Awards which might as well re-christen itself The Canadian Music Awards. Find nominations by artist below. The gala will take place Sunday, November 19. Drake and The Weeknd have 5 nominations each. Alessia Cara and Shawn Mendes have 1 apiece. The Biebs has 4. The Americans seem to have lost sight of genre. Drake’s More Life is considered a pop/rock album in addition to a rap one, as it is nominated in both categories. Something tells us Drake won’t have a problem with that though.

Justin Bieber

– Collaboration of the Year x2 (“I’m the One” + “Despacito”)
– Favourite Song Pop/Rock (“Despacito”)
– Favourite Song Rap/Hip-Hop (“I’m the One”)


– Artist of the Year
– Favourite Male Artist Pop/Rock
– Favourite Album Pop/Rock (More Life)
– Favourite Artist Rap/Hip-Hop
– Favourite Album Rap/Hip-Hop (More Life)

The Weeknd

– Collaboration of the Year (“Starboy”)
– Favourite Album Pop/Rock (Starboy)
– Favourite Male Artist Soul/R&B
– Favourite Album Soul/R&B (Starboy)
– Favourite Song Soul/R&B (“Starboy”)

Alessia Cara

– Favourite Female Artist Pop/Rock

Shawn Mendes

– Favourite Artist Adult Contemporary

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.

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.

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:
Justin Bieber
The Chainsmokers
Ariana Grande
Shawn Mendes
Twenty One Pilots
The Weeknd

Top New Artist:
Alessia Cara
Lil Uzi Vert
Lukas Graham

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

Top Male Artist:
Justin Bieber
Shawn Mendes
The Weeknd

Top Billboard 200 Artist:
Twenty One Pilots
The Weeknd

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

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

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

Top Streaming Songs Artist:
The Chainsmokers
Twenty One Pilots

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

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

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

Top Rap Artist:
J. Cole
Rae Sremmurd

Top Rap Tour:
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”

A Canadian Wins a 2017 BRIT Award


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…

3 Canadians Nominated for 2017 BRIT Awards


Nominations for the 2017 BRIT Awards recognizing the best in British music are out, and three Canadians make the international categories. Drake receives two – one for Male Soloist and one for Group, thanks to his pairing with Future. The Weeknd also makes Male Soloist along with the late Leonard Cohen.

The kind of music Britain is known for seems to pass up for what makes it look like an American awards show with a lot of nods towards urban music. In the Album of the Year category are two rap albums and an R&B one. British women are shut out from that category and pick up only one of 10 nominations for Single of the Year (Little Mix, though it should be mentioned that Grace Chatto is one of three in Clean Bandit). It is not known whether nominations for David Bowie and Leonard Cohen are based on sentiment for honouring the deceased or on actual quality. We’ll see how things go at the gala February 22 at the O2 Arena in London UK. Canada’s Michael Bublé was booked to host; however, he has cancelled to take care of his child who was diagnosed with cancer. You can check out the BRIT nominations here.

Canadians Nominated for 2017 Grammy Awards


The flagship music awards show of The United States known as the Grammy Awards unveiled its annual list of nominees for the 2017 gala this morning. There are 84 categories. A number of Canadian artists have picked up nominations; in fact, Drake has 8, though a few of these are as a featured artist. American R&B artist Beyonce, star of Mike Myers’ Austin Powers in Goldmember, leads the pack with 9. Justin Bieber has 4 nominations. There are some surprises. Toronto singer Kai receives a nomination as a featured artist. Vancouver electronic duo Bob Moses has two, and Ontario urban acts PartyNextDoor and Tory Lanez receive nods as well. Vancouver’s Darcy James Argue has a nomination in jazz. Nineteen85 is up for best producer. Both Yannick Nezet-Seguin and the ARC Ensemble have classical music nominations. Alberta’s Northern Cree is up for Best Regional Roots Music Album. Producer James Teej gets a nomination for remixing. Steven Lee Olsen co-wrote Keith Urban’s “Blue Ain’t Your Colour”, up for Best Country Song.

Below are categories for which a Canadian artist is nominated (bold in red).

The Grammys will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 12, at 8 p.m. ET.


25 — Adele
Lemonade — Beyonce
Purpose — Justin Bieber
Views — Drake
A Sailor’s Guide To Earth — Sturgill Simpson


“Hello” — Adele
“Formation” — Beyonce
“7 Years” — Lukas Graham
“Work” — Rihanna Featuring Drake
“Stressed Out” — Twenty One Pilots


“Formation” — Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, Beyonce Knowles & Michael L. Williams II, songwriters (Beyonce)
“Hello” — Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Adele)
“I Took A Pill In Ibiza” — Mike Posner, songwriter (Mike Posner)
“Love Yourself” — Justin Bieber, Benjamin Levin & Ed Sheeran, songwriters (Justin Bieber)
“7 Years” — Lukas Forchhammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Pilegaard & Morten Ristorp, songwriters (Lukas Graham)


25 — Adele
Purpose — Justin Bieber
Dangerous Woman — Ariana Grande
Confident — Demi Lovato
This Is Acting — Sia


“Hello” — Adele
“Hold Up” — Beyonce
“Love Yourself” — Justin Bieber
“Piece By Piece (Idol Version)” — Kelly Clarkson
“Dangerous Woman” — Ariana Grande


“Closer” — The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey
“7 Years” — Lukas Graham
“Work” — Rihanna Featuring Drake
“Cheap Thrills” — Sia Featuring Sean Paul
“Stressed Out” — Twenty One Pilots


“Tearing Me Up” — Bob Moses
“Don’t Let Me Down” — The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya
“Never Be Like You” — Flume Featuring Kai
“Rinse & Repeat” — Riton Featuring Kah-Lo
“Drinkee” — Sofi Tukker


“Come and See Me” — J. Brathwaite, Aubrey Graham & Noah Shebib, songwriters (PartyNextDoor Featuring Drake)
“Exchange” — Michael Hernandez & Bryson Tiller, songwriters (Bryson Tiller)
“Kiss It Better” — Jeff Bhasker, Robyn Fenty, John-Nathan Glass & Natalia Noemi, songwriters (Rihanna)
“Lake By the Ocean” — Hod David & Musze, songwriters (Maxwell)
“Luv” — Magnus August Høiberg, Benjamin Levin & Daystar Peterson, songwriters (Tory Lanez)


“No Problem” — Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz
“Panda” —Desiigner
“Pop Style” — Drake Featuring The Throne
“All The Way Up” — Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana & Infared
“That Part” — ScHoolboy Q Featuring Kanye West


“Freedom” — Beyonce Featuring Kendrick Lamar
“Hotline Bling” — Drake
“Broccoli” — D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty
“Ultralight Beam” — Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream
“Famous” — Kanye West Featuring Rihanna


“All The Way Up” — Fat Joe & Remy Ma
“Famous” — Kanye West
“Hotline Bling” — Drake
“No Problem” — Chance The Rapper
“Ultralight Beam” — Kanye West


Coloring Book — Chance The Rapper
And the Anonymous Nobody — De La Soul
Major Key — DJ Khaled
Views — Drake
Blank Face LP — ScHoolboy Q
The Life of Pablo — Kanye West


Real Enemies — Darcy James Argue‘s Secret Society
Presents Monk’estra, Vol. 1 — John Beasley
Kaleidoscope Eyes: Music of the Beatles — John Daversa
All L.A. Band — Bob Mintzer
Presidential Suite: Eight Variations On Freedom — Ted Nash Big Band


Benny Blanco
Greg Kurstin
Max Martin
Ricky Reed


Broken Promised Land — Barry Jean Ancelet & Sam Broussard
It’s A Cree Thing — Northern Cree
E Walea — Kalani Pe’a
Gulfstream — Roddie Romero And The Hub City All-Stars
I Wanna Sing Right: Rediscovering Lomax In The Evangeline Country — (Various Artists)


“Cali Coast (Psionics Remix)” — Josh Williams, remixer (Soul Pacific)
“Heavy Star Movin’ (staRo Remix)” — staRo, remixer (The Silver Lake Chorus)
“Nineteen Hundred Eighty-Five (Timo Maas & James Teej Remix)” — Timo Maas & James Teej, remixers (Paul McCartney & Wings)
“Only” (Kaskade X Lipless Remix)— Ryan Raddon, remixer (Ry X)
“Tearing Me Up (RAC Remix)” — Andre Allen Anjos, remixer (Bob Moses)
“Wide Open (Joe Goddard Remix)” — Joe Goddard, remixer (The Chemical Brothers)


Corigliano: The Ghosts Of Versailles — James Conlon, conductor; Joshua Guerrero, Christopher Maltman, Lucas Meachem, Patricia Racette, Lucy Schaufer & Guanqun Yu; Blanton Alspaugh, producer (LA Opera Orchestra; LA Opera Chorus)

Handel: Giulio Cesare — Giovanni Antonini, conductor; Cecilia Bartoli, Philippe Jaroussky, Andreas Scholl & Anne-Sofie von Otter; Samuel Theis, producer (Il Giardino Armonico)

Higdon: Cold Mountain — Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor; Emily Fons, Nathan Gunn, Isabel Leonard & Jay Hunter Morris; Elizabeth Ostrow, producer (The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra; Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program For Singers)

Mozart: Le Nozze De Figaro — Yannick Nezet-Seguin, conductor; Thomas Hampson, Christiane Karg, Luca Pisaroni & Sonya Yoncheva; Daniel Zalay, producer (Chamber Orchestra Of Europe; Vocalensemble Rastatt)

Szymanowski: Krol Roger — Antonio Pappano, conductor; Georgia Jarman, Mariusz Kwiecien & Saimir Pirgu; Jonathan Allen, producer (Orchestra Of The Royal Opera House; Royal Opera Chorus)


Fitelberg: Chamber Works — ARC Ensemble
Reflections — Øyvind Gimse, Geir Inge Lotsberg & Trondheimsolistene
Serious Business — Spektral Quartet
Steve Reich — Third Coast Percussion
Trios From Our Homelands — Lincoln Trio


“Blue Ain’t Your Color” — Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey & Steven Lee Olsen, songwriters (Keith Urban)
“Die A Happy Man” — Sean Douglas, Thomas Rhett & Joe Spargur, songwriters (Thomas Rhett)
“Humble and Kind” — Lori McKenna, songwriter (Tim McGraw)
“My Church” — busbee & Maren Morris, songwriters (Maren Morris)
“Vice” — Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally & Josh Osborne, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)