Canada Outperforms the Globe in 2015 Music Market Growth

ifpi report 2016 for 2015 copy

The IFPI has released its annual global music report with all the numbers from 2015, and Music Canada has promptly followed up, releasing numbers for Canada.

In the international arena, music revenue grew by 3.2% in 2015 over 2014, i.e. from $14.5 billion to $15 billion. Canada did even better with an 8.3% annual growth. It is only the second time in the new millennium that the growth has been positive, 2011 being the other year. The 8.3% growth means that Canada’s total music revenue was about $408 million for 2015.

Canadian recording artists did very well internationally in 2015. Three of the Top 10 global artists were Canadian: Justin Bieber (4th), Drake (9th), and The Weeknd (10th). Only two of the Top 10 were American artists. The Brits did best with half of the Top 10. Justin Bieber’s Purpose was the 4th best-selling album of the year selling 3.1 million units. Beauty Behind the Madness by The Weeknd was 10th selling 1.5 million copies. No Canadian artist single made the Top 10.

Music Canada attributes some of the factors in the big gains as a “strong release schedule” and “explosive growth in premium subscription services, largely the result of new entrants in the Canadian market”. The trade organization also points out its “immense concern” over the following:

In Canada, as in other countries around the world, a record volume of music is being consumed, yet artists and producers are not enjoying fair compensation, primarily because upload services like YouTube are not paying normal music licensing rates due to the misapplication of a legislative framework called “safe harbours”. This has created what is known as the “value gap”. Furthermore, the “value gap” has resulted in a distorted market, where premium services are forced to compete unfairly with other services that use copyrighted content to build their businesses, but do not pay fair rates.

The IFPI will be releasing more complete data for Canada and all other national markets on Thursday, April 14, 2016.

Angela Hewitt Appointed Companion of the Order of Canada

angela hewitt

At the highest level of Canada’s Order of Canada award system, administered by the Governor General on behalf of the Queen, is the rank of Companion. Appointments are limited to 165 living individuals who have demonstrated the highest degree of merit to Canada or the world at large. Companions receive the post-nominal initials “CC”. Among a new batch of awards announced at the close of 2015 is pianist Angela Hewitt. She has won multiple JUNO awards and is originally from Ottawa. Angela’s promotion to Companion comes nine years after she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006, which followed completion of her recordings of J.S. Bach’s complete keyboard music. Hewitt is appointed in addition to astrophysicist Arthur McDonald, historian and professor Margaret MacMillan, writer Marie-Claire Blais, statesman Lloyd Axworthy, film director Atom Egoyan, and biologist Brenda Andrews. Well done to these six amazing Canadians.

Vancouver’s King of Swing Dal Richards Passes On

dal richards

At 97 years old, the man who for many years helped Vancouverites ring in the New Year passed away just minutes before midnight on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2015. Dal Richards was scheduled to play at the party at Hotel Vancouver where he had performed from 1940 to 1965, but he had to cancel 2015’s show due to illness in November. Over nearly 80-years, Richards played New Year’s Eve parties at a number of hotels and venues throughout the metropolitan area.

Dal had also served as musical director for the BC Lions’ half-time shows. He received the Order of Canada in 1994. Richards started music to soothe his grief after losing an eye in a slingshot accident when he was 9 years old. The injury disqualified him for service during World War II which channelled his energies into a professional music career. When swing and big band jazz fell out of fashion in the mid-1960s, Dal went into hotel management keeping his band going as a side project performing at business conventions, birthdays, and weddings. When things picked up again in the early 80s, Richards began to make records.

Just prior to New Year’s Eve 2015, a hospitalized Dal donned a tux and joined his band at the Vancouver Club’s Christmas party. He sang, “As Time Goes By”.

Dal Richards passed away at 11:41 p.m. on December 31, 2015.

Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” Hits #1 in Canada

justin bieber - sorry-kiss

“Sorry” by Justin Bieber has dethroned Adele’s “Hello” to become the top song on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 this week. It is the Stratford, Ontario native’s third chart-topping hit after “Boyfriend” and “What Do You Mean”. It is also the fourth number one hit in 2015 by a Canadian artist following “Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills” by The Weeknd and the aforementioned “What Do You Mean”. Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself”, also from his Purpose album, is currently #1 in the United Kingdom. He recently broke a UK chart record by having hits at both #1 and #2 for four consecutive weeks. The previous record holder was The Beatles, who logged three consecutive weeks at numbers 1 and 2 in 1967-68 with “Hello Goodbye” and “Magical Mystery Tour”. “Love Yourself” is also at the summit on the Australian charts. In Canada, Adele’s “Hello” had been at the top for seven consecutive weeks before “Sorry” knocked it off this week. It is the 10th chart topper on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 by a Canadian artist since the launch of the chart in mid-2007.

Headlines and Footdots for 18 December 2015

Billboard Names 8 Canadian Songs IN Best of 2015

the weeknd

U.S. based Billboard magazine has published a list of its picks for the 25 Best Songs of 2015. Within the top 18 of the list are 8 songs by Canadians, including #1. At #18 is “Know Yourself” by Drake. Grimes’ “Flesh Without Blood” is #15, The Weeknd’s “The Hills” #10, Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” #9, and Alessia Cara’s “Here” #6. “Where Are U Now” which features Justin Bieber is #5 and Drake’s “Hotline Bling”, a modern take on Timmy Thomas’ 1973 hit “Why Can’t We Live Together”, is #2. Billboard names the best song of the year, “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd.

Jepsen’s “I Really Like You” 6th of 2015 in Japan

Carly Rae Jepsen in Japan1

Radio in Canada may have been lukewarm towards Carly Rae Jepsen’s “I Really Like You” which managed to go gold despite this, but it was a major smash in Japan, finishing the year as the 6th most popular song in the world’s second largest music market. It was also the top song from an international artist in Japan, as the top 5 on the Japan year-end Billboard Hot 100 were from Japanese artists. Carly’s song was more popular than both “Shake It Off” (#12) and “Uptown Funk” (#18). That is very impressive.

Rachel Woznow GAINING MOMENTUM in The States

Rachel Woznow - Big and Loud

“Big and Loud” from Edmonton pop singer Rachel Woznow has been gaining traction in the United States, reaching the Top 30 on Billboard’s Indicator chart helped by airplay on some radio stations in California. While stations in Edmonton have been supporting her, it appears that her momentum in the States is growing more rapidly than in The Great White North. We wish Rachel great success. The fantastic song will be appearing in our best of list for 2015!

Jocelyn Alice Signs with Sony

jocelyn alice

A number of record labels have been fighting over Calgary’s Jocelyn Alice since her hit “Jackpot” went gold in 2015. She has settled on a deal with Sony affiliate Disruptor Records which will distribute her music worldwide. Because of a potential deal around the corner, Jocelyn cancelled release of her album this past summer and will now give us new and perhaps reworked music with her new team.

JUNO Nominations EXPECTED Early February

juno-awards banner

CARAS will be holding a press conference in Calgary on February 2, 2015. It is expected that the JUNO nominations will be announced at that time. The year 2015 was a big year for Canadian music internationally, but with unique tastes, it will be interesting to see which Canadian albums and songs are loved most by Canadians themselves.

Songwriters Hall of Fame Inducts Garnett Piece

Gale Garnett We'll Sing_in_the_sunshine

The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) has inducted Gale Garnett’s “We’ll Sing in the Sunshine”, a #2 hit in Canada in 1964, and covered over the years by a slew of international artists – Dean Martin, Wayne Newton, Dolly Parton, and Sonny and Cher. The song was heard on television shows, movie soundtracks, and appeared on dozens of compilation albums throughout the 1970’s and beyond. Gale was born in New Zealand but emigrated to Canada at 11 years old. She wrote the song when she was only 14, and it was to be given to Hoyt Axton, but she ended up recording it herself. It became an international hit and won a Grammy Award, beating out Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin”.

Justin Bieber to Perform at 2016 Brit Awards


The Brit Awards, celebrating the best in United Kingdom music, does have a few international categories. The British JUNOs have not yet announced nominations; however, a couple of performers at the 2016 gala have been announced: Adele, Coldplay, and Canada’s own Justin Bieber. British comedy duo Ant & Dec will host the show February 24, 2016, at the O2 Arena in swinging London.

Tyler Shaw Gets Dizzy

Coquitlam, BC gold recording artist Tyler Shaw launched a new MV with lyrics today for his new song “Dizzy”. Check it out below.

Jann Arden’s Growing List of Endorsers

Apparently there was no Photoshopping involved in these pictures, and they have made Calgary’s Jann Arden a very happy camper. First, Rod Stewart held up a copy of her CD, A Jann Arden Christmas, and a photo was snapped.

rod stewart jann arden

And then Michael Bublé held up the photo and his picture was taken.


Justin Bieber presented the photo of Michael holding the photo of Rod with Jann’s CD in hand.

bieber buble rod jann

A Jann Arden Christmas is currently in the iTunes Top 10 albums.

A Danforth Evening with Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber Danforth

December 7, 2015: Justin Bieber with his musical director Dan Kanter performed an 85-minute live acoustic show (guitar/piano) at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall for 1,400 fans to benefit outreach centre The Stratford House of Blessing in Bieber’s hometown once used by the singer and his mother during difficult times. The $100 tickets to the show sold out in two minutes, and many fans camped out overnight in the cold. One fan came to the venue without tickets and was given one by Justin’s father who saw her crying. A group of four showed up but were told their tickets were counterfeit. A bodyguard took pity on them and gave them legitimate ones. Attendees found Bieber in top form despite potential jet lag from promo gigs in Tokyo and performing at the O2 Arena Jingle Ball in Britain. Not only did he showcase his big hits, he covered songs from The Beatles, Drake, Ne-Yo, and Tracy Chapman. The superstar also took questions from the audience, chatted with his little brother, and serenaded a “lonely girl” fan. The concert was streamed online for those unable to attend. The Biebs played an estimated 24 songs before a beautiful stage backdrop designed by local artist Jimmy Chiale.

Carly and Justin Rep Canada at UK Jingle Ball

capital fm jingle ball - jepsen bieber

Capital, a radio network of 11 independent contemporary hit radio stations in the United Kingdom, recently hosted a Jingle Ball concert at London’s O2 Arena which became the busiest music venue in the world in 2008. Sixteen thousand fans came to see the big stars perform their hits: Calvin Harris, Charlie Puth, Coldplay, David Guetta, Ellie Goulding, Fleur East, Grace, Jason Derulo, Jess Glynne, Little Mix, Nathan Sykes, Nick Jonas, Sigma, Tinie Tempah, Katy B, The Vamps, WSTRN, and Years & Years. And, yes, we would not be talking about it had the show not included not one but two Canadians. Justin Bieber performed hits “Where Are U Now”, “Boyfriend”, “Love Yourself”, “Home to Mama”, “As Long As You Love Me”, “What Do You Mean”, and “Sorry”. And Carly Rae Jepsen performed “Call Me Maybe”, “Your Type”, and “I Really Like You”. The latter was a #3 hit in Britain. You can watch the performances online at the Capital FM website here.

Cosmopolitan Names Carly’s Emotion Pop Album of the Year

Carly Rae Jepsen - Emotion banner

With most magazines including Carly Rae Jepsen‘s Emotion in their best of 2015 album lists (Time Magazine put the LP at #4), Cosmopolitan’s naming it “Pop Album of the Year” will not raise many eyebrows. However, the magazine’s reason for doing so is interesting. After stating Emotion is a “smart, sexy, synth-y, ’80s wonderland, … the best pop album of the year,” Cosmopolitan argues what really makes the album refreshing is not what it includes but what it omits: the singer keeps herself brandless in an era despotically ruled by celebrity gossip and leaves room for the music to sink in. While her pop star counterparts are presenting foul fodder to sell advertising for the media licking unsold doughnuts, stripping for MVs, album covers, and balconies, twerking, promoting drug-smoking, suing others for using similar notes in an octave, vacillating between romance and breakup, updating Instagram with their latest hairdos Carly remained aloof from it all allowing the music to shine through. She does not follow in the footsteps of others who often make their albums feel like the self-glorifying soundtrack of a reality show. Cosmopolitan writer Jessica Goldstein says Emotion grasps “the beauty of pop — pure, unadulterated pop … Straight feelings, no chaser.” “Carly Rae gets out of the way. She leaves room for the most important person in a pop song: you.”

Stay tuned for Canadian Music Blog’s 25 Album Faves of 2015 later this month including our pick for Album of the Year.

Justin Bieber First Canadian with 3 UK Number Ones

Justin Bieber has become the first Canadian artist in history to score three number one hits in the United Kingdom. What’s more, he accomplished it in the same year, 2015. Previously, the only Canadian to place more than one single at the top of the British charts was Céline Dion, thanks to “Think Twice” and “My Heart Will Go On”. While in Canada, British singer Adele’s “Hello” has anchored itself at the crown, preventing Bieber’s “Sorry” and “Love Yourself” from topping the charts, those two tracks have reached number one in the UK. Earlier in Britain, as in many other countries, Justin’s “What Do You Mean” reached the top.

The Atlantic has proven to be a tough divide for Canadian hits to dazzle the masses in Britain. Bieber is only the 10th Canadian artist in history to score a #1 smash in the UK, the others being Paul Anka (“Diana”, 1957), Terry Jacks (“Seasons in the Sun”, 1974), Bryan Adams (“I Do It For You”, 1991), the aforementioned Céline Dion (“Think Twice”, 1995 and “My Heart Will Go On”, 1998), Nelly Furtado (“Maneater”, 2006), Carly Rae Jepsen (“Call Me Maybe”, 2012), Robin Thicke (“Blurred Lines”, 2013), Kiesza (“Hideaway”, 2014), and MAGIC! (“Rude”, 2014). Three additional Canadian artists reached the top via a collaboration: Andy Kim by way of outfit The Archies (“Sugar Sugar”, 1969), Drake featured with Rihanna (“What’s My Name”, 2011), and DVBBS with Borgeous and Tinie Tempah (“Tsunami Jump”, 2014). Moreover, Bryan Adams reached #1 via his feature with Chicane (“Don’t Give Up”, 2000) and Nelly Furtado with Timbaland (“Give It To Me”, 2007).

Shawn Mendes Scores His First Vevo Certified MV

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 13:  Shawn Mendes opens for Taylor Swift during The 1989 World Tour on June 13, 2015 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TAS)

Teen sensation Shawn Mendes has scored his first Vevo certified music video, as views for “Stitches” have broken the 100 million mark. This has been a big year for the JUNO-nominated native of Pickering, Ontario. His album Handwritten debuted at number one. He opened for Taylor Swift on her 1989 World Tour. Shawn recently released a collaborative single with Fifth Harmony’s Camila Cabello, “I Know What You Did Last Summer”. Single “Stitches” became a Top 10 hit on October 12 and was also a big hit internationally.

Avril Lavigne’s Hello Kitty MV Breaks 100 Million Views

Avril Lavigne - Hello Kitty

Pop/rock superstar Avril Lavigne has basketed another Vevo certified level music video as “Hello Kitty” has passed the 100 million mark. It is her seventh. Previous Vevo certified works are “Girlfriend”, her most viewed video at 301 million, “Wish You Were Here” at 247 million, “What the Hell” 244 million, “When You’re Gone” 241 million, “Smile” 126 million, and “Here’s to Never Growing Up” 115 million. Avril has 3 MVs close to the mark: “Let Me Go” 96 million, “Complicated” 96 million, and “Hot” 95 million. Her “Hello Kitty” video expressed her adoration for Japan. It was shot in the country with a Japanese director. Like a number of entities, the Globe and Mail praised the video with its Gwen Stefani hollaback theme and Skrillex hairdo. “Lavigne has planted herself in a Japanese wonderland of cuteness, colours, cupcakes and clichéd schoolgirls… She takes the last second to flash a knowing, toothy grin before ducking off-camera, then popping back up with her more-familiar pout. Lavigne just had the time of her life.”

Justin Bieber Returning to Ontario to Give Back

2015 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals

Multiplatinum recording artist Justin Bieber will be performing a benefit concert in Toronto on December 7. Proceeds from the acoustic set at the Danforth Music Hall will go to the outreach centre that helped him and his single mother when they were in need in his hometown of Stratford, Ontario. “Thank you for being there when we needed you,” he tweeted to the Stratford House of Blessing, “Now it’s my turn.” Tickets for the show went on sale through Ticketmaster today.

Last year, Bieber and his grandmother auctioned off several items through eBay, raising $64,000 for the same outreach group. Its executive director Theresa McMurray said that Justin’s label Universal Music Canada called to convey the good news about the upcoming concert. “All I could say when they called me was ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you,”‘ she said.

Justin Bieber released record setting studio album Purpose last month which includes chart-topping hit “What Do You Mean” and top 3 smashes “Sorry” and “Love Yourself”. He won an American Music Award for “Where Are You Now”, a collaboration with electronic music makers Skrillex and Diplo. In February 2016, he will appear in Hollywood feature film Zoolander 2 and in March embark on a 58-city tour of Anglo America.

Brett and Kira’s Wager on Eskies and Redblacks


Mike Reilly and the Edmonton Eskimos are up against Henry Burris and the Ottawa Redblacks at the 103rd Grey Cup being played out this Sunday in Winnipeg. Country musician Brett Kissel from Flat Lake, AB is so convinced that his Eskies will take the cup that he has offered a friendly wager to Ottawa country superstar Kira Isabella who is rooting for her Redblacks. The one who supports the team who loses the cup has to make a video singing one of the “winner’s” songs wearing the winning team’s colours. Brett has told Kira she’d better get crackin’ and Google the lyrics for his song “Pick Me Up”. Kira, on the other hand is no doubt very excited to see Brett sing a boogified version of her song “Shake It If Ya Got It” or any other delicacy.

Brett Kira Esks RBs

If in Ontario, you can catch Kira Isabella along with Calgary’s Wes Mack aboard the CP Holiday Train. It’ll be rolling through London next week. Brett Kissel is currently on tour in Alberta in Lethbridge, will play in Fort Saskatchewan the 27th and 28th before heading up to Whitehorse, YT on the 30th.

Justin Bieber’s Purpose Debuts at #1 in Australia

Victoria Australia

While in the United Kingdom, 1D beat out the Biebs in the albums race to number one and Justin dethroned Adele on the singles chart, it is the reverse situation in Australia this week. Justin Bieber’s Purpose debuts at #1 and One Direction settles for #2 on the official albums chart. On the singles chart, Adele’s “Hello” remains at #1 and Bieber’s “Sorry” at #2.

The Biebs Breaks an ARIA Chart Record

The Biebs has a total of 11 tracks on Australia’s singles chart this week, 8 of which are in the Top 50, and 3 in the Top 10. No other living artist has ever had 11 songs simultaneously in Australia’s Top 100. Michael Jackson’s passing landed 30 of his songs on the charts at once. This is the first time Bieber has had three simultaneous Top 10 singles down under.

Canadian Pop Royalty Down Under

Purpose is Justin Bieber’s third #1 album in Australia, the world’s sixth largest music market. ARIA noted that in terms of Canadian artists scoring number one albums in Australia, Michael Bublé and Céline Dion lead, each with five. Bieber is second with three. Bryan Adams, Alanis Morissette, Shania Twain, Avril Lavigne, and k.d. lang each have two.

Australia Gets Sutured by Shawn Mendes

It is good news for Shawn Mendes as he has scored his very first Top 10 hit in Australia with “Stitches”.

Canada Australia

This week, Canadian artists have five tracks in Australia’s Top 10 singles. Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” is #2, “Love Yourself” #3, and “What Do You Mean?” #7. “The Hills” by The Weeknd is #6, and “Stitches” by Shawn Mendes is #10.

Canadians have three discs in Australia’s Top 10 albums. Justin Bieber’s Purpose is #1, Michael Bublé’s Christmas is #6, and The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness is #10.

A Tribe Called Red at Sydney Opera House

In other exciting news, A Tribe Called Red is on tour in Australia for the first time. The JUNO-winning electric pow-pow group expressed feeling humbled and honoured to perform at the Sydney Opera House!