Update to The Year 2010 in Canadian Music

In preparation for our review of 2011 in Canadian music, we have just finished revamping our summary of the year in music 2010. Within this major article, we provide mini profiles of some of the new stars that made it big that year: K’naan, Maxime Landry, Deadmau5, Bobby Bazini, Meaghan Smith, Nikki Yanofsky, Tegan & Sara, The Arcade Fire, Down with Webster, and Karkwa. We include some of the major JUNO awards (with those nominated), list the most successful albums and singles, and all the songs by Canadian artists that made the Top 100 of 2010. Check it out HERE.

2010’s Biggest Canadian Hits, Both English and French

CMB medThe number one song of 2010 in Canada was Katy Perry’s ”California Gurls” [sic]. The most successful Anglo song from a Canadian artist was ”Perfect” by Hedley (18th of the year, Canadian Hot 100). Two songs by Canadian artists topped the charts in 2010: “I Believe” by Nikki Yanofsky and charity single “Wavin’ Flag” by Young Artists For Haiti. The original “Wavin’ Flag” by K’Naan made it to #2. The year’s biggest Franco hit was “Dans mon corps” by Les Trois Accords (17th of the year, CKOI). Annie Villeneuve’s “J’imagine”, the Franco version of “I Believe”, made the weekly Top 40 of the Billboard Canadian Hot 100. These songs were used to promote the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. Below is a list of all singles by Canadian artists that made the year-end Top 100 or that peaked within the Top 40 of the weekly Canadian Hot 100. As well is a list of all Canadian Franco songs that made the CKOI year-end Top 50 or that appeared on the Canadian Hot 100.

HY = Hot 100 year-end chart position

HW = Hot 100 weekly charts, peak position

CY = CKOI year-end Top 50 chart position


Dans mon corps Les Trois Accords 17  
Deja loin Marie-Mai 20  
Hymne a Quebec Loco Locass 22 58
Recommencer tout a zero William Deslauriers 26 92
Music K-Maro 30  
Le bonheur (rien ne nous arretera) Dumas 35  
Si t’es vivant Jonathan Painchaud 37 92
Chene et roseau Les Cowboys Fringants 39  
Hymne a Montreal (ville-marie) Eric Lapointe 43 93
Le temps est long Vincent Vallieres 45  
Voyage David Jalbert 47  
La vie c’t’une job Les Respectables 49  
J’imagine Annie Villeneuve   36
Je Repars David Usher ft. Marie-Mai   70
Entre deux mondes Marc Dupre   87
Chasser le malheur Alfa Rococo   94


Perfect Hedley 18 7
Wavin’ Flag Young Artists for Haiti 19 1
Wavin’ Flag K’naan 21 2
Haven’t Met You Yet Michael Buble 31 4*
I Believe Nikki Yanofsky 33 1
Your Man Down with Webster 37 12
Find Your Love Drake 42 10
Ghost Fefe Dobson 47 14
Morning After Dark
Timbaland ft. Nelly Furtado
49 8
Bodybounce Kardinal Offishall ft. Akon 50 16
Don’t Talk to Strangers Hedley 54 11
Take a Minute K’naan 56 11
This Afternoon Nickelback 58 16
One Life Stand
Longo & Wainwright ft. Craig Smart 60 22
Baby Justin Bieber 61 3
Beside You Marianas Trench 64 27
Celebrity Status Marianas Trench 69 24
Eenie Meenie Justin Bieber 76 14
Shiver Shawn Desman 78 18
Turn It Up Stereos 80 30
Give Him Up Faber Drive 84 26
Whoa Is Me Down with Webster 85 13
Night Like This Shawn Desman 86 22
Somebody to Love Justin Bieber 87 10
Over Drake 91 17
Cha Ching Hedley 93 6*
Feel It In My Bones Tiesto ft. Tegan & Sara 94 29
Hands Up Hedley 96 27
Hallelujah k.d. lang   2
What’s My Name Rihanna ft. Drake   5
Stereo Love Mia Martina   10
Stuttering Fefe Dobson   10
Never Say Never Justin Bieber   11
Oh…Canada Classified   14
Never Let You Go Justin Bieber   14
U Smile Justin Bieber   17
Hollywood Michael Buble   17
U Can Have It All JRDN   20
Night is Young Nelly Furtado   20
Never Gonna Be Alone Nickelback   25
You Run Away Barenaked Ladies   25
Forever Drake   26
Naala Yeessi Les Colocs   34
Right Above It Lil Wayne ft. Drake   34
J’imagine Annie Villeneuve   36
Good to You Marianas Trench   38
Porn Star Dancing My Darkest Days   40

* This peak position was reached in 2009.


More Charts…

2010 Overview…

2010 in Music

After the Vancouver Olympics, which saw Stephan Moccio and Nikki Yanofsky’s “I Believe” top the charts and become the 33rd biggest song of the year in Canada, many Canadian artists began collaborating with others to produce hit singles.


Montreal’s A-Trak joined American Armand Van Helden to form the house duo Duck Sauce. They churned out “Barbara Streisand” which became a number 3 hit in the U.K. Somali-Canadian K’naan teamed up with British band Keane as well as a supergroup of Canadian artists to record a charity single for Haiti. We will get to K’naan in a bit.

Justin Bieber allowed American rapper Ludacris to appear in his song “Baby”, a Top 5 hit in Canada, the U.K., and U.S. His “Eenie Meenie” was recorded with Jamaican-American Sean Kingston. The song made the Top 10 in Britain. Both songs made the Billboard year-end Top 100 chart. Bieber’s solo performance in “Somebody to Love” was a Top 10 hit at home.

Drake only had one Top 10 hit in Canada, “Find Your Love” which was the 32nd biggest song of the year in the U.S. (highest position for a Canadian artist). “Over” was another solo hit for him. “Forever” included contributions from Americans Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Eminem. Drake was featured in two songs from other artists: Lil Wayne’s “Right Above It” and Timbaland’s “Say Something”. All these songs by or featuring Drake make the Billboard Top 100 year-end chart in the U.S. He was also featured in the song “What’s My Name” with Barbados’ Rihanna, a #2 hit in Britain.

Calgary’s twin sisters Tegan & Sara collaborated with Dutch musician Tiesto on the song “Feel It In My Bones” which made the year-end Top 100 in Canada.

Biggest Hits

The biggest Canadian song of the year was Hedley’s “Perfect” which finished in 18th spot. Two versions of “Wavin’ Flag”, one by the artist himself, K’naan, and a reworked version performed by Young Artists for Haiti came next (#21 and #19 respectively). The latter won the JUNO for song of the year in 2011. At #31, was Michael Buble’s “Haven’t Met You Yet”. Aforementioned Nikki Yanofsky’s “I Believe” was 33rd, and new Toronto band Down with Webster’s “Your Man” was 37th.

French-language hits this year included Les Trois Accords’ “Dans mon corps”, Marie-Mai’s “Deja loin”, William Deslauriers’ “Recommencer tout à zéro”, and Dumas’ “Le bonheur”.

Three albums released this year were certified double-platinum: Johnny Reid’s A Place Called Love, Justin Bieber’s My World 2.0, and kd Lang’s Recollection. The album of the year JUNO went to The Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs with Karwa’s Les chemins de verre winning the JUNO for Francophone album of the year.


Besides the above-mentioned Nikki Yanofsky, Down with Webster, K’naan, Tegan & Sara, and Duck Sauce, there were a few additional artists who rose to prominence this year, whether they had been around for a few years already or released a successful debut. Around since 2004, The Arcade Fire, without any hit singles to speak of, rose to prominence in terms of awards, not only in Canada but around the world. Deadmau5, around nearly as long, scored his first platinum album, giving his credibility as a leader of Canadian dance music. Quebec dance duo Alfa Rococo released their second album this year which was very popular. Brand new singer Bobby Bazini scored a platinum debut album. Star Academie winner Maxime Landry did twice as well this year with his first album, released at the end of 2009. The JUNO for best new artist went to Meaghan Smith with Vancouver indie band Said the Whale winning best new group.


While most African Americans are several-generation U.S. citizens, K’naan was actually born in Africa (Somalia) and immigrated to Canada. He lived through the Somali Civil War in Mogadishu. His father left Somalia for the U.S. and sent his son rap records which he savoured. When he was 13, K’naan, his siblings, and mother left Africa for New York to visit relatives before settling in the Toronto neighbourhood of Rexdale. During his teen years he began to practice rapping himself.

In 1999, Canadian promoter Sol Guy helped K’naan secure a speaking engagement before the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. He criticized the organization for its failure in aiding Somalia. In the audience was Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour who was so impressed that he invited him to contribute to his 2001 album Building Bridges.

Eventually, Canadian producer Jarvis Church agreed to produce K’naan’s debut album The Dusty Foot Philosopher in 2005 which won a Juno. The man’s breakthrough, however, came this year, not with a rap piece but the pop song “Wavin’ Flag”. It made it to #2 on the charts in Canada and Britain. The song was chosen as theme song for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa and was recorded in many languages.

Later, “Wavin’ Flag” was rerecorded by a supergroup of Canadian artists as a charity single to raise funds for Haiti in the aftermath of its earthquake. Besides K’naan, Young Artists for Haiti included soloists Nelly Furtado, Sam Roberts, Avril Lavigne, Pierre Bouvier (of Simple Plan), Tyler Connolly (of Theory of a Deadman), Kardinal Offishall, Jully Black, LIGHTS, Deryck Whibley (of Sum 41), Serena Ryder, Jacob Hoggard (of Hedley), Emily Haines (of Metric), Hawksley Workman, Drake, Chin Injeti, Ima, Pierre Lapointe, Elisapie Isaac, Esthero, Corb Lund, Fefe Dobson, Nikki Yanofsky, Matt Mays, Justin Nozuka and Justin Bieber.

Performing the chorus were Arkells, Lamar Ashe, Broken Social Scene, Torquil Campbell, Canadian Tenors, Aion Clarke, City and Colour, Tom Cochrane, Jim Cuddy, Jim Creeggan, Kathleen Edwards, Dave Faber, Jessie Farrell, Colin James, Pat Kordyback, Brandon Lehti, Colin MacDonald, Jay Malinowski, Stacey McKitrick, Suzie McNeil, Stephan Moccio, Kevin Parent, Josh Ramsay, Red 1, Hayley Sales, James Shaw and Shiloh.

This version of “Wavin’ Flag”, produced by Bob Ezrin, topped the singles chart and won the JUNO for song of the year. The music video can be seen HERE.

K’naan also teamed up with British superstars Keane. Keane released an album in 2004 called Hopes and Fears which was certified 9x Platinum in Britain thanks to Top 5 hits “Everybody’s Changing” and “Somewhere Only We Know”. In 2010, K’naan was featured in a couple of songs for the band’s Night Train EP, including “Stop for a Minute” which became an international hit.

In 2012, K’Naan teamed up with Nelly Furtado releasing “Is Anybody Out There” which topped the charts in New Zealand and was the 52nd biggest hit of the year in Canada; his “Hurt Me Tomorrow” was 70th.

Maxime Landry

The best-selling Francophone album in 2010 was from 2009 Star Academie winner Maxime Landry. His album Vox Pop, released in December, 2009, was certified double-platinum. He is from Saint-Gédéon-de-Beauce, Quebec, which is near the border with the U.S. State of Maine. There is not much info on the web about him, but, from what we gather, he was born in 1987 and started out learning the guitar. He participated in a number of music competitions before entering Star Academie.


This is not in reality a band but an individual named Joel Thomas Zimmerman, born in 1981 in Niagara Falls. He released his debut album in 2006 and has been leading the way in making Canadian dance/house music from Toronto. The correct pronunciation of his stage name is not “dead mau five” but “dead mouse”. He often performs wearing a “mau5head” costume. He attracts large dance crowds to his performances. His album 4×4=12 was certified platinum.  In 2012, four deadmau5 singles made the Canadian Hot 100, the most successful of which was “The Veldt” (#24); it was the 75th biggest hit of the year. Album While 1 Is Less Than 2 came in 2014 spawning a couple of hits.

Bobby Bazini

Born and raised in Mont-Laurier, a small town north of Montréal in the Upper Laurentians, teen Bobby Banzini learned the guitar from his father. He took a liking to the music of Johnny Cash but developed an interest in soul music after watching a documentary about Otis Redding. Bazini began writing lyrics and then melodies and, encouraged by his grandmother, he began composing music. When he was 18, he performed at a local music festival which caught the attention of a local deejay who was also a drummer. The two began working together and a song was sent to a promoter in Montreal who introduced Bobby to a record label. He was signed very quickly.

Bobby’s debut album, Better in Time, was released in 2010 and his song “I Wonder”, which peaked on the Quebec charts at #3, helped the album reach platinum certification in Canada. His sophomore album, 2014’s Where I Belong also struck platinum as well. In 2016, he released Summer Is Gone which spawned cross-Canada radio single “C’est La Vie”.

Meaghan Smith

After her songs appeared in the 2009 film 500 Days of Summer, Meaghan’s independent album The Cricket’s Orchestra was picked up by Warner Music and distributed in Canada this year. At the JUNO gala in 2011, she won the award for new artist of the year. Meaghan is from London, Ontario. Album Have a Heart in 2014 combined vintage and modern pop.

Nikki Yanofsky

As the whole world tuned in to watch the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, expecting to see a superstar like Celine Dion perform the national anthem, there was some surprise awaiting them. Celine was pregnant and it was decided that the tone of the games needed to be set by a fresh, youthful face. 16-year-old jazz-pop singer-songwriter Nikki Yanofsky of Montreal shone on stage like a Rudolph leading the country into the hearts of the world. The citizens of her hometown of Montreal were floored. The principal of her high school is reported to have said, “I gasped when I saw her on TV in that red dress and those red shoes – and then I cried, she was so spectacular.”

Yanofsky’s song “I Beleive” was a quadruple-platinum single and her album Nikki eventually struck platinum. Album Little Secret in 2014 was produced by American heavyweight Quincy Jones and new music in 2016 by Wyclef Jean.

Tegan & Sara

This indie duo of identical twin sisters who compose, sing, and play both the guitar and piano debuted back in 1999. Their last three albums have gone gold as they have a large underground following. They hit the mainstream this year when they teamed up with Dutch musician Tiesto and released the new wave single “Feel It In My Bones” which made the Top 100 of 2010 chart.  In 2012, their popularity skyrocketed as they collaborated with house American DJ Morgan Page in “Body Work”, a Top 40 single, while “Closer” reached #21 on the Canadian Hot 100.  They released a new album in 2013, Heartthrob and scored subsequent hit singles. For the album, the duo won 3 JUNO Awards in 2014.

Arcade Fire

The art rock band from Montreal has been around since 2004. This year, they released their third album called The Suburbs. It won the album of the year award at The Canadian JUNOs, American Grammys, and the United Kingdom’s BRIT award for Best International Album. At the end of 2011, the album was certified double-platinum in Canada. The seven-member band plays an assortment of instruments including piano, keyboard, guitar, drums, bass guitar, violin, viola, cello, double bass, xylophone, glockenspiel, French horn, accordion, harp, mandolin, and hurdy-gurdy. In 2013 the title track of their album Reflektor became their first Top 40 hit peaking on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 at #20. The group released album Everything Now in 2017.

Down with Webster

Like the Arcade Fire, this is a large band, consisting of several members and hail from Toronto. They perform rap music. Down with Webster signed a record deal in 2009 after a self-released album two years earlier. They released a gold EP which spawned two big hits. “Your Man” and “Whoa Is Me” both made the Top 100 of 2010 and were certified platinum digital downloads. In 2013, “One in a Million” made the Top 30 and became a platinum single. Further success cam in 2014 with the release of album Party For Your Life.


The JUNOs presented Karkwa with the Francophone album of the year award for their gold 2010 release Les chemins de verre, the band’s fourth album. Singles from the LP were “Marie tu pleures” and “Le pyromane”. Karkwa is a five-man indie rock band that formed in Montreal in 1998 and has been releasing material since 2003. Their lead singer is Louis-Jean Cormier and the band’s name is a phonetic rendering of carquois which is French for a quiver of arrows.

Major Juno Awards

For music in 2010, below is a summary of nominations and wins in major categories at the 2011 gala.

Francophone Album of the Year:

Bernard Adamus, Brun
Daniel Bélanger, Nous
Fred Pellerin, Silence
Radio Radio, Belmundo Regal
Winner: Karkwa, Les chemins de verre

Album of the Year:

Drake, Thank Me Later
Hedley, The Show Must Go
Johnny Reid, A Place Called Love
Justin Bieber, My World 2.0
Winner: Arcade Fire, The Suburbs

Single of the Year:

Classified, “Oh Canada”
Drake, “Find Your Love”
Hedley, “Perfect”
Kd lang, “Hallelujah”
Winner: Young Artists for Haiti, “Wavin’ Flag”

New Artist of the Year:

Basia Bulat
Bobby Bazini
Hannah Georges
Winner: Meaghan Smith

Artist of the Year:

Johnny Reid
Justin Bieber
Sarah McLachlan
Winner: Neil Young

New Group of the Year:

Die Mannequin
Misteur Valaire
My Darkest Days
Winner: Said the Whale

Group of the Year:

Broken Social Scene
Down with Webster
Great Big Sea
Three Days Grace
Winner: Arcade Fire

Successful Albums Released in 2010

Three albums released in 2010 have been certified double-platinum, the highest certification reached for albums that year. They are…

Justin Bieber, My World 2.0
Johnny Reid, A Place Called Love
k.d. lang, Recollection

5 albums released in 2010 have been certified platinum.

Bobby Bazini, Better in Time
Drake, Thank Me Later
Justin Bieber, My Worlds Acoustic
Deadmau5, 4×4=12
The Canadian Tenors, The Perfect Gift

Successful Singles Released in 2010

Stephan Moccio, “I Believe”, 5x Platinum Sales
Nikki Yanofsky, “I Believe”, 4x Platinum Digital Download
K’naan, “Wavin’ Flag”, 3x Platinum Digital Download
Young Artists for Haiti, “Wavin’ Flag”, 3x Platinum Digital Download
Down with Webster, “Whoa Is Me”, Platinum Digital Download
Down with Webster, “Your Man”, Platinum Digital Download
k.d. lang, “Hallelujah”, Platinum Digital Download
Shawn Desman, “Electric”, Platinum Digital Download

Canadian Hot 100 Year-End Singles Chart for 2010

Title Artist Pos
Perfect Hedley 18
Wavin’   Flag Young Artists for Haiti 19
Wavin’   Flag K’naan 21
Haven’t   Met You Yet Michael Buble 31
I   Believe Nikki Yanofsky 33
Your Man Down with Webster 37
Find   Your Love Drake 42
Ghost Fefe Dobson 47
Bodybounce Kardinal Offishall ft. Akon 50
Don’t   Talk to Strangers Hedley 54
Take a   Minute K’naan 56
This   Afternoon Nickelback 58
Baby Justin Bieber 61
Beside   You Marianas Trench 64
Celebrity   Status Marianas Trench 69
Eenie   Meenie Justin Bieber 76
Shiver Shawn Desman 78
Turn It   Up Stereos 80
Give Him   Up Faber Drive 84
Whoa Is   Me Down with Webster 85
Night   Like This Shawn Desman 86
Somebody   to Love Justin Bieber 87
Over Drake 91
Cha   Ching Hedley 92
Feel It   In My Bones Tiesto ft. Tegan & Sara 94
Hands Up Hedley 96

Top Francophone Songs of 2010


2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics Performers

Much of the tone for the year 2010 was set by the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver at which many Canadian artists performed (during the opening and closing ceremonies). Some artists performed covers of songs by others. And some performed new music written especially for the Olympics.

Opening Ceremony

For the opening ceremony, Celine Dion had originally been asked to perform the national anthem but had to cancel due to pregnancy. The job was handed over to 16 year old Nikki Yanofsky who also recorded the song “I Believe” to promote the games, a number one hit.

Bryan Adams and Nelly Furtado sang the Jim Vallance composition “Bang the Drum”. Sarah McLachlan performed her 2006 hit “Ordinary Miracle” from the film Charlotte’s Web. Loreena McKennitt performed “The Old Ways” from her 1991 album The Visit. Fiddler Ashley MacIsaac played his 1996 “Devil in the Kitchen”. k.d. lang sang a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” which later became a #2 hit for her. Garou sang Jean-Pierre Ferland’s “Un peu plus haut, un peu plus loin”.

Closing Ceremony

During the closing ceremony, Nikki Yanofsky, Aboriginal singer Derek Miller, and Canadian Idol winner Eva Avila sang together “Let’s Have a Party” in English and French. Neil Young performed his “Long May You Run” from 1976. Michael Bublé sang the traditional “Maple Leaf Forever”. La Bottine Souriante performed the traditional French Canadian song “Envoyons d’l’avant nos gens”.

Nickelback opened the concert section with their heavy metal tune “Burn it to the Ground”. Avril Lavigne performed her hits “My Happy Ending” and “Girlfriend”. (She also performed at the Torino Olympics in 2006). Alanis Morissette performed her “Wunderkind” from the Chronicles of Narnia soundtrack. Simple Plan performed its “Your Love is a Lie” and Hedley its “Cha-Ching”. Star Academie finalist Marie-Mai sang “Emmène-moi” and k-os performed “Eye Know Something”.

The entire opening ceremony can be seen HERE.

The entire closing ceremony can be seen HERE. (Note: first 30 minutes of the video is a montage of scenes from the 16 days of sports. Most of the entertainment comes after the first 2 hours, the concert section beginning after 2:30.)