It’s always a good time to be a fan of Canadian music, but now the rest of the world is once again taking notice of all the incredible talent coming out of the great white north.
If you look at any pop, hip hop, rap or R&B charts south of the border, Canadians are leading the charge to the top spots. Toronto native The Weeknd and his highly anticipated third album Starboy just hit the number one spot on the Billboard Chart, with 348,000 units sold in its first week. This puts Starboy in third place for the year’s biggest debut behind label mate Drake and his album Views and Beyonces’ Lemonade.
Thanks to his lead single “Starboy,” The Weeknd also just broke Spotify’s record for most streams in a single day, a title that was previously held by fellow Canadian Justin Bieber.
As for young Justin Bieber, the pop star continues to be one of the biggest musicians in the world, this year earning eight Guinness World Records, including Most Simultaneous Tracks On The US Singles Charts with 17 songs at once.
Not only are Canadians ruling the charts and album sales, they’re also cleaning up at award shows. During November’s MTV EMAs, The Weeknd and fellow Toronto native Shawn Mendes both performed, with Mendes taking home four awards and The Weeknd clinching the Best Video category for “Starboy.” Justin Bieber performed remotely from his concert, but still managed to score three wins, including Best Song for “Sorry.”
Mendes and The Weeknd both performed again at the American Music Awards, with Bieber and Drake taking home four awards. For his 2016 album Views, Drake earned 13 nominations, beating Michael Jackson’s record for most AMA noms in one year, which the King of Pop set with 11 back in 1984 for Thriller.
Speaking of Drake, the “Hotline Bling” singer had his best professional year ever. Views became the first album to hit 1 billion streams on Apple and has spent 13 nonconsecutive weeks in the number one spot on the Billboard chart, while the single “One Dance” is now Spotify’s most-streamed song ever.
Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve been in this position. American radio was largely ruled by Canadian women in the 1990s. Celine Dion‘s 1996 and 1997 English-language albums were both certified diamond in the US. Shania Twain still holds the title for best-selling female country artist and one of the best-selling artists of all time thanks to 1995’s The Woman In Me, which sold 20 million copies worldwide, followed up by 1997’s Come On Over, which sold 40 million copies worldwide. Alanis Morissette‘s 1995 album Jagged Little Pill sold 33 million copies worldwide and earned the singer five Grammys, making her the youngest artist to win Album Of The Year until Taylor Swift‘s 2010 win for Fearless.
So, take note, world. We’ve been here before, we’re here now, and we’ll be here again.