Sunday night was Canada’s biggest night in music, with the JUNO Awards heading to the west coast for a night of performances, awards, and stunning tributes. From honouring the late, great Gord Downie to inducting the Barenaked Ladies into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the 2018 JUNO Awards had something for all music fans.
Here are the biggest moments from the 2018 JUNO Awards.
LOOKED UP TO THE GORD ABOVE AND SAID, HEY MAN, THANKS
Going into the 2018 JUNO Awards, we knew there would be a Gord Downie tribute and we knew it would be a tough performance to watch. City and Colour’s Dallas Green and singer Sarah Harmer had been confirmed as the tribute performers, but we still weren’t fully prepared for the flood of emotions that would hit on Sunday. Opening the tribute with a video montage of just about every famous Canadian using one word to described Downie (genius, prolific, humanitarian, etc), producer Kevin Drew and Pearl Wenjack, sister of Chanie Wenjack, the young boy who was the subject of Downie’s Secret Path project, took the stage. The pair spoke lovingly of Downie’s impact as a musician and philanthropist, as well as a family man, before throwing to Harmer and Dallas. Harmer opened with Downie’s “Introduce Yerself,” with Green performing The Tragically Hip’s “Bobcaygeon.” The love for Downie didn’t stop there. The late singer was later announced as Artist of the Year, with his brothers Patrick and Mike Downie accepting the award and encouraging the crowd to continue Gord’s legacy and be kind to one another. Downie also won Adult Alternative Album of the Year and Songwriter of the Year, an award he shared with his “Introduce Yerself” co-writer Kevin Drew.
PARTY OF THREE FOR BUBLE
Noted and notable was Buble’s absence at the 2017 JUNO Awards due to the devastating cancer diagnosis for his young son. In November, the crooner confirmed that his son Noah is ‘doing well,’ with Buble’s return to the stage another sign that the youngster is on the mend. Buble addressed last year’s show early on, thanking Bryan Adams and Russell Peters for stepping in. He then made the exciting announcement that he and wife Luisana Lopilato are expecting their third child, later blowing his wife a kiss. Those jazz singers. They sure are smooth.
NORTHERN TOUCH REUNITE
Tory Lanez wasn’t at the 2018 JUNO Awards to accept his statue for Rap Recording of the Year, but thankfully for old school Canadian hip hop fans, Red1, MisFit, DJ Kemo, Checkmate, Kardinall Offishall, Thrust and Choclair were in the building. The group used their time on stage to break into an impromptu rendition of “Northern Touch” and made it feel like 1997 all over again.
JESSIE REYEZ MAKES US CRY
When it comes to Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the JUNO Awards, some pretty huge names have taken home the statue. Alanis Morissette, k.d. lang, Jann Arden, Nelly Furtado, Drake, The Weeknd, and Alessia Cara have all won and on Sunday night, Toronto singer Jessie Reyez added her name to the list. The 27-year-old singer tearfully took the stage along with her parents and management team, thanking her fans, the JUNO Awards, and all of Canada and in turn, making all of Canada cry. Get it, gurl.
LIGHTS CELEBRATES CANADIAN WOMEN
In 2017, Lights released her latest album Skin and Earth, as well as a series of graphic novels to accompany the new music. During her performance of the album’s lead single “Giants,” Lights’ stage was decorated in stunning graphic art drawings that Lights herself had made of some of this year’s female nominees, including Alessia Cara, Grimes and Diana Krall. We’d probably take a drawing of ourselves by Lights over winning a JUNO Award.
Couldn’t wait to show you all this!!! Will post all the individual images later but it was a very powerful experience drawing these badass women!❤https://t.co/Zh5r6WhUvx
— Lights (@lights) March 26, 2018
THE BARENAKED LADIES REUNITE
After more than two decades, Scarborough natives and lifelong friends Barenaked Ladies are still making infectious, feel good music. From their impressive 1992 debut Gordon, to their huge US breakthrough with Stunt, BNL have been making us dream of a million dollars for years. On Sunday night, the band reunited with founding member Steven Page and were inducted by Rush’s Geddy Lee into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. All five members delivered individual heartfelt speeches thanking their families, friends, music teachers and millions of fans around the world. BNL closed out the show with a high energy performance of “One Week” and “If I Had A Million Dollars,” inviting all of the night’s performers onto the stage to sing along while spraying the crowd with fake dollar bills. Not many bands can turn one of the biggest award shows of the years into a house party, but not many bands are Barenaked Ladies.
ARCADE FIRE WIN EVERYTHING NOW
It was a big night for Montreal band Arcade Fire, who took home Album of the Year for Everything Now. Fresh off their performance on SNL earlier this month, Arcade Fire took the stage early in the show to perform the high energy title track from their 2017 record.