Shawn Mendes, Avril Lavigne and Simu Liu on stage at the 2022 Juno Awards
Charlotte Cardin, born in Montreal, was the big winner of 2022 Juno Awards On Sunday, as the electro-pop singer won “Artist of the Year” and “Album of the Year” honors for her critically acclaimed debut album, Phoenix. Cardin also performed her single, “Meaningless,” at the Junos — which are often dubbed the “Canadian Grammys” because the show honors Canada’s top recording artists.
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Cardin led all nominees with six nods for this year’s ceremony, and the 27-year-old picked up four trophies in total during the two-night ceremony (only the Sunday night festivities were televised).
The Weeknd was the weekend’s other big winner, winning Junos for “Songwriter of the Year” and “Best Contemporary R&B Recording” for “Take My Breath,” on his latest album, Dawn FM. And while Shawn Mendes didn’t have an eligible album release in 2021, it nevertheless picked up two trophies on the night, winning the Juno ‘Fan Choice’ award – rightly voted for by fans namely TikTok – and an ‘International Achievement Award’ special, which recognized Pickering, an Ontario native’s contribution to the world music scene.
Mendes was on hand at the Budweiser stage in Toronto to pick up the trophy – and while he was visibly moved by the honor, he ended his acceptance speech by telling fans that accolades and accomplishments aren’t as important than travel. “We are taught to believe that what we achieve is the same as what we are worth,” he said. “But something I know to be true now is that I was enough before anyone knew my name.”
This year’s Junos returned to an in-person ceremony for the first time in three years, after much of Canada was shut down during the Covid-19 pandemic. Host Simu Liu addressed the crowd early on, saying ‘Crazy energy in Toronto’, before joking that ‘it’s almost like you’ve been locked up at home for two years’ .
Later in its opening, the Shang Chi star joked that the Junos “celebrate artists… who, like me, have all achieved the ultimate Canadian dream of succeeding in America,” before doing a 180 and launching into a passionate version of the viral 2000s speech “ I’m Canadian,” referring to everything from “Timbiebs” for ketchup chips.
Liu’s speech ended with a decidedly Canadian take on the burning issues, with the actor declaring that Canada is “a place where the government is also our drug dealer” and “we like snowboarding, not snowboarding.” waterboarding”. Finally, said Liu, Canada is “where a woman still has the right to choose.
Liu wasn’t the only big star represented at this year’s Junos. Olivia Rodrigo received her “International Album of the Year” award for Sour, virtually, the caller”such an honor,while Adele’s “Easy on Me” won “Music Video of the Year” (it was directed by Canadian director Xavier Dolan).
The “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” award (the Junos version of “Best New Artist”) was won by “I’m Not Pretty” singer JESSIA. April Lavigne also hit the Junos stage to perform a medley of his greatest hits, starting with “Complicated,” “Bite Me” and “Girlfriend,” before ending with crowd favorites “Sk8ter Boi” and “I’m With You”.
Toronto-born R&B diva Deborah Cox was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, with a special tribute that featured congratulatory messages from everyone from Angela Bassett to Clive Davis, the music executive who first signed Cox to a contract recording in 1994.
Cox, who began her career in Canada as a background singer for Celine Dion, took the stage to talk about her unlikely journey to success, saying that “as a young black girl in Toronto, Canada, that vision seemed intangible”. And while the now-international superstar says she’s spent years being rejected by record labels, Cox added that “those rejections have become my redirectand only added fuel to my fire.
The singer also performed a medley of Juno hits, including “Where Do We Go From Here,” “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here,” and the empowerment anthem “Beautiful UR.”
The Juno Awards were first presented in Canada in 1970, then known as the “Gold Leaf Awards”. The ceremony was renamed a year later after a public vote and nicknamed the “Junos”, in honor of Pierre Juneau, the first chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
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