First, a couple of observations about last night’s 50th-anniverary Juno Awards.
- It was a sombre affair with plenty of attention given to the discovery of 215 children’s bodies at a Kamloops residential school. Buffy Sainte-Marie opened the broadcast with a statement and message about the need for recognizing the ugly parts of Canada’s past. The subject was brought up several times throughout the show. It was necessary.
- Everything was pre-recorded under COVID protocols. It was all pretty slick but we sure missed the energy of a live audience. But what are you gonna do?
- It finished in a tight two hours on the button.
The majority of the awards were handed out Friday night (go here for my story on that). The TV show featured just the biggest (i.e. the most mainstream) categories. And you gotta wonder why Canada’s biggest musical stars didn’t bother to show up to collect their awards–even if it was pre-recorded.
- Artist of the Year: The Weeknd (He didn’t show)
- Album of The Year: After Hours, The Weeknd
- Fan Choice: Shawn Mendes (He didn’t show, either)
- Pop Album of the Year: Changes, Justin Bieber (We saw a pre-recorded performance off the top, but no acceptance speech).
- Breakthrough Artist: JP Saxe (He was there)
- R&B/Soul Recording: Solid, Savannah Ré
Here’s a nice winner’s reel.