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Surprises abound in upbeat Junos Awards show

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Mar 26th, 2018

It was a night of positivity and resilience at the Juno Awards as the stars of Canadian music focused on celebrating the upsides of life.

Host Michael Buble set the tone early on Sunday night by announcing his wife’s third pregnancy – but other performers were quick to grab the tide of optimism during their own stage moments.

“I just hope that we can all rise above negativity in our lives and just do what we believe in,” said Arcade Fire’s Win Butler as the accepted the band’s album award for “Everything Now.”

“Speak your truth and don’t be afraid to just do whatever the hell you want.”

Gord Downie’s brothers Mike and Patrick accepted a posthumous award for the singer, who died last October of brain cancer.

“If we’ve learned anything from Gord it was the value of taking care of each other,” said Patrick.

“This is Gord’s award. It’s artist of the year, but he was our man of a lifetime. I’d like to believe we’re all better artists and people because of him. We love you Gord and we’re all taking good care of each other.”

Buble later returned alongside Diana Krall on the piano to sing the upbeat Nat King Cole classic “L-O-V-E.”

Daniel Caesar grabbed R&B/soul recording for his album “Freudian” while Jessie Reyez scored breakthrough artist. She offered an emotional acceptance speech reflecting on her sudden rise to fame.

“It means so much to get this love out at home,” she said. “Hell ya, to be Canadian say ‘Yah.”’

Both performers reappeared later to duet on Reyez’s song “Figures.”

It was a number of surprises throughout the show.

Buble used his hosting spot to announce he’s expecting another child with his wife, actress Luisana Lopilato. He told the audience it was the second time her pregnancy has been linked to the Junos.

Five years ago when he hosted in Regina she was expecting their first child.

“Oops you did it again!” Buble said as the audience cheered the revelation.

Grimes and Buffy St. Marie introduced pop artist Lights with an impassioned speech led by the Indigenous folk singer.

“It’s time for change, it’s time for women to be recognized for our accomplishments and our value to this industry,” St. Marie said with powerful delivery.
“We need to build a foundation upon which we can support an environment that actually encourages success for women… because it’s not here yet.”

Barenaked Ladies and former bandmate Steven Page were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The band reuinted with Page to perform together for the first time since Page went solo nearly a decade ago. They sang a brief tune when accepting their award, then closed the show with a performance of their hits.

A posthumous tribute to Gord Downie was led by Sarah Harmer and Dallas Green, alongside Barenaked Ladies keyboardist Kevin Hearn.

Though the main event is tonight, many awards were handed out at a gala on Saturday.

Full list of winners:

R&B/Soul Recording of the Year: Freudian by Daniel Caesar

Breakthrough Artist of the Year: Jessie Reyez

Rap Recording of the Year: Shooters by Tory Lanez

Canadian Music Hall of Fame: Barenaked Ladies

Album of the Year: Everything Now by Arcade Fire

Juno Fan Choice: Shawn Mendes

Artist of the Year: Gord Downie

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