Charlotte Cardin wins three pre-broadcast Junos as history is made in other categories
TORONTO — Charlotte Cardin had her hands full at the Juno Awards pre-release ceremony on Saturday as she took home three lead trophies.
The Montreal pop singer-songwriter was named artist of the year, while her debut album “Phoenix” received the award for pop album of the year, and her song “Meaningless” was selected as single of the year.
“I’m freaking out,” she said backstage after counting her Junos. “I am very happy.”
It was a triple win that gave the former model and Top 4 finalist for the Quebec version of “The Voice” some serious clout as a rising Canadian star. The majority of the Juno Awards are given out at what is known as the music industry‘s “opening night” before Sunday’s telecast.
Cardin has been the Junos’ toast since emerging as the six-time leading nominee, edging out four-time nominee superstars Justin Bieber and The Weeknd, who followed close behind on Saturday night with two wins.
Toronto-born Abel Tesfaye, who was absent from the ceremony, won Contemporary R&B Recording for his single “Take My Breath” and Songwriter of the Year for his co-writing efforts on three recent songs, including one with Kanye West and another with supergroup DJ Swedish House Mafia.
History was made in several other categories as Hill Kourkoutis became the first woman to be nominated for Sound Engineer and extended the historic moment by picking up the win. She is now the only female sound engineer to win since the category was created in 1976.
Kourkoutis said she hopes her Junos moment is another step towards increasing the number of women in music production careers.
“I believe we’re in a huge period of transition right now,” she said.
“Over the past five years, the conversation has grown around this issue and I see so many young people – and even established artists for a while – entering the production profession.”
At 13, Kairo McLean became the youngest winner in the Reggae Recording of the Year category for his album ‘Easy Now’.
Dressed in a bright red tuxedo his mother bought him, the teenager has credited generations of reggae artists, from Bob Marley to Jamaican-Canadian Exco Levi, for inspiring him to make music.
“It’s such a big milestone,” McLean said of the win. “I don’t know how we are going to manage to surpass him.”
And in the producer of the year category, Ebony Oshunrinde won her second award in as many years after becoming the first black woman to win the award in 2021. Travis Scott)” and “Made a Way (feat. Lil Durk and Future)” by Los Angeles artist Faze Kaysan.
In other notable wins, a reunion of Quebec director Xavier Dolan and vocal powerhouse Adele for “Easy on Me” received music video of the year. The couple previously won a Juno in 2016 for their first “Hello” visual collaboration.
Toronto rock trio Monowhales were named Breakthrough Band, while all-female rockers The Beaches won Rock Album of the Year for ‘Sisters Not Twins (The Professional Lovers Album)’.
Kaytranada, Montreal born Louis Célestin, won dance recording of the year for his single “Caution”, while Savannah Ré received traditional R&B/soul recording of the year for “24hrs”.
Allison Russell bagged the Contemporary Roots Album award for “Outside Child,” a reflection on his abusive upbringing in Montreal, while Brett Kissel won the Country Album for “What is Life?”
The award for Newly Created Underground Dance Single of the Year went to HNTR, pronounced “hunter”, for their song “Shadows in the Dark”, featuring Elliot Moss.
And Toronto poet Mustafa Ahmed picked alternative album of the year for “When Smoke Rises,” inspired in part by the life and death of several friends from Toronto’s Regent Park community. He is the first Black Muslim to win the category, a point he made before quickly expanding the topic to the evening’s other historic premieres.
“I think being first of all should now be criticized more than celebrated,” he said to the applause of the audience.
Another first will come during the Juno Awards broadcast on Sunday when Deborah Cox becomes the only black woman to be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame since its inception in 1978 and the second black musician, following Oscar Peterson in the inaugural year. .
The Junos air Sunday on the Budweiser Stage in Toronto, hosted by “Shang-Chi” star Simu Liu.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 14, 2022.