If you watched the 2017 Juno Awards last night, you might have felt like you took a trip back to the past, with several of the top awards going to artists of yesteryear. And that’s not mentioning Bryan Adams co-hosting the event from Ottawa on Sunday evening. It was definitely a night filled with nostalgia, and a few tears.
Leonard Cohen passed away at the age of 82 last November, but three weeks before the Canadian icon released what would be his final album, You Want It Darker. The album was the 14th of the Montreal-born songwriter/poet’s career, and last night it took home the top honours by winning the Album of the Year. Cohen was also given the Artist of the Year award the night before at Saturday night’s gala where the majority of the awards were handed out. On Sunday’s broadcast, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau introduced a special tribute to Cohen, calling him “one of the greatest artists Canada has ever produced”. Feist then came on stage and sang his song Hey That’s No Way to Say Goodbye. Cohen didn’t win everything he was nominated for though.
Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip beat Cohen for Songwriter of the Year. The Hip of course made news last year after going on a Canada wide final tour that ended with a CBC special after Downie announced his fight with cancer. During Sunday’s broadcast the Hip also won Group of the Year, to go with the three other awards they won on Saturday, including including Rock Album of the Year for Man Machine Poem, and for Adult Alternative Album of the Year for his own Secret Path, the story of Chanie Wenjack. Downie didn’t appear at the event, but he did pre-record a thank-you message to Canadians for all their support.
Other winners on this night included Shawn Mendes who took home the Fan Choice award, Alessia Cara who won Pop Album of the Year and Ruth B. who won Breakthrough Artist of the Year.
Sarah McLachlan may not have won awards Sunday night, but she was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. During her speech she said that she had the “best job in the word.” She continued on by saying that “Music is my church. It’s my comfort and salvation. Because of music my life has deeper meaning and a powerful sense of purpose.”She went on to perform her song World On Fire.
And of course, people will be talking about the explosive conclusion to the broadcast, when Bryan Adams sang what is arguably his most famous song, Summer Of ’69. Not only did Adams rock out, but he was joined by a Canadian musical all-star group of the night’s winners and nominees.