Avril, Shania get top Juno nods
Canada’s latest music phenom will face off against a veteran marvel who has been conquering the charts for years at this year’s Juno Awards.
Avril Lavigne and Shania Twain will compete for album of the year and songwriter of the year at the April 6 awards ceremony in Ottawa.
Lavigne, whose debut album Let Go has been on the charts since its release last June, leads the pack of nominees with six nods, including best new artist and best pop album. The nominations are the latest accolades for the 18-year-old from Napanee, Ont., who is competing for five Grammy Awards.
Twain, who is hosting the awards show, received five nominations including artist of the year. Her album Up was the highest selling album of 2002.
With Twain and the capital city hosting and a slate of hot musical acts performing, there seems to be a real drive to raise the bar set last year in St. John’s, Nfld.
That show was largely considered the most successful Junos ever by industry and fans alike. The show will once again be telecast by CTV.
“I remember back in the old days struggling to get people to participate. The exact opposite is the truth now. Everybody wants to be part of the show,” said executive producer John Brunton. “It’s getting bigger and bigger and bigger every year.”
The slate of performers includes Lavigne, Shand, rock band Our Lady Peace, singer Sam Roberts, hip-hop crew Swollen Members and Twain herself.
Brunton said he chatted with Twain on Tuesday and she had lots of plans for the show.
“She’s bringing so many ideas to the table,” he said.
The singer has been on a hot streak lately having wowed crowds at the Grey Cup, the Super Bowl and the American Music Awards where, clad in leather, she drove into the stadium on a motorcycle.
In addition to hosting duties, the country superstar will be up against songstress Celine Dion, francophone singer-songwriter Daniel Belanger, singer Alanis Morissette and Motown’s Remy Shand in the artist of the year category.
Up for four Grammy awards on Feb. 23, Shand was also recognized for producer of the year, best R&B recording and songwriter.
“All the hard work that went into it, it’s finally paid off,” said an elated Shand following a nomination news conference in Toronto on Wednesday. “All these years of working on music, my family, they’re very proud. It’s a love fest.”
Dion and Our Lady Peace also snagged four nominations each.
Dion’s nods include single of the year for A New Day Has Come, album of the year and fans choice award. The multi-Juno winner was shut out of this year’s Grammy Award nominations.
Toronto-based rockers Our Lady Peace, who are currently on tour, were nominated for best rock album, group of the year, single of the year for Somewhere Out There and album of the year.
Joining the Canadian Music Hall of Fame this year will be singer-songwriter Tom Cochrane, who said he was touched to be included with previous inductees Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot.
“A lot of these people showed me the possibilities. These people are my heroes,” said Cochrane, whose hits include Big League and Life Is A Highway.
“It’s a thrill being included with some of these people and being considered in the same company.
Cochrane, born in Lynn Lake, Man., said the Junos are an integral part of the country’s music scene. He said the involvement of Twain and Lavigne proves its notoriety.
“I think it speaks volumes for the event. It speaks volumes for the integrity of a lot of Canadians and the fact that we do have a very independent awareness of our collective and pride in our culture in Canada.”
The 30-year music veteran started out as the lead singer of rock group Red Rider. He’s won seven Juno Awards.
On the industry side, Nettwerk Music Group head Terry McBride will join the Music Hall of Fame.
Three-time nominees include Belanger, Morissette and rap artist K-OS.
Double nominees include last year’s big winners jazz singer Diana Krall and rock band Nickelback, as well as Blue Rodeo, Jane Bunnett, Shawn Desman, James Ehnes, Danko Jones, Sam Roberts and Swollen Members.
For best rock album, heavy hitters Our Lady Peace will be up against fellow Canadian stalwarts The Tea Party, Treble Charger, Wide Mouth Mason and Danko Jones.
“It’s great to be acknowledged,” Jones said. “We really worked hard to make this album.”
In all there are 37 Juno Award categories. Winners are selected by members of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
Top nominees in the 2003 Juno Awards:
Best single: Bulletproof, Blue Rodeo; A New Day Has Come, Celine Dion; Complicated, Avril Lavigne; Somewhere Out There, Our Lady Peace; Brother Down, Sam Roberts.
Best international album: Weathered, Creed; The Eminem Show, Eminem; Escape, Enrique Iglesias; Nellyville, Nelly; Laundry Service, Shakira.
Best francophone album: Rever Mieux, Daniel Belanger; Rendez-vous, Sylvain Cossette; Break Syndical, Les Cowboys Fringants; Les Lettres Rouges, Lynda Lemay; De L’amour le mieux, Natasha St-Pier.
Best album: Rever Mieux, Daniel Belanger; A New Day Has Come, Celine Dion; Let Go, Avril Lavigne; Gravity, Our Lady Peace; Up Shania Twain.
Artist of the Year: Daniel Belanger, Celine Dion, Alanis Morissette, Remy Shand, Shania Twain.
Group of the Year: Blue Rodeo, Our Lady Peace, Sum 41, Swollen Members, The Tragically Hip.
Best country recording: I Just Want To Be Mad, Terri Clark; Curve, Doc Walker; Emerson Drive, Emerson Drive; I’m Gonna Getcha Good, Shania Twain; Shut Up and Kiss Me, Michelle Wright.
Best rap recording: El Dorado, BrassMunk; R.A.W., Checkmate; exit, K-OS; Reloaded, Rascalz; Monsters In The Closet, Swollen Members.
Best pop album: Shake It Off, Jarvis Church; Asianblue, Emm Gryner; Let Go, Avril Lavigne; Everybody’s Got A Story, Amanda Marshall; Under Rug Swept, Alanis Morissette.
Best rock album: Born A Lion, Danko Jones; Gravity, Our Lady Peace; The Interzone Mantras, The Tea Party; Detox, Treble Charger; Rained Out Parade, Wide Mouth Mason.
Best video: Black Black Heart, Craig Bernard (David Usher); Lovercall, Craig Bernard (Danko Jones); Weapon, Ante Kovac and Matthew Good (Matthew Good); Superstarr Pt. 0, Micah Meisner (K-OS); PDA, Christopher Mills (Interpol).
Good luck to everyone!
Avril, Shania get top Juno nods