Canyon wins four at CCMAs
What a difference a year can make.
Last year, Alberta’s George Canyon was named the Canadian Country Music Association’s rising star of the year.
They couldn’t have been more right — this year the gentleman cowboy swept the awards, winning four CCMAs, including the night’s biggest prize, the Fan’s Choice award.
The runner-up on the hit U.S. series Nashville Star, a variation on American Idol, also took home trophies for male artist, as well as single and song for My Name, a touching tune he wrote to help friends cope with a miscarriage.
“I wasn’t really expecting this … Thank you, I’m very touched,” said an emotional Canyon after receiving his first prize of the night.
By the time Canyon collected his fourth trophy he had trouble keeping it together.
“You’ll have to excuse me I have something in my eye,” he said after a long pause.
Even after the show finished, the quadruple win still hadn’t sunk in.
“I’m fans of the folks who are in the category with me, so to win is to go above and beyond what I’ve dreamt,” said Canyon, who admitted the stomach flu he was suffering from also contributed to his shock factor.
HAMMERING IT HOME
The only other artist to win multiple awards last night at the Saddledome was Calgarian and host Paul Brandt, whose album This Time Around was named the best of the year, as was his Convoy video — which perhaps got a boost from a guest appearance by Canyon.
Despite joking during the show that he very much wanted to take home the Fans’ Choice award, Brandt was gracious about the loss.
“I thought it was great. George has become a really good friend over the years. And he has proven he isn’t just another talent show winner,” Brandt said backstage.
The Road Hammers, who went into the night with a whopping six nominations, were only able to nab the group of the year award.
Bonnyville’s Clayton Bellamy was particularly touched by the win.
“This has been a cinderella year for me,” said Bellamy, who had given up on the music biz before becoming a Road Hammer. Backstage, Bellamy was still trying to accept his good fortune. “It just spun my head around tonight.”
Perhaps the hot new trio’s most surprising loss was in the rising star category.
That prize went to Amanda Wilkinson. It was her first win as a solo artist — she won previously when she fronted the family group the Wilkinsons with her father Steve and brother Tyler.
A teary Wilkinson was shocked: “This is freakin’ crazy man. I don’t know what to say. I have to thank (my family) for always loving and supporting me.”
Backstage, Wilkinson admitted her family had already been on the phone to congratulate her.
“I have the best family in the world — I miss them tonight.”
The evening appeared to belong to the men of country, as the only other woman to go to the podium was Alberta’s Terri Clark.
Though she didn’t win the top prize of Fans’ Choice — as she has for the past four years –she didn’t go home empty-handed. Clark was named the female artist of the year.
Backstage, it was difficult to tell what made Clark beam brighter — looking at her trophy or catching the eye of her fiance Greg Kaczor across the room.
When asked what was more important, last night’s win or her wedding Saturday, she had to admit saying ‘I do.’
“Getting married … that’s what will be there for me when I’m 85.”
She also wasn’t bitter about Canyon winning Fans’ Choice: “He deserved it. I was happy to see him win it. It’s kinda embarrassing when you keep winning it.”
The Corb Lund Band won the roots artist title.
The top-selling album, which is not voted on, was given to Shania Twain’s Greatest Hits. Twain was not in attendance.
Canyon wins four at CCMAs