Nelly reigns at the Junos
SASKATOON (CP) – It proved to be Nelly’s night at the Juno Awards on Sunday, with pop diva Nelly Furtado displaying a wacky sense of humour as she took the glitzy gala’s top prizes for a club-thumping album that dominated charts worldwide.
The triumphant turn came as the bubbly singer juggled hosting duties and a live televised performance that threw her into a variety of slapstick bits and outrageous costumes.
Furtado swept all five categories she was nominated in, taking the annual event’s biggest accolades including best artist, best single and best album in two award ceremonies held over the weekend.
“Thank you, Canada, I love you for accepting me,” Furtado said in Sunday’s telecast, in which she took the winner’s podium three times. “I love you!”
Toronto-based rock band Billy Talent was the only other multiple winner of the weekend, taking trophies for group of the year and rock album of the year.
Front man Ben Kowalewicz said they wanted to share the award with their friends and co-nominees Alexisonfire. Backstage, he said they had a very simple plan for their Juno celebration: “Get drunk. Get very, very drunk.”
Kowalewicz also offered a special thanks to the band’s hometown of Mississauga, Ont., crediting the community with supporting them through a decade-long climb to the top.
But it was a disappointing night for critics’ favourite k-os, a genre-mashing performer who had tied with Furtado and rockers Billy Talent for most nominations for his acclaimed disc “Atlantis: Hymns for Disco.”
K-os lost four trophies at a private ceremony Saturday and lost the fifth award, a best-single nomination for his infectious party song “Sunday Morning,” to Furtado’s “Promiscuous” on Sunday.
He appeared early in the broadcast with a performance of his hit “Sunday Morning,” changing the lyric to at one point declare: “This show is not me, this show is propaganda.”
Furtado set an off-kilter tone early in the show by arriving onstage suspended from cables high above Saskatoon’s Credit Union Centre. The Victoria beauty wore an all-black outfit adorned with feathers in a nod to her 2000 debut hit “I’m Like A Bird,” and later poked more fun at herself by appearing in a black latex bodysuit and a matronly nightgown in pre-taped comedy bits.
She ended the evening with five trophies including the two accolades she picked up at Saturday’s private industry event. That ceremony crowned her artist of the year and her blockbuster disc “Loose” the best pop album.
Backstage, Furtado said she was shocked by her multiple wins, especially best album.
“I’ve sat in the audience at the Junos and lost for best album twice and I always wondered, ‘Oh, maybe one day I’ll get that,’ you know?” said Furtado, adding she was indebted to her producer Timbaland, the U.S. beat guru also behind hits from Justin Timberlake and The Pussycat Dolls.
“I didn’t think it would come so soon and with this album.”
Onstage, Furtado took pains in her acceptance speeches to extend kudos to fellow nominees.
“I just hand it to all the Canadian artists. This is for everybody – old, new, up and coming, the legends,” Furtado said as she took the trophy for fan choice dressed in a silky blue gown, the third of several Canadian-designed outfits for the evening. “I’m just happy to be here and humbled.”
Later, she threw props to best single rivals k-os and Jim Cuddy when she took the podium for the second time in 20 minutes.
Other winners Sunday included Hamilton’s Tomi Swick, who was named new artist of the year over Canadian Idol champs Eva Avila and Melissa O’Neil and indie darling Patrick Watson.
“Holy crap,” Swick exclaimed upon reaching the microphone and launching into a laundry list of friends and family to thank.
The R&B/soul recording of the year went to jacksoul’s disc “mySOUL.”
With just seven awards to hand out, Sunday’s broadcast was largely about the performances.
Artists including The Tragically Hip, Patrick Watson, City and Colour, Billy Talent and Three Days Grace took the stage in front of an audience of roughly 13,000 fans, some of whom started lining up outside Saskatoon’s Credit Union Centre as early as 7 a.m. to catch a glimpse of their favourite artists.
Meanwhile, Winnipeg-born producer Bob Rock was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in recognition of his work producing and engineering albums for superstars including Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Cher, Motley Crue, and Bryan Adams.
Other Juno winners Saturday included sultry siren Diana Krall, whose disc “From This Moment On” snagged best vocal jazz album and veteran Jim Cuddy, who took best adult alternative album for “The Light That Guides You Home,” beating out Neil Young, Sarah Harmer, Matt Mays and Ron Sexsmith.
City and Colour took best alternative album with “Sometimes” and country star George Canyon was awarded best country recording for “Somebody Wrote Love.”
Juno Fan Choice Award: Nelly Furtado.
Group of the Year: Billy Talent.
New Artist of the Year: Tomi Swick.
Single of the Year: “Promiscuous,” Nelly Furtado.
R&B Soul/Recording of the Year: “mySOUL,” jacksoul.
Rock Album of the Year: “Billy Talent II,” Billy Talent.
Album of the Year: “Loose,” Nelly Furtado.
9985 – I say congratulations to the city and people of Saskatoon for a great Juno weekend!!
Nelly reigns at the Junos