Feist named artist of year
CALGARY — Winning Junos is one thing, but appearing on Sesame Street is something else entirely.
Just ask Calgary-raised, Toronto-based singer-songwriter Feist, who picked up best artist and best songwriter honors at last night’s non-televised Junos during a gala dinner held at the Calgary Telus Convention Centre.
While Feist alternately kicked up her heels and danced on her way up to the podium, she was still hugely stoked about her recent appearance on Sesame Street, which she taped a few days ago in New York City doing a reworked version of her breakthrough hit, 1234.
“I mean, c’mon please, it’s the Muppets we’re talking about,” said Feist, who was so flustered winning her second award that she didn’t initially recognize hockey great Lanny McDonald when he handed her the songwriting award.
“(1234) brought me two days ago to Sesame Street and it was the Muppets and it was the best day of my life. I’m sorry Junos, but the Muppets trump everything!”
A five-time nominee heading into the awards, Feist, whose first name is Leslie although she just uses her last name professionally, will also compete for best album and pop album for The Reminder, and best single for 1234 at tonight’s televised Juno Awards being broadcast live on CTV from the Pengrowth Saddledome.
After an incredible year, including four Grammy nominations and a Grammy performance, and a high-profile nano iPod commerical that used the 1234 video, Feist is a favourite to win in those categories as well — although veteran Anne Murray could upset her in the best pop album race.
In this year’s biggest controversy, Murray’s all-star Duets collection was mistakenly left out of the best album race due to a sales calculation screw up and then added later, bringing her total nominations to two.
“I want to thank the Junos for a chance to get a bit dressed up and to mark a moment in the blur of all the cities we go to,” said Feist, who had written her acceptance speech down on her palm, last night.
“And the fact that it’s in Calgary, my mom threw a party for us last night, that’s bringing it hometown, full circle!” she said.
Thirty-two Junos were handed out during the gala celebration, plus previously announced honours were given to Toronto TV pioneer Moses Znaimer (The Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award) and Albertan country star Paul Brandt (The Allan Walters Humanitarian Award).
The remaining seven trophies, plus the induction or Toronto rock trio Triumph into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, will be awarded during the live show tonight.
The telecast will be hosted by comic Russell Peters and feature performances by many artists including other five-time nominees Avril Lavigne, originally from Napanee, Ont., and Vancouver crooner Michael Buble.
Six-time nominated French Canadian pop diva Celine Dion is currently on tour in Australia.
Feist’s win in the artist of the year category meant a loss for Lavigne, Dion, Buble and the other nominee, Pascale Picard.
Her songwriting victory also meant Lavigne, Joel Plaskett, Rufus Wainwright and Daniel Belanger went home empty handed in that category.
The only other mutiple winners last night were Toronto country-rock-pop veterans Blue Rodeo, who picked up two trophies for best adult alternative album for Small Miracles and best video for C’mon.
Montreal champer-pop act Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible won alternative album of the year while the CD/DVD artwork design on the record won a trophy for director/designer Tracy Maurice and photographer Francois Miron.
Feist named artist of year