Music Biz Headlines, June 8, 2021

A breakthrough year for Tate McRae (pictured), a look at past and present Junos, and a prestigious rave review for Mustafa. Also in the headlines are Believe, TikTok, Cancon, Don Amero, Hillsburn, Kathryn Moses, Gord Bamford, RSD, Lyor Cohen, Scooter Braun, Jxdn, Liz Phair, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen, and Post Malone.

Music Biz Headlines, June 8, 2021

By Kerry Doole

Juno Awards celebrate 50 years, but Cancon’s own silver anniversary is the important one

The more significant milestone this year is the silver anniversary of what is known as Cancon, a set of Juneau-spearheaded CRTC regulations that, among other things, require radio stations to devote at least 35 per cent of their playlists to Canadian music. (New stations are held to a 40-per-cent-standard.) –  Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

The Weeknd sweeps the 2021 Juno Awards

The Weeknd was famously shut out in the nominations for the 63rd annual Grammy Awards. He fared much better at the awards in his home country. The Weeknd was this year’s only multiple Juno winner out of 43 categories presented over the two nights. He is the first artist to sweep the awards for artist, album, single and songwriter of the year twice. – Paul Grein, Billboard


Trudeau on the table, Nickelback’s out-of-control pyro: a look at past Juno Awards

From Nickelback pyro accidentally torching pricey projectors to Justin Trudeau dancing on a table many years before becoming prime minister, the Juno Awards have certainly had some memorable moments over the past 50 years. The CP asked organizers about their biggest behind-the-scenes recollections from Canada’s biggest night in music, which will celebrate its golden anniversary Sunday on CBC-TV and its digital platforms: – Victoria Ahearn, CP

No-show The Weeknd leads 50th anniversary Juno Awards with five wins

Even without a red carpet, the Juno Awards found ways to march generations of Canadian stars through their 50th anniversary celebration on Sunday night. From Shania Twain and Celine Dion to Kaytranada and Justin Bieber, many of the country’s most successful acts paid tribute to Canada’s biggest night in music from a distance, though one of the glaring absences also happened to be the biggest winner. – David Friend, The Canadian Press

The Junos: the high, lows and notable quips

often-solemn Juno Awards presentation was more about community, healing and reconciliation than trophies. The broadcast celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Junos began with Buffy Sainte-Marie calling for “compassion” in light of news that while shocking to some people, “it’s not news to Indigenous people.” –  Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail


2021 Juno Awards: 7 amazing ways Global Citizens stole the show

Activists and Global Citizen artists won big at the Juno Awards and called attention to injustices. – Jaxx Artz, Global Citizen

Juno Awards announce new category for underground dance single of the year

The Juno Awards are giving clubgoers reason to celebrate with a new category for underground dance single of the year. Organizers of Canada’s biggest night in music revealed the details Friday as part of the “opening night” Junos show, saying they plan to launch the category in 2022. – David Friend, CP

Erin Wall’s recording of ‘Thaïs’ with Toronto Symphony Orchestra wins major Juno Award

In the title role is Erin Wall, who passed away in October 2020, almost one year after the recording was made during a November 2019 performance at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. Of the recording, OperaWire said it was “An Emotionally Charged Recording With Much To Delight.” – David Salazar, OperaWire

Junos 2021: Covid-19 couldn't break the career momentum of Calgary teen Tate McRae

Tate McRae was quarantined in a Toronto hotel room with her family when she heard she had been nominated for two Juno Awards. It was a gloomy March 9 and Toronto was in the grip of Covid-19’s third wave. So the 17-year-old Calgarian, who was in town to “film something,” went straight from Toronto Pearson Airport into quarantine. – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald

Buffy Sainte-Marie urges ‘compassion’ for Indigenous community as Junos get underway

Buffy Sainte-Marie opened the 50th Juno Awards on a sombre note as she recognized the pain affecting the Indigenous community. The legendary singer-songwriter led a cold open of Canada’s biggest night in music by directly addressing the recent discovery of what’s believed to be the remains of 215 children buried at a former Kamloops, B.C., residential school. – David Friend, CP


Behind the scenes of the stunning, mournful O Canada at the Jets-Canadiens playoff game

Don Amero wasn’t even sure he wanted to sing O Canada. A week ago, the Winnipeg country and folk singer-songwriter got a call from his friend, Mark Chipman, the executive chairman of True North Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Winnipeg Jets, asking whether he would be willing to sing the national anthem at game one of the second round of the playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday. – Simon Houpt, Globe and Mail

Toronto’s music community searches for space after Rehearsal Factory sale

With one location closing, rumours are swirling about the others – including a potential sale to a controversial church. –  Richard Trapunski, NOW


Flutist Kathryn Moses was one of the shining lights on the Canadian music scene

The sunny personality of Kathryn Moses always shone through in her music. Joyous and free-spirited, she expressed those qualities on flute, saxophone and vocals – she was gifted at all three –throughout a career in jazz, pop and classical music that lasted over half a century. – Nicholas JenningsThe Globe and Mail

Hillsburn seizes the moment with Slipping Away after year of highs and lows

 While listening to Slipping Away, the new album by Halifax’s eternally life-affirming indie-pop ensemble Hillsburn, and hearing the story of its creation, one of the major takeaways is that you can never overestimate the value of living in the moment. – Stephen Cooke, Chronicle-Herald · 

Alberta country artist Gord Bamford keeps it simple with 10th album, Diamonds in A Whiskey Glass

When country singer Gord Bamford opened up his home to cameras for a video and podcast series called Real Country Livin’, the idea was to give fans a look at the behind-the-scenes life of a country star. As the inaugural host of the series, Bamford allowed the crew to capture day-to-day life at his rural home near Bashaw on Buffalo Lake. But those looking for some show-biz drama are probably watching the wrong show. – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald

Record Store Day isn't just for hardcore collectors

Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 as a way to celebrate the culture of independent record stores with special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products made exclusively for the day. Serious collectors were drawn to that aspect of it, but as the years went by Record Store Day also became a time for regular music lovers. –  Steve NewtonGeorgia Straight

Mustafa Ahmed’s powerful songs of memory on “When Smoke Rises”

Listening to the Canadian poet and singer’s music can feel like eavesdropping on a prayer. – Sheldon Pearce, New Yorker

'Emergency' music video by Halcyon Phase

Emergency is the first-ever music video from Halcyon Phase, a new rock duo from Ottawa. "Emergency" is the kick-off track on its debut record, Tendrils. As with "Emergency" and its accompanying video, the full-length album takes us into a dark and brooding (at some points post-apocalyptic) world.–  Breanne Doyle, Georgia Straight


Composer and DJ's return to Edmonton brings new album, It's me, Jexy

Jered Stuffco, a multi-instrumental composer, vocalist and DJ, has released a new album of electronic music called It's Me, Jexy. He spent a lot of time in his car making sure you’d feel the warm, deep thud of the nightclubs you’re missing on the record. – Tom Murray, Edmonton Journal


Believe easily attracts enough demand to execute €300m IPO... within three days

The €300 million raised would be enough to fund the distribution and services company's acquisition plans until the end of 2023, Believe CEO Denis Ladegaillerie noted – after which, there would be "more interesting options" to raise another €200 million-plus. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Lyor Cohen has his eye on Spotify's throne.

On June 2, Cohen – YouTube's Global Head of Music – revealed that YouTube paid the music industry over $4 billion in the previous 12 months via the "twin engines" of advertising and subscription revenue. Cohen also stated that his platform's aim is “to become the leading revenue generator for the music industry”. That would mean overtaking Spotify's annual royalty payments, which in 2020 surpassed $5 billion. June 3, Cohen laid down the gauntlet to Daniel Ek and co once again. –  MBW


Bieber manager Scooter Braun in court battle over failed investment fund

Music manager Scooter Braun, known for discovering Justin Bieber and making enemies of Taylor Swift, is embroiled in a legal battle with a former business partner over failed plans for a $750M fund. Peter Comisar, a Goldman Sachs partner and former Guggenheim Securities vice chairman, sued Braun, his company Ithaca Holdings and business partner David Bolno for fraud and breach of contract. – Anousha Sakouistaff,  LA Times

TikTok stars like Jxdn can turn random songs into hits. So why not make ’em themselves?

Born Jaden Hossler, Jxdn is an established star on TikTok, where he developed a following of millions as a member of Sway House, the L.A.-based bad-boy creator collective known for its bite-size videos of good-looking (if hard-to-distinguish) Gen Z guys doing … well, whatever. – Mikael Wood, LA Times

What makes a hit? Ask TikTok.

Addictive beats, cheeky transitions, and Cran-Rasberry juice? – Nerisha Penrose, Elle

Liz Phair’s teenage obsessions: ‘I wanted to be a 6,000-year-old vampire with style’

The singer-songwriter on watching The Hunger 60 times, how EE Cummings inspired her lyrics and discovering magic mushrooms at a Grateful Dead show. – The Guardian

Newport Jazz 2021 lineup announced

Featured performers for the July 30-Aug. 1 event include Christian McBride, Wynton Marsalis, Mavis Staples, Terri Lyne Carrington, Andra Day, and artist-in-residence Robert Glasper. – Jazz Times

10 new albums to stream today

Featuring Japanese Breakfast, Wolf Alice, Rostam and more.  – Scott Russell & Paste Staff 

Post Malone’s rosé is coming to the LCBO. Is it any good?

The $21.99 (U.S.) rosé was rolled out through stores in the U.S. and all 500,000 bottles were gone by the end of the year. Is it any good? Actually, yes. So when it arrives in stores and online at the LCBO, it’s worth snapping up. – Carolyn Evans Hammond, Toronto Star

A new album from Robert Plant and Alison Krauss is reportedly in the works.

The duo famously collaborated on 2007’s Raising Sand, which earned platinum sales and took home five Grammy awards, including Album of the Year. During a recent episode of the Everyone Loves Guitar podcast, Greg Leisz, the pedal steel guitarist who played on Raising Sand, mentioned he’d heard material earmarked for the new LP. – Ultimate Classic Rock 

From David Bowie to Led Zeppelin: 6 legendary artists that Keith Richards hates

Keith Richards has never been one to keep quiet about his feelings. The ultimate riff-machine kept himself busy with verbal sparring matches during his downtime with the Stones, sometimes even aiming barbs at the band themselves. During those sparring matches, the musician had six artists who acted as his nemesis — the Frazier to his Ali. It makes for a somewhat refreshing viewpoint, even if we disagree with it.– Far Out

Bruce Springsteen plans Broadway return of his one-man show

The Boss just can’t quit Broadway. Bruce Springsteen will return to Broadway this summer for a limited run of his one-man show “Springsteen on Broadway.” Performances at the St. James Theatre begin June 26 with an end date set — at least for now — for Sept. 4. “I loved doing it and I’m thrilled to have been asked to reprise the show as part of the reopening of Broadway,” the rocker said in a statement. – Mark Kennedy, AP

Jade Eagleson
Ryan Nolan

Jade Eagleson


Canadian Country Music Association Awards 2024 Nominations: Jade Eagleson, Mackenzie Porter Lead The Pack

The two platinum-selling singer/songwriters have scored six nominations each for the CCMA Awards, with The Reklaws and Josh Ross hot on their heels. The biggest night in Canadian country takes place on Sept. 14 at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

Today (July 18), the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) announced the official nominees for the 2024 CCMA Awards. Topping the list of contenders with six nods apiece are Jade Eagleson and MacKenzie Porter, the latter of whom will co-host the awards show alongside American country star Thomas Rhett.

Hot on their heels with five nominations apiece are The Reklaws and Josh Ross, while High Valley, Owen Riegling and Dallas Smith are each cited in four categories. Other notable Canadian artists making the list include Dean Brody, Steven Lee Olsen, James Barker Band, Brett Kissel, Tenille Townes and Lindsay Ell.

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