Juno Awards: Charlotte Cardin Wins Three Awards
Charlotte Cardin had her hands full at the pre-Juno Awards ceremony on Saturday as she took the lead three trophies.
The breakout Montreal pop singer-songwriter was named artist of the year, while her chart-topping debut “Phoenix” took home Pop Album of the Year and her track “Meaning.” selected as single of the year.
“I’m freaking out,” she said backstage after she checked out her Junos. “I’m very happy.”
It was a three-time win that gave the former model and Top 4 finisher on Quebec’s version of “The Voice” some serious influence as a rising Canadian star. The bulk of the Junos were awarded at a ceremony known as “opening night” for the music industry ahead of Sunday’s televised show.
Cardin has been a toast to Junos since she emerged as a six-time nominated front-runner, ahead of four-time nominated superstars Justin Bieber and Weeknd, who followed close behind on Saturday night with two wins.
Toronto-born Abel Tesfaye, who was absent from the ceremony, won a Contemporary R&B Recording Award for her single “Take My Breath” and was songwriter of the year for her co-writing efforts on three recent songs. , which includes one song with Kanye West and another with supergroup DJ Swiss House Mafia.
History was made in several other categories when Hill Kourkoutis became the first woman to be nominated for the position of recording engineer and prolongs that pivotal moment by winning. She is currently the only female recording engineer to win since the category was established in 1976.
Kourkoutis said she hopes her Junos moment is another step towards attracting more women into a career in music production.
“I believe we are in a huge transition right now,” she said.
“Over the past five years, the conversation has grown around this and I see a lot of young people – and even established artists – getting into production.”
At the age of 13, Kairo McLean became the youngest winner in the reggae record of the year category for the album “Easy Now”.
Dressed in a vibrant red suit his mother bought him, the teenager has credited generations of reggae artists, from Bob Marley to Jamaican-Canadian Exco Levi, for inspiring him to compose music.
“It’s an important milestone,” McLean said of the win. “I don’t know how we’re going to get to the top of it.”
And in the Producer of the Year category, Ebony Oshunrinde took home her second award in years after becoming the first Black woman to win it in 2021. Oshunrinde – who calls herself WondaGurl – won for “Fair Trade (feat. Travis Scott)” and “Made a Way (feat. Lil Durk and Future) by Los Angeles artist Faze Kaysan.”
Among other notable wins, the reunion of Quebec director Xavier Dolan and powerful vocalist Adele for “Easy on Me” took home the Music Video of the Year award. The pair previously won a Juno Award in 2016 for their first visual collaboration for “Hello”.
Rock trio Toronto Monowhales was named the breakout group, while all-female rocker Beaches won Rock Album of the Year for “Sisters Not Twins (The Professional Lovers Album).”
Kaytranada, Montreal-born Louis Celestin, emerged as the dance record of the year winner for his single “Caution,” while Savannah Re received the traditional R&B/soul record of year for “24hrs”.
Allison Russell pocketed the contemporary original album award for “Outside Child,” which reflects her abusive upbringing in Montreal, while Brett Kissel won the Country Album award for “What is Life?”
The Best Underground Dancing Single of the Year award went to HNTR, pronounced “hunter”, for the song “Shadows in the Dark”, which featured Elliot Moss.
And Toronto poet Mustafa Ahmed chose alternative album of the year for “When Smoke Rises,” inspired in part by the lives and deaths of several friends in Toronto’s Regent Park community. He was the first black Muslim to win in the category, a point he made before quickly expanding the subject to another first historical theme of the evening.
“I think being the first of anything now should be more critiqued than celebrated,” he said to applause from the audience.
Another first will come during Sunday’s Juno Awards broadcast as Deborah Cox becomes the only Black woman inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame since its inception in 1978 and is second Black musician, after Oscar Peterson in the year he took office.
Junos airs from Toronto’s Budweiser Stage on Sunday, hosted by “Shang-Chi” star Simu Liu.
This report by the Canadian Press was first published on May 14, 2022.