Leslie Feist wins Juno for Artist of the YearBy Charmaine Noronha
TORONTO — Indie-rock songstress Leslie Feist took home a Juno for Artist of the Year on Sunday night, her third win at the 41st annual Canadian music awards ceremony.
Feist, best known for her whimsical 2007 song “1234,” which became an international hit after it was featured in an iPod nano commercial, might have surprised some with Sunday night’s win since her contemplative fourth disc, “Metals,” wasn’t nominated for Album of the Year.
Another of the night’s early winners was no surprise: Eighteen-year-old teen-pop sensation Justin Bieber claimed the Juno Fan Choice award, a prize he claimed at last year’s Junos.
“What’s up everybody? This is Justin,” he said in a prerecorded message. “Fan choice. As we all know I have the best fans in the world, so this award is basically for all my fans. This is just yours.”
Vancouver, British Columbia, singer-songwriter Dan Mangan was named Best Newcomer.
“I feel like there’s a certain amount of chatter around the best new artist award every year going to … artists on their second or maybe third albums,” said Mangan, whose “Oh Fortune” was, yes, his third album.
Dance recording of the year went to Toronto’s Dragonette and French DJ Martin Solveig, not anticipated favorite Deadmau5 — who had won the category four years in a row.
City and Colour’s Dallas Green won Songwriter of the Year, beating out Feist, Dan Mangan and Jim Cuddy.
“If I can find a way to cut this up into five individual pieces I’d gladly share it with all the other nominees,” Green said as he claimed the trophy. “Canada has some of the best songwriters in the world and I’m glad to be a part of it. But I’d also, I’d just like to accept this on behalf of … all the people who truly believe it’s all about the song and it’s not about all the other stuff.”
Divisive rockers Nickelback kicked off the show in Ottawa, Ontario, with a performance of “This Means War,” before Canadian-born Captain Kirk himself, 81-year-old William Shatner, took to the stage for his monologue.
The “Star Trek” icon poked lighthearted fun at Deadmau5 — intentionally mispronouncing his moniker— before riling up the crowd by asking if they were “ready to rock.”
Ever vibrant, even at 81, he then strapped on a Les Paul guitar and launched into a medley of a few bars of rock classics including “Born to Be Wild,” ”Summer of ’69,” and “Taking Care of Business” in his trademark sing-speak manner. In pre-show interviews he vowed he wouldn’t lend his vocals to the Canuck ceremonies.
Rockers Blue Rodeo were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame after performing their hit “We Are Lost Together,” with chanteuse Sarah McLachlan.
Feist, City and Colour, Hedley and rock outfit Hey Rosetta! performed, while a dance medley featuring Dragonette, Alyssa Reid and JRDN brought the crowd to its feet.
The Arkells won Group of the Year on Saturday night during a gala awards ceremony. Thirty-four of the 41 Juno Awards were handed out during the gala, including New Group of the Year award to bluesy-rock outfit The Sheepdogs. Adele’s “21″ won International Album of the Year. Vancouver, British Columbian native Dan Mangan also achieved his first taste of Juno glory, winning alternative album of the year.
Canadian indie band Arcade Fire were the big winners last year, capturing four Juno awards including album of the year for “The Suburbs” and group of the year.
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