The popularity of R&B and soul across the globe is undeniable, and their French counterparts are increasingly gaining a foothold in French-speaking Canada. That’s what led ADISQ to announce, on Mar. 11, 2024, the creation of a new Album of the Year – R&B/Soul category, showcasing the talent driving these genres forward in Québec. This is the result of an initiative undertaken by ADVANCE’s Widney Bonfils and Maison Kanda, a record label specializing in soul and R&B, co-founded by singer-songwriter and entrepreneur Corneille. The application has also received the support of nine other Québec record labels who support the development of R&B artists.

ADISQ, R&B, soul, category

Select the image to play the YouTube video introducing ADISQ’s new Album of the Year – R&B/Soul category

“Even if the primary creative goal of many artists is not the validation of their local industry, it remains an important mark of legitimacy that supports their careers,” said Corneille. “This new category encourages soul, R&B and Gospel artists to dream in French, succeed here, and export themselves in one of the world’s most influential styles. I truly believe this is the beginning of something major, and I applaud ADVANCE’s tremendous work in bringing this category to life.”

Widney Bonfils, Chairman of ADVANCE Québec – former SOCAN A&R representative, and now A&R Director at Universal Music Canada – said,  “I’m inspired by our team’s dedication to supporting local artists and advancing the Francophone music industry. Every project we undertake is guided by a shared passion for artistic excellence, and a desire to see our local talent flourish. The creation of this new French R&B/soul/Gospel category is the result of hard work and fruitful collaborations. We thank ADISQ for its open-mindedness. The creation of a category, which is a rare occurrence, is certainly an important step in our commitment to promoting musical diversity, and opening new avenues for our artists and their teams.”

To be eligible for a nomination in this new category, the album must contain at least 70% French lyrics, be original material, and be at least six tracks or 20 minutes long. The new award will be presented at the Premier Gala de l’ADISQ on Oct. 30, 2024, where all the Album of the Year categories presented by ADISQ will be celebrated.

This addition is the result of the annual consultation and revision of regulations carried out by ADISQ’s ballot committee, which is always striving to be attuned to the needs of its members. Every year, all the by-laws governing the ADISQ Galas are reviewed.

Other changes were also announced at the same time. In 2024, the Indigenous Artist of the Year and Breakthrough Artist of the Year categories will join those for Female Artist of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Group or Duo of the Year, and Song of the Year in being determined by a popular vote. The general public willbe invited to vote for their favourite artists in those six categories.

Registration for the 2024 ADISQ Galas is underway for all categories, both artistic and music-industry, and will close on April 10, 2024. All the forms are available at