Shawn Mendes almost completed a sweep, winning five of the six honours for which he was nominated at the 2019 JUNO Awards, on Sunday, March 17, in London Ontario. Mendes earned awards for Artist, Album, Pop Album (both for his eponymous record), Single (for “In My Blood”), and Songwriter of the Year, presented by SOCAN. His sweep was denied when the Fan Choice Award went to his fellow SOCAN member Avril Lavigne, who didn’t attend the awards. Mendes couldn’t attend either, but offered a pre-taped live performance of “In My Blood” from the other London, U.K.
Arkells were the only other multiple winners, adding Group and Rock Album of the Year (for Rally Cry) to their collection of previous-year JUNO wins, now totaling six on the mantel. They performed a high-energy version of “Hand Me Downs” on the Sunday night JUNO Gala broadcast, and frontman Max Kerman said backstage after the win that “The first time we played London as a band, we had to take the Greyhound here and we put our gear underneath the bus.”
During the pre-broadcast JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards on Saturday, March 16, presented by SOCAN (and where most of the year’s trophies were handed out), Arkells offered Indigenous Album of the Year winner Jeremy Dutcher a chance to finish his speech, cut short after his win, during their own allotted post-win time. The next night, Dutcher would say backstage that Arkells yielding their time to him is what reconciliation looks like.
Duo Loud Luxury started making music at London’s Western University, so winning the first JUNO of the entire weekend, for Dance Recording of the Year (for their hit single “Body”), and kicking off the televised gala with a booming performance, provided the best kind of homecoming for Joe Depace and Andrew Fedyk.
“I believe that music and love are the most enduring and powerful forces of good in the world,” said an emotional Corey Hart onstage at the broadcast gala, after being inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. “Without you, my songs would have no home.” Jessie Reyez, who won R&B/Soul Recording of the Year (for Being Human in Public), quoted Hart when she accepted her award from surprise presenter Sting and Humanitarian Award winner, iconic producer David Foster. “To quote Mr. Hart, without you, there’s no home for my songs. And it’s such a beautiful line, because it’s true. None of it’s possible without your support.” Loud won the Francophone album of the Year for Une anneé record, and Milk & Bone won the Electronic Album of the Year for Deception Bay.
The SOCAN-presented, pre-broadcast gala was streamed live, reaching hundreds of thousands of music fans, and during which we presented the Songwriter of the Year Award. SOCAN also presented the JUNO Songwriters’ Circle – known as “the jewel of JUNO week” – bringing together songwriters to play their songs and share the stories behind them. This year’s event featured heartfelt performances and amusing stories from host Alan Doyle, as well as first-round participants David Foster, Tyler Shaw, and Elisapie, and second-round participants Dan Mangan, Meghan Patrick, and Laila Biali.
SOCAN also presented No. 1 Song Awards throughout JUNO weekend, to Bahamas, The Reklaws, Loud Luxury and Arkells. Backstage at the Saturday night gala, winners were interviewed on video by SOCAN after receiving their awards, and we also conducted other, private, exclusive interviews with several nominated and winning members. Additionally, we chatted with SOCAN members on the red carpet, and during the backstage media conference at the televised gala.
In the coming days and weeks, socan.ca will share No. 1 Awards, video highlights, interviews and photos from the 2019 JUNO weekend, so please stay tuned to socan.com, and our social media.