John Mann, singer and songwriter of Spirit of the West – the West Coast Celtic-folk-rock band whose rollicking ode to drinking, “Home For a Rest,” became an essential party staple that catapulted them to platinum-sales success – passed away on Nov. 20, 2019, at age 57, at his home in Vancouver, from early-onset Alzheimer’s.

In a statement, the band said: “Surrounded by friends and loving family until the end, all were reminded of John’s rich legacy. He was a potent force in music, acting – onstage, in movies and on television, and was world-renowned as a songwriter. As well, he was a foresightful activist and charitable figure for several worthwhile organizations. His work will resound long after his untimely passing.

“His career spanned nearly 40 years and included multiple film roles, numerous star turns in theatre, and fame as lead singer and spellbinding front-person of Canadian musical group Spirit of the West.

“John was a man of uncommon courage, was a loyal and beloved friend, a gentleman of great social conscience, and a soul brimming with creativity and enthusiasm. Most importantly, he was a loving father to Harlan and Hattie, and a wonderful husband to Jill Daum.

“A private memorial service will be held later. John Mann’s family thank you for privacy at this difficult time.”

Spirit of the West, John Mann, 2010 SOCAN Awards

Spirit of the West at the 2010 SOCAN Awards

Spirit of the West earned two platinum-selling albums in Canada, 1990’s Save This House and 1993’s Faithlift, and one Gold one, 1991’s Go Figure. The band earned four JUNO Award nominations between 1989 and 1995, and a SOCAN National Achievement Award, for their entire body if work, in 2010.

Along with “Home for a Rest,” the singles and CBC Music standards “Venice Is Sinking” and “Political” fostered and engaged a cross-Canada community of fans in the ‘90s, who would later help raise money for Mann’s care. More recently, “Spirit of John” fundraising events were held in Toronto and Vancouver, allowing the Alzheimer Society Music Project to purchase MP3 players to load with music and distribute to patients.

A documentary film that aired on HBO Canada, Spirit Unforgettable, told the story of the group preparing for a show, and performing at, Toronto’s Massey Hall. Mann also had many acting credits, appearing in such stage productions as Miss Saigon, Les Misérable, and Of Mice and Men, and roles on such TV series as Smallville, Battlestar Galactica, DaVinci’s Inquest, and Bionic Woman.

SOCAN extends our deepest sympathies and condolences to Mann’s family and friends at this challenging time.

SOCAN was pleased and proud to present both Begonia and The Darcys with No. 1 Song Awards – to her for “Hanging on a Line,” and to the duo for “Better Days,” both of which scaled the peak of the CBC Music Top 20 in the summer of 2019.

Not only did the trio of singer-songwriters experience back-to-back chart-toppers – Begonia on Aug. 22, 2019, and The Darcys on Aug. 29, 2019 – but they met at a SOCAN Kenekt Song Camp on Pender Island in BC, back in 2017, and the following year released a holiday track written there together: “It Won’t Be Christmas (Till You’re Here)”.

Begonia co-wrote “Hanging on a Line” with Marcus Paquin, Matthew Peters, and Matthew Schellenberg, who’ll be presented with their plaques at a later day. The Darcys — Jason Couse and Wes Markell – co-write “Better Days” with Leah Fay of July Talk, who’ll also be awarded at a later date.

SOCAN’s Melissa Cameron-Passley caught up with Begonia and The Darcys at Lee’s Palace in downtown Toronto, on Nov. 15, 2019, prior to Begonia’s show there with Fast Romantics.

The unstoppably successful Drake has earned two nominations for the 62nd annual Grammy Awards, to be held Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, and broadcast live, worldwide, from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Drake earned both 2020 Grammy nods as the featured artist on a song: one in the Best Rap Song category, for “Gold Roses,” by Rick Ross, and the other in the Best R&B Song field, for “No Guidance,” by Chris Brown.

Drake’s right-hand-man producer, Noah “40” Shebib, was also included in the nomination for “No Guidance,” while his frequent co-writers Noel Cadastre and Ozan “OZ” Yildirim were included in the nomination for “Gold Roses.”

Daniel Caesar earned a nomination for Best R&B Performance, his fourth, in recognition of his duo with Brandy, “Love Again.” Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello were nominated – he for the third time – for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, for their huge hit single “Senorita.”

Jessie Reyez earned her very first Grammy nomination, in the Urban Contemporary Album category, for Being Human in Public. Michael Bublé earned his third Grammy nomination, in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category, for the Deluxe Edition of Love. Northern Cree earned their seventh(!) with a Best Regional Roots Music Album nomination, for When It’s Cold – Cree Round Dance Songs.

Barbara Hannigan earned the honour for Best Opera Recording – along with fellow soloists Stéphane Degout, Peter Hoare, and Gyula Orendt – for George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love & Violence.

While electronic dance music singer-songwriter and DJ Marie Davidson wasn’t directly nominated, the Soulwax Remix of her song “Work It” – done by David Gerard and Stephen Antoine C Dewaele – was nominated for Best Remixed Recording.

And although SOCAN member Eric Corne wasn’t directly nominated, he wrote, published, and produced all the songs on Sugaray Rayford’s Somebody Save Me, which earned the recognition for Best Contemporary Blues Album.

Also indirectly, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Too Much” and ”No Drug Like Me” were among the songs for which John Hill earned a nomination for Producer of the Year, Non Classical.  And the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique; Fantaisie Sur La Tempête De Shakespeare was among the albums that earned Blanton Alspaugh a nomination for Producer of the Year, Classical.

Ajay Bhattacharya (a.k.a. Stint) co-wrote and produced the songs “Another Lifetime,” “Drive and Disconnect,” and “Don’t Change,” on NAO’s Saturn, nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album.

Bernie Herms co-wrote the Casting Crowns song “Only Jesus,” nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song.

T-Minus produced “The London,” performed by Young Thug Featuring J. Cole & Travi$ Scott, nominated for Best Rap/Sung Performance; produced “Carried Away” on the H.E.R. album I Used To Know Her, nominated for Album of the Year; and co-produced “Middle Child,” by J Cole, nominated for Best Rap Performance. T-Minus is also a co-producer on Dreamville’s Revenge of the Dreamers III, nominated for Best Rap Album.

Boi-1da co-produced “C7osure (You Like),” on Lil Nas X’s 7, nominated for Album of the Year; co-produced “1000 Nights” on Ed Sheeran’s No.6 Collaborations Project, nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album; and co-produced “Out For The Night, PT.2,” on 21 Savage’s I Am > I Was, nominated for Best Rap Album.

Colin Linden co-produced the Keb’Mo’ recording Oklahoma, nominated for best Americana Album.

Dan Brodbeck was a recording engineer/mixer on The Cranberries In the End, nominated for Best Rock Album.

SOCAN congratulates our Grammy-nominated members on this huge achievement!