Besides hosting the awards for the second time, this province and its people have unique connections to the top Juno Award winners:
Anne Murray (24 Junos)
Murray invited session guitarist Buddy Cage to play on four of her albums between 1969 and 1972. Cage also played guitar on Newfoundland folk musician Dick Nolan’s album, Newfoundland Songbook Volume 1.
Celine Dion (20 Junos)
Great Big Sea’s Bob Hallett referred to Canada as “the land of Celine” in a 1998 interview with the New York Times. Dion was getting really popular at the time with her hit song “My Heart Will Go On” from the soundtrack to the movie Titanic. And in September 2003, Downhome reported that Dion’s marketing director was, in fact, a Newfoundlander – St. John’s native Jennifer Dunne.
Bryan Adams (18 Junos)
Newfoundland country singer Tara Oram sang Bryan Adams’ power ballad “Heaven” in episode 6 of 2007’s “Canadian Idol.” She made it to the top 6 before being eliminated and went on to a successful independent career. And during this year’s Junos in St. John’s, Bryan Adams was honoured with the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award for his fundraising and social awareness work.
Alanis Morrisette (12 Junos)
Morrisette sung “Hands Clean” at the 2002 Junos in St. John’s along with Nelly Furtado, Shaggy, and Diana Krall.
Shania Twain (12 Junos)
This biggest-selling female country artist of all time owns two brown Newfoundland dogs named Coal and Mocha.
The Tragically Hip (12 Junos)
“The Dire Wolf” on The Tragically Hip’s 2002 album In Violet Light was inspired by a stormy ferry crossing between North Sydney and Port au Basques. The voyage was delayed by bad weather until, in the words of Gord Downey, “They finally saw a window and we launched.” The song describes Isle aux Morts in September, the Newfoundland dog, and rough waters large enough to capsize a boat bigger than the one they were on. “I would have been okay if they just put it off,” says Downey. “This song sort of came out of that.”
Gordon Lightfoot (11 Junos)
Lightfoot played shows at the Holy Heart Theatre in St. John’s on March 29 and 30, and also at the Pepsi Centre Concert Bowl in Corner Brook on March 31.
Blue Rodeo (10 Junos)
Frontman Jim Cuddy says he doesn’t indulge in George Street partying when he visits the province these days because it interferes with his sleep. The band has headlined the Splash Concert in Grand Falls-Windsor (part of the annual Salmon Festival) and the George Street Festival in St. John’s, and has performed at Mile One Centre.
Charles Dutoit (10 Junos)
Dutoit, as conductor of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, won a Juno Award for best classical album at the 2002 Junos in St. John’s.