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Lindsey Byrnes

Single of the Year

Closer, by Tegan and Sara. The alt-pop twins set out to write a radio-friendly ear-grabber, and they really nailed it. It’s an audience-widening breakthrough song – by far the biggest of their career – and a possible soundtrack to a future breath-freshener commercial. (Other nominees are Arcade Fire’s Reflektor, Classified’s Inner Ninja, Michael Bublé’s It’s a Beautiful Day and Serena Ryder’s What I Wouldn’t Do.)


Pop Album of the Year

Tegan and Sara’s Heartthrob is a strong contender, but I’m going to give it to Robin Thicke for Blurred Lines, mostly because it would be a shame for him to come all the way to a foreign country only to return to California empty-handed. (Other albums under consideration include Hedley’s Wild Life, Michael Bublé’s To Be Loved and Walk Off The Earth’s R.E.V.O.)
Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

Album of the Year

Nothing Was the Same, by Drake. An excellent hip-hop album, from a guy who did everything but get his well-crafted mug on the cover of Rolling Stone this year. Just hold on, Rihanna, your boy is coming home with some trophies this year. (Rounding out the list of contending discs are Arcade Fire’s Reflektor, Celine Dion’s Loved Me Back to Life, Michael Bublé’s To Be Loved and Serena Ryder’s Harmony.)

Lindsey Byrnes

Group of the Year

It comes down to Arcade Fire versus Tegan and Sara. I’m going with the latter, and, coupled with their trophy for single of the year, call it a twin killing. (The other contestants are Blue Rodeo, Hedley and Walk Off the Earth.)
Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

Artist of the Year

He had Billboard’s top-selling rap album, and 11th overall (Nothing Was the Same). He hosted an internationally renowned annual festival (OVO). He made the best video ever (Started From the Bottom). And the best cultivated image (again, Started From the Bottom). And a lauded Saturday Night Live stint. Respect to nominees Celine Dion, Michael Bublé, Robin Thicke and Serena Ryder, but it has to be Drake.