Alessia Cara emerged the top winner at this year’s Juno Awards, scooping up three trophies in a prerecorded streaming ceremony.
The 23-year-old pop singer’s deeply personal 2018 The Pains of Growing picked up album and pop album of the year, while she also won songwriter for her work on several of its tracks.
It was an uplifting finish for a Junos year where the Brampton, Ont., native saw her dreams of hosting the awards show dashed. She was originally lined up to helm the televised event in Saskatoon before organizers pulled the plug in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ms. Cara was quick to jump onto Twitter after she came out on top, posting a characteristically humble “um whaaaaaaat” before responding to congratulatory messages from her followers.
we got 3!!! my hopefully legible thank you’s to the people who have helped me along🖤 pic.twitter.com/fuKVTVK5aD— ac (@alessiacara) June 30, 2020
The Juno Awards, which were supposed to take place in March, had delayed revealing this year’s winners in hopes of finding a better time to celebrate Canadian music.
Monday’s ceremony took on a sense of social urgency as greater awareness surrounding representation of Black, Indigenous and other artists of colour was addressed throughout.
Halifax alt-pop duo Neon Dreams grabbed the breakthrough group award shortly after a sombre performance of their single We Were Kings. The deeply personal coming-of-age reflection was co-written by lead singer Frank Kadillac about his own experiences rising above high-school bullying and racism.
Wow. we won a juno award. I don’t think we’ve smiled this big in our entire career.— Neon Dreams (@neondreams) June 30, 2020
But this award is for you guys and all your faith in us. We just want to make you proud. @TheJUNOAwards https://t.co/8APvko55DO
Indigenous singer Iskwe delivered an outdoor performance of Little Star, a song paying tribute to Colten Boushie, Tina Fontaine and the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, filmed within the Mississaugas Of Scugog Island First Nation territory.
Other highlights included two-time winner Shawn Mendes, who was selected as artist of the year. Senorita, his duet with girlfriend Camila Cabello, won single of the year, making him the first artist to pick up that award for three consecutive years.
Pop singer Avril Lavigne pocketed the fan choice award, which is voted on by viewers, for the second year in a row, and the third time in her career.
Thank you to my amazingly dedicated fans who voted for me for this @TheJUNOAwards two years in a row. I love you guys so much. And thank you to the Junos ! I hope to party with you next year. Xoxox pic.twitter.com/xjlrkg3Jo4— Avril Lavigne (@AvrilLavigne) June 30, 2020
This year’s leading nominee was Ms. Cara, who had six nods in categories that include pop album, artist of the year and single of the year. Rapper Tory Lanez trailed closely behind Ms. Cara with five nominations, while pianist Alexandra Streliski, Bryan Adams, Bulow, Nav, Loud Luxury and Mr. Mendes, had three each.
Junos organizers decided to combine two nights of industry accolades into one truncated show that ran about 90 minutes.
2020 Juno Award winners from the streaming ceremony
- Album of the Year: The Pains of Growing, Alessia Cara
- Single of the Year: Senorita, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello
- Artist of the Year: Shawn Mendes
- Group of the Year: Loud Luxury
- Fan Choice: Avril Lavigne
- Pop Album of the Year: The Pains of Growing, Alessia Cara
- Breakthrough Artist of the Year: Lennon Stella
- Breakthrough Group of the Year: Neon Dreams
- Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year: Stories from a Downtown Apartment, Celeigh Cardinal
- Rap Recording of the Year: Freaky, Tory Lanez
- Country Album of the Year: Wild As Me, Meghan Patrick
- R&B/Soul Recording of the Year: Feel It Too, Jessie Reyez, Tory Lanez & Tainy
- Rock Album of the Year: A War on Everything, The Glorious Sons