Entertainment

Junos 2018: Barenaked Ladies re-unite, Michael Bublé returns and Rascalz rhyme

The emotional reunion of Barenaked Ladies with Steven Page, Michael Bublé’s return to the stage and an impromptu rap collaboration were among the top moments at an uplifting Juno Awards ceremony held Sunday in Vancouver.

Teary-eyed Ladies

The Barenaked Ladies and former lead vocalist Steven Page were visibly emotional after being recognized onstage for their induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

“To our fans, your passion for our music and our shows continues to astound us,” said singer-songwriter and guitarist Ed Robertson. “Thanks to Steve for starting this journey with me and to the guys for continuing it.”

The group, which found major success in the 1990s and early 2000s with songs such as Pinch Me and Old Apartment, reunited with Page for a highly anticipated, one-time performance together after he left the band nine years ago.

They sang two of their hits, One Week and If I Had $1,000,000, with the same energy and harmonies that made them famous.

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Ed Robertson, right, of the Barenaked Ladies, and former member and co-founder Steven Page, left, took the stage for a one-time performance with band members. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

The winners

Gord Downie, the late frontman of The Tragically Hip, won artist of the year in addition to other Juno Awards handed out Saturday night. Downie died in 2017 after being diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour.

His brothers, Patrick and Mike Downie, accepted the award and used the opportunity to promote Gord Downie’s commitment to Indigenous communities.

“He wanted a country that was equitable and inclusive,” said Mike Downie. “And right now we have an incredible opportunity to do just that, for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to come together like never before, change who we think we are, create a new country and a new Canada.”

Arcade Fire, who took home album of the year for Everything Now, also shared inspirational words.

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Arcade Fire celebrates their Juno for album of the year. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

“I just hope that we can all rise above negativity in our lives and just do what we believe in,” singer-songwriter Win Butler told the audience. “Speak your truth. Don’t be afraid.”

Other winners included: Shawn Mendes for fan choice, Tory Lanez for rap recording of the year, Daniel Caesar for R&B/soul recording of the year and Jessie Reyez for breakthrough artist of the year. 

Reyez, who’s powerful performance of Figures was one of the most memorable of the night, told media backstage afterwards that she’ll be releasing a new version of the song with Caesar, who had joined her onstage.

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Jessie Reyez performs with Daniel Caesar. Both took home awards. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Northern Touch 

The rap recording of the year award was presented by Red1, Misfit, Kardinal Offishall, Checkmate, Thrust and Choclair, who appeared on the seminal 1998 track Northern Touch.

The track from the Rascalz’ album Cash Crop became one of the most successful hip-hop songs in Canadian history.

READ MORE | Northern Touch at 20: An oral history of the most important rap collaboration in Canadian history

The musicians broke out into a rendition of the iconic song while on stage together.

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Red1, Misfit, Kardinal Offishall, Checkmate, Thrust and Choclair broke out into a rendition of their iconic rap collaboration Northern Touch. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Speaking up for women

Revered singer and activist Buffy Sainte-Marie was one of the few artists who spoke candidly during the broadcast about representation in music.

“It’s time for women to be recognized for our accomplishments and our value to this industry,” said Sainte-Marie.

She added: “Because it’s not here yet.”

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Buffy Sainte-Marie, who won Indigenous music album of the year, called out the industry for a lack of female representation. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

Bublé breaks silence

Singer Michael Bublé, who hosted the evening, performed alongside jazz artist Diana Krall after a two-year hiatus from the stage. In 2016, he asked for privacy after his eldest son, Noah, was diagnosed with cancer at age three.

The musician’s wife, actress Luisana Lopilato, is now expecting their third child. Bublé told CBC News before the awards show that performing in his home city with his family and friends in the audience would be “emotional.”

Buble with wife Luisana Lopilato

Singer Michael Bublé and wife, actress Luisana Lopilato, are expecting their third child after taking time off from their careers to focus on their eldest son’s cancer treatment. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

“Going through what I’ve gone through has given me a lot of perspective,” he said on the Juno Awards red carpet. “I know what’s important for me and that’s my family and having integrity in my life.”

Despite the personal struggles, Bublé was upbeat and lighthearted on stage. He joked about the trajectory many nominees could take.

“I guarantee within four years, those same young acts will be the international megastars that won’t come home and do the Junos.”

For a full list of 2018 Juno Award winners, click here and check out the photo gallery from the red carpet below.

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