Music

In Canada: This Unsung Canadian Cleaned Up at the Grammys — Plus, Here Come the Juno Awards

From Celine Dion to Joni Mitchell and Allison Russell, Canadian artists made a big splash at the Grammys last weekend

But there’s one Canadian music executive who also cleaned up. She may be the wealthiest, most influential, yet under-the-radar woman in the country’s music industry: Golnar Khosrowshahi of independent publishing and management company, Reservoir Media.

Among the 10 Grammy honours for Reservoir Media is Joni Mitchell at Newport, who won in the folk album category. The legendary singer-songwriter also made her Grammy performance debut. Following a brain aneurysm in 2015, Mitchell had stopped performing, but in 2022 she made a triumphant comeback at the Newport Folk Festival, bringing her living room jam sessions — Joni Jams — to the festival stage. At the awards, she took the stage accompanied by frequent collaborator Brandi Carlile, cello and violin duo SistaStrings, and Canadian Allison Russell on clarinet.

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The NYC-based Reservoir firm has offices in L.A., Nashville, Toronto, London and Abu Dhabi and signed Mitchell to an all-encompassing global music publishing admin deal in 2021. 

Notably, Reservoir is owned by the Iranian-Canadian Khosrowshahi family, who founded and then sold the Future Shop home electronics chain to Best Buy in 2001 for $580M. Reservoir is run by daughter Golnar, a classically trained pianist with impeccable business credentials. 

The music firm now represents 150,000 copyrights and 36,000 master recordings that include the Tommy Boy and Chrysalis catalogues.

In addition to Joni Mitchell, Reservoir also represented winners by boygenius, SZA and Killer Mike. – David Farrell, Rosie Long Decter and Richard Trapunski

Charlotte Cardin Tops 2024 Juno Awards Nominations

Charlotte Cardin has earned the most nominations for the 2024 Juno Awards. The breakthrough Montreal pop singer-songwriter got six nods, including artist of the year, album of the year and pop album of the year (99 NIGHTS), single of the year (“Confetti”) and TikTok Fan Choice. She’s also nominated for songwriter of the year.

Daniel Caesar and TALK follow with five nods each. Allison Russell, Aysanabee, Connor Price, Lauren Spencer Smith, Tate McRae and DVBBS each received three nominations.

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The nominations were announced on Feb. 6 in a press conference at the CBC Building. Comeback artist Nelly Furtado, who’ll be performing as well as hosting the broadcast ceremony, was a surprise guest at the nominees announcement. She also received a nomination for “Eat Your Man,” her collaboration with Dom Dolla, for dance recording of the year.

Punjabi-Canadian artist Karan Aujla, a cover star for Billboard Canada’s inaugural digital cover, was also nominated for breakthrough artist of the year and announced as a performer at the Junos ceremony at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax on March 24. He follows fellow cover star AP Dhillon, who played the first full Punjabi performance at the awards last year. Joining Aujla as performers will be country breakout Josh Ross and singer-songwriter TALK.

Another Punjabi-Canadian artist, Shubh, is nominated for the TikTok Fan Choice, a fan-voted award, along with Aujla, Cardin, Ross, Caesar, DVBBS, Tate McRae, ThxSoMch and Walk off the Earth.

McRae’s “greedy,” which has topped the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 multiple times, is also nominated for single of the year, along with Cardin’s “Confetti,” Caesar’s “Always,” LU KALA’s “Pretty Girl Era,” and TALK’s “A Little Bit Happy.”

Nominated with Cardin for album of the year are Néo-Romance by Alexandra Stréliski, NEVER ENOUGH by Daniel Caesar, Mirror by Lauren Spencer Smith and Lord of the Flies & Birds & Bees by TALK.

Cardin, Caesar, Smith and McRae, all relatively young artists, are all nominated for artist of the year as well, along with the legacy artist of the category, Shania Twain.

The Junos will be broadcast live on CBC from Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre on Sunday, March 24. Tickets for the show and the JUNO Week events are on sale at ticketmaster.ca/junos. The majority of the awards will be presented at The Juno Opening Night Awards the night before the main ceremony on March 23.

Find the full list of nominations here and interviews from the red carpet at ca.billboard.com – Richard Trapunski

How Canadian Music Took Over 2024 NHL All-Star Weekend

Toronto was alive with music at the 2024 NHL All-Star Weekend – not just on the ice, but all around the city. As the hockey spectacle returned to the city for the first time since 2000, and to Canada for the first time since 2012, the multiple-day event brought live music from major stars including Nelly Furtado, the Kid Laroi and Diplo. 

As the stars of the game played each other in skills competitions and 3-on-3 hockey, music was an integral component. Each of the four teams chosen by an NHL player was co-captained by a celebrity: Tate McRae, Justin Bieber, Michael Bublé and Will Arnett. They weren’t just there to sit on the bench, but they helped choose each team at the player draft on Thursday night (Feb. 1). Bieber even helped out with the players’ on-ice warm-ups.

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“We went all-in [with music] this year,” said Steve Mayer, the NHL’s Chief Content Officer. “We’re so happy that we have what represents not only the best in the NHL coming here, but in our minds, the best in Canadian music. And being here in Canada with seven Canadian teams, we better know our Canadian music.”

The headliner of this year’s NHL All-Star Game was one of the biggest artists in the world. McRae comes from a hockey family, and the sport’s culture is a major part of her current image. So it felt natural to see her perform on three different stages on the ice in a glittery top with six dancers and the production value you might see at a big award show.

“For the past year or two years now, I feel like I’ve fully immersed myself in the hockey world,” McRae told Billboard Canada.

Michael Bublé said he’s proud seeing what McRae has accomplished and called her before the game.

“I told her I was happy for and proud for her,” he remarked. “And as a Canadian, it made me happy to see another young Canadian breaking through….Honestly, we’re kind of dominating music right now. We are sending a ton of artists out there, and we’ve already got a ton of career artists out there. This little place made a bunch of great ones.”

The star factor revved way up on Thursday night (Feb. 1), when Justin Bieber played an invite-only concert at the 2,500-capacity venue History, his first gig in over a year. Diplo, The Kid Laroi and Nelly Furtado also played at concerts over the weekend, but Bieber’s was the one that captured the most headlines and social media attention in a set that spanned his whole career. – Richard Trapunski

Last Week In Canada: Drake’s OVO Sound Partners With Santa Anna

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