July 5th, 2020

Alessia Cara wins a leading three Juno Awards at streaming ceremony


By David Friend, The Canadian Press on June 29, 2020.

Jessie Reyez reacts after accepting her award at the Juno Awards in London, Ont., Sunday, March 17, 2019. A lineup of familiar Canadian faces will be among the presenters on the Juno Awards' streaming broadcast tonight. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

TORONTO – Alessia Cara emerged the top winner at this year’s Juno Awards, scooping up three trophies in a pre-recorded 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.

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.

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.

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.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2020.

Follow @dfriend on Twitter.

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