The 2015 Juno nominees were announced this morning with a mix of legends, stalwarts and newcomers that once again represent the vast diversity and quality of Canada's music scene.
This is perhaps best symbolized by the Juno Awards Artist of the Year category, which mixed together the likes of Leonard Cohen, Deadmau5, The Weeknd, Bryan Adams and Sarah McLachlan.
2015 will also be a big year for breakthrough acts, with multiple nominations for dance-pop star Kiesza and reggae-pop group Magic! on the strengths of their big summer singles "Hideaway" and "Rude," respectively. In fact, there were 86 first-time nominees this year, a list which also includes Shawn Mendes, our new, better Bieber.
The album of the year category, which is sales-based, is actually one of the weaker categories with Leonard Cohen's acclaimed "Popular Problems" facing off against Hedley's "Wildlife" and Nickelback's "No Fixed Address" as well as French-Canadian stars Bobby Bazini with "Where I Belong" and Serge Fiori's self-titled album.
The genre categories are typically stronger at the Junos, and that proved to be the case once again with Polaris-winner Tanya Tagaq landing a best alternative album nomination for "Animism" (she also got a best Aboriginal album and her producer Jesse Zubot got a production nom) alongside Alvvays, July Talk, Timber Timbre and Chad VanGaalen.
Plastikman, Deadmau5, Ryan Hemsworth, Caribou and Lydia Ainsworth all landed best electronic album nominations while Saukrates, Tre Mission, Marco Polo, P Reign and Naturally Born Strangers are vying for best rap recording. Drake landed a a best single nod for "Hold On, I'm Going Home," which was inexplicably not nominated last year, though his big 2014 hit, "0 to 100" was not.
Oh, and Raffi and Fred Penner will be fighting it out for best children's album.
This year's most unexpected snubs were Death From Above 1979's long-awaited comeback album "The Physical World" and young jazz hip-hop fusionists BadBadNotGood's "III", both missing out on nominations. Also somewhat unexpected was the multiple nominations for You + Me, a duo of Juno-fave Dallas Green and not-Canadian pop star Pink.
Kiesza, Magic!, Shawn Mendes, Hedley and hometown heroes Arkells are among the nominees so far announced to be performing at the Juno Awards in Hamilton on March 15, airing on CTV.
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