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Tanya Tagaq Beats Arcade Fire, Drake to Win Canada's Polaris Music Prize

Tanya Tagaq

Tanya Tagaq

Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq’s album Animism (Six Shooter Records) was named Canadian album of the year at the Polaris Music Awards Monday night (Sept. 22) in Toronto, beating out albums by Arcade Fire, Drake, Owen Pallett and six others. She collected the top honor having just finished performing her improvisational vocal acrobatics on the Carlu stage, earning the only standing ovation of the night from the predominantly industry crowd.

The decision to award Tagaq with the $30,000 prize was made during the gala ceremony, by a jury of 11 music journalists who were sequestered in another area of the venue to battle it out.

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Billboard caught up with her during a short press conference after the win and asked how she would spend the money.

“I’m probably gonna, to be honest, take care of my family,” she said. “I’m gonna give my girls a nice education, gonna share my money with these blokes [her bandmates]. Money just trickles away really quickly and I’m not gonna donate it to a special cause; I’m gonna donate it to my cause.”

Tagaq’s album was up against Arcade Fire’s Reflektor, Basia Bulat’s Tall Tall Shadow, ?Mac DeMarco’s Salad Days?, Drake’s Nothing Was The Same, ?Jessy Lanza’s Pull My Hair Back, ?Owen Pallett’s In Conflict?, Shad’s Flying Colours, Timber Timbre’s Hot Dreams? and Yamantaka //Sonic Titan's UZU.

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The annual award, which recognizes the album of year based on artistic merit, was launched in 2006 and modeled on the U.K.'s Mercury Music Prize.