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Nickelback's Chad Kroeger Goes Off-Mic, Jessie Reyez Wins Big & More at 30th Annual SOCAN Awards

Chad Kroeger
Grant W. Martin

Chad Kroeger attends the 2019 SOCAN Awards.

More than 700 songwriters, composers, music publishers and other assorted members of the music industry celebrated achievements in music creation, publishing and licensing at the 30th annual SOCAN Awards Monday night at Toronto's Sheraton Centre Hotel. 

To commemorate SOCAN's formation 30 years ago -- when Canadian performance rights organizations PROCAN and CAPAC merged -- the organization calculated the three “most-performed” awards in its history. "Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen, Josh Ramsay and Tavish Crowe received Most-Performed Song, Chad Kroeger of Nickelback achieved Most-Performed Songwriter and Jack Lenz was awarded Most-Performed Screen Composer. Other awards given throughout the evening recognized Canada's music creators in pop, film and television, hip-hop, dance music, rock, country and folk (see the full list of winners below). Each year renowned cymbal makers Sabian help to craft the awards themselves, which double as playable percussive instruments, incorporating five custom bronze crotales. 

Red Brick Songs won Publisher of the Year, a juried prize for the company which has made a significant impact on both the music business and the creative community in the last year.

"Congratulations to everyone tonight who has found a way to create and shine a light on a song," Red Brick founder Jennifer Mitchell said in her speech. "It’s not an easy thing to do in 2019, and your family might not understand what you do for a living, but we are all proof of the great talent that Canada has to offer."

The night began with a performance of “Call Me Maybe” by its co-writers. CBC Radio host George Stroumboulopoulos then inducted Buffy Sainte-Marie into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, saying that “Universal Soldier” was “one of the most important anti-war songs, if not the greatest anti-war song of all time.” He also noted Sainte-Marie is the only Indigenous person to ever win an Academy Award (for An Officer and a Gentleman’s “Up Where We Belong”).

“My earlier memories are of making up songs and playing music just for the fun of it, and 78 years later it’s still fun,” Sainte-Marie said onstage, adding enthusiastically, “I play music! Play music! I have so much respect for the art of the three-minute song. It’s like writing a newspaper article instead of a big book. It has to be brief, it has to be focused, it needs to be engaging and it needs to be charming. That’s what songwriters do -- that’s what you guys do.”

Upon receiving his Cultural Impact Award, Barenaked Ladies’ Ed Robertson told the audience he had been disheartened by losing his opportunity to write the theme for Shrek 2 (Counting Crows got it instead), but his wife convinced him to take a stab at The Big Bang Theory theme. He wrote the ditty in the shower, recorded it, and sent it to the showrunners before his conference call with TV producer Chuck Lorre, who loved it. 

Jessie Reyez was presented with the Breakout Songwriter Award and received two SOCAN Dance Music Awards for her work with Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa and Sam Smith. “It's crazy what one person can do and the way that they can change your life,” she said in her acceptance speech. So if you're in this room right now and you have a little bit of power and you have someone who's blowing up your phone, blowing up your emails or blowing up your Instagram saying, ‘Yo, listen to my shit or give me a shot or any advice,” I urge you guys to do it, man, because the shit can make a world of a difference to somebody and they won’t forget it.”

Murda Beatz accepted the International Achievement Award and a SOCAN Award in the Rap category for "Nice for What," co-written and performed by Drake, which sat for eight weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. “I’m sorry mom, I did not prepare a speech,” he said, going on to credit SOCAN with giving him “a little advance to go to L.A. with my manager and that trip changed my life.” He also gave a shout-out to the late Nipsey Hussle, with whom he did a song on the 2018 Grammy-nominated album Victory Lap. Coming from a small town, he said, “I just want to be living proof that you can do anything you want in the world. A lot of people told me I couldn’t do it. My principal told me that that there’s only one Dr Dre. I could not do this. Fuck him. I did it.”

Then it was time for Chad Kroeger, whose band Nickelback has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and whom his agent Ralph James of APA called “one of the finest guys you’ll ever meet.” He recalled hearing an early version of “How You Remind Me”: ”I had goosebumps and I knew everything was about to change."

To put it in perspective, as the Most-Performed Songwriter in SOCAN’s 30-year history, Kroeger has sold more albums than Canadian luminaries like Celine Dion, Drake, Neil Young, Avril Lavigne and Rush. When he took to the stage -- hungover, he admitted -- Kroeger talked about borrowing interest-free money from SOCAN to pay his taxes, called out the event for closing the bar and recalled missing his morning interviews because “I was drooling on myself and unconscious” from nights at famous Toronto strip joint the Brass Rail. Eventually he got around to thanking people in his camp including labels, management, his publicist and his business partner. 

“I’d like to thank all the fans, everybody who sang along to all my stupid songs in your cars, in bars, weddings, wherever you were, hopefully at one of my shows," he said in his acceptance speech. "Thank you for the $87.50 plus applicable taxes. I dig you.” He also talked writing songs, how lightning can strike “at the weirdest fuckin’ moments,” from in bed to funerals. “When it does, those things are fantastic.”

A complete list of winners at the 2019 SOCAN Awards in Toronto follows.

MOST PERFORMED SONGWRITER  IN THE HISTORY OF SOCAN
Chad Kroeger
 
MOST PERFORMED SONG IN THE HISTORY OF SOCAN 
"Call Me Maybe"
Performed by Carly Rae Jepsen
Carly Rae Jepsen
Josh Ramsay
Tavish Crowe
Jepsen Music Publishing
Regular Monkey Publishing
Crowe Music Publishing
Universal Music Publishing Canada
BMG Rights Management Canada Inc
 
MOST PERFORMED SCREEN COMPOSER IN THE HISTORY OF SOCAN
Jack Lenz
 
CULTURAL IMPACT AWARD
Ed Robertson
The Big Bang Theory
 
INTERNATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Shane "Murda Beatz" Lindstrom
 
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Ralph Murphy
 
SONGWRITERS OF THE YEAR
Performer
Drake
Producer
Adam "Frank Dukes" Feeney
 
PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR
Red Brick Songs
 
LICENSED TO PLAY AWARD
Bell Media
 
BREAKOUT SONGWRITER AWARD
Jessie Reyez
 
HAGOOD HARDY AWARD
Ernesto Cervini
 
JAN V. MATEJCEK NEW CLASSICAL MUSIC AWARD
Vincent Ho
 
SCREEN COMPOSER OF THE YEAR
Keith Power
 
FOLK / ROOTS MUSIC AWARD
Colter Wall
 
DANCE MUSIC AWARDS
"One Kiss"
Performed by Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa
Jessie Reyez
Dua Lipa (ASCAP)
Adam Wiles (ASCAP)
BMG Rights Management Canada Inc
 
"Promises"
Performed by Calvin Harris & Sam Smith
Jessie Reyez
Samuel Smith (PRS)
Adam Wiles (ASCAP)
BMG Rights Management Canada Inc.
 
"Body"
Performed by Loud Luxury featuring Brando
Joseph Depace
Andrew Fedyk
Nicholas Henriques
Cassio Lopes (ASCAP)
MARLON McClain (ASCAP)
MRD – Music Revenue Publishing
Ultra Tunes Canada
 
ROCK MUSIC AWARDS
"T-Shirt"
Performed by The Beaches
Leandra Earl
Eliza Enman-McDaniel
Jordan Miller
Kylie Miller
Nicole Morier (ASCAP)
 
"S.O.S. (Sawed Off Shotgun)"
Performed by The Glorious Sons
Brett Emmons
Jay Emmons
Chris Huot
Adam Paquette
Tom Peyton (BMI)
Shannon Poole (BMI)
Ryan Spraker (BMI)
Frederik Thaae (KODA)
Black Box Songs
BMG Rights Management Canada Inc
 
"The Mountain"
Performed by Three Days Grace
Gavin Brown
Neil Sanderson
Barry Stock
Brad Walst
Matthew Walst
Johnny Andrews (ASCAP)
Inside Pocket Inc
Purple Planes Publishing
Mean Music Publishing Inc
Riot Express Publishing Inc
Baby Cats Music Inc
CCS Rights Management Corp
Wixen Music Publishing Inc
Hyvetown Music Inc POP MUSIC AWARDS
 
"Pray for Me"
Performed by The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar
Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye
Martin "Doc" McKinney
Adam "Frank Dukes" Feeney
Kendrick Duckworth (ASCAP)
Anthony Tiffith (BMI)
Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd. Canada
EMI Blackwood Music Canada Ltd
 
"Better Now"
Performed by Post Malone
Adam "Frank Dukes" Feeney
Kaan Gunesberk
Louis Bell (ASCAP)
Austin Post (BMI)
Carl Rosen (BMI)
William Walsh (ASCAP)
EMI April Music Canada Ltd
 
"Never Be the Same"
Performed by Camila Cabello
Adam "Frank Dukes" Feeney
Camila Cabello (BMI)
Rami Dawood (SESAC)
Jacob Olofsson (STIM)
Jonnali Parmenius (STIM)
Alexandra Yatchenko (BMI)
EMI Blackwood Music Canada Ltd
 
"In My Feelings"
Performed by Drake
Aubrey Drake Graham
Noah "40" Shebib
Caresha Brownlee (ASCAP)
Dwayne "Lil Wayne" Carter (BMI)
Kinta Cox (ASCAP)
Stephen Garrett (ASCAP)
Orville Hall (ASCAP)
Darius Harrison (ASCAP)
Jatavia Johnson (ASCAP)
Renetta Lowe (BMI)
Adam Pigott (BMI)
Phillip Price (ASCAP)
James Scheffer (BMI)
Benjamin Workman (BMI)
Rex Zamor (BMI)
EMI April Music Canada Ltd
Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd. Canada
 
RAP MUSIC AWARDS
"God's Plan"
Performed by Drake
Aubrey Drake Graham
Noah "40" Shebib
Matthew "Boi-1da" Samuels
Daveon Jackson (BMI)
Brock Korsan (BMI)
Ronald La Tour (ASCAP)
Sandra Gale (ASCAP)
EMI April Music Canada Ltd
Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd. Canada
Sony/ATV Tunes
 
"Nice for What"
Performed by Drake
Aubrey Drake Graham
Noah "40" Shebib
Shane "Murda Beatz" Lindstrom
EMI April Music Canada Ltd
Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd. Canada
Warner Chappell Music Canada Ltd
 
"No Limit"
Performed by G-Eazy feat A$AP Rocky and Cardi B
Matthew "Boi 1da" Samuels
Belcalis Almanzar (ASCAP)
Jay Fort (BMI)
Gerald Gillum (ASCAP)
Edgar Machuca (BMI)
Rakim Mayers (BMI)
Klenord Raphael (ASCAP)
Allen Ritter (ASCAP)
Earl Taylor (ASCAP)
Jordan Thorpe (ASCAP)
Sony/ATV Music
 
R&B MUSIC AWARDS
"Best Part"
Performed by Daniel Caesar featuring H.E.R
Ashton Simmonds (a.k.a.Daniel Caesar)
Matthew Burnett
Jordan Evans
Riley Bell
Gabriella Wilson (ASCAP)
Robinson Heart Publishing
Sony/ATV Songs
 
DOMESTIC TV MUSIC AWARDS - FICTION
Murdoch Mysteries
Robert Carli
Shaftesbury Music
Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada
 
Heartland
Keith Power
Seven24 Films Inc
Dynamo Films Inc.
 
 
 
DOMESTIC TV MUSIC AWARDS – NON-FICTION
Border Security: Canada's Front Line
Greg Fisher
Derek Treffry
eOne TV Unscripted BC Inc.
ole
 
Sportsnet Central
Stephan Moccio
Murray Fleming
Sing Little Penguin
Rogers Sportsnet Inc
Universal Music Publishing Canada
 
DOMESTIC TV MUSIC AWARDS – ANIMATED
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
James Chapple
Graeme Cornies
David Kelly
Brian Pickett
 
Super Why
David Conlon
Peter Coulman
Steven D'Angelo
Rocco Gagliese
Terry Tompkins
ole
 
"Ain't Easy"
Performed by Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine
Elijah Woods
Jamie Fine
Camila Cabello (BMI)
Thomas Mann (PRS)
Zachary Skelton (ASCAP)
Ryan Tedder (GMR)
 
"In My Blood"
Performed by Shawn Mendes
Shawn Mendes
Geoff Warburton
Scott Friedman (ASCAP)
Teddy Geiger (BMI)
Mendes Music
Sony/ATV Songs
Universal Music Publishing Canada
 
"Jackie Chan"
Performed by Tiësto & Dzeko featuring Preme & Post Malone
Julian Dzeko
Raynford "Preme" Humphrey
Luis Raposo
Louis Bell (ASCAP)
Austin Post (BMI)
Tijs Verwest (BUMA)
Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd. Canada
 
"Not a Love Song"
Performed by bülow
Jamie Appleby
Megan Bulow
Alyssa Reid
Elizabeth Lowell Boland
Nathan Ferraro
Brenda Mullen
Michael Wise
Karl Wolf
Blue Dream Songs
Red Riding Hood Publishing
Wax On Wax Off Publishing
GalleryAC Music
Heart and Art Music
Hyvecity Music
BMG Rights Management Canada Inc
Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada
 
"Call Out My Name"
Performed by The Weeknd
Adam "Frank Dukes" Feeney
Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye
Nicolas Jaar (BMI)
EMI April Music Canada Ltd
Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd. Canada
 
"OTW"
Performed by Khalid, Ty Dolla $ign & 6lack
Anthony "Nineteen85" Jefferies
Tyrone Griffin Jr. (N/A)
Idan Kalai (N/A)
Brian Morgan (N/A)
Khalid Robinson (BMI)
Ricardo Valentine (N/A)
EMI April Music Canada Ltd
 
COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS
"Good Together"
Performed by James Barker Band
James Barker
Gavin Slate
Travis Wood
ole
 
"Walls Come Down"
Performed by Meghan Patrick
Meghan Patrick
Kelly Archer
Justin Weaver (ASCAP)
Iron Songbird Publishing
Jackoby Songs
ole
Downtown Music Canada
 
"Who's Gonna Love You"
Performed by Tebey
Tebey Ottoh
Ryan Lafferty (BMI)
BMG Rights Management Canada Inc
 
ACHIEVEMENT IN MADE-FOR-TV FILM MUSIC
My Daughter's Disgrace
Michael Nielson
ROP Musique
 
Newlywed and Dead
Michael Nielson
ROP Musique
 
INTERNATIONAL FILM MUSIC AWARDS
Trolls
Jeffrey Morrow
Jean Beck (SESAC)
Universal Music Publishing Canada
Storks
Jeff Danna
 
INTERNATIONAL TV SERIES MUSIC AWARDS
Paw Patrol
James Chapple
Graeme Cornies
David Kelly
Brian Pickett
 
Big Bang Theory
Ed Robertson
 
ACHIEVEMENT IN FEATURE FILM MUSIC
Maudie
Michael Timmins
 
Trolls
Jeffrey Morrow
Jean Beck (SESAC)
Universal Music Publishing Canada