The Weeknd, Drake, Shawn Mendes Lead 2017 Juno Awards Nominations

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret
The Weeknd performs during the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on Nov. 30, 2016 in Paris. 

The Weeknd, Drake and Shawn Mendes lead this year’s Juno Awards nominations with five apiece, The Canadian Academy of Recordings Arts and Sciences announced this morning from the spectacularly renovated and renamed Rebel nightclub (formerly Sound Academy) in Toronto.

Close behind that trio is Alessia Cara and the late Leonard Cohen, with four nominations each. It's also the second straight year that these familiar faces have dominated the Juno nominations; The Weeknd led all performers with six noms last year (he triumphed on the night by winning five), Drake had five, while Cara and Mendes both pulled in four nominations for the 2016 edition.

This year, Drake is up for fan choice, single, album, artist and rap recording (also the same five nominations he received in 2016); The Weeknd for fan choice, single, album, artist and R&B/soul recording; and Mendes for fan choice, single, album, artist and pop album. Cara is recognized in fan choice, single, artist and pop album; and Cohen for album, artist, songwriter, and adult alternative album.

It’s the third time in the Juno Awards' 46-year history that the honors will be held in Ottawa, Ontario, the nation’s capitol. But this year is special: 2017 coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation, "the country’s biggest party," as CARAS president and CEO Allen Reid put it.

“The Juno Awards and the Ottawa host committee are hard at work planning Juno Week, and we think it’s going to be one of the best you’ve ever seen,” Reid said of the days-long festivities (March 27 - April 2), leading up the awards, which includes a music festival, songwriters circle, fan (autograph) fest, and the always-entertaining Juno Cup charity hockey game between artists and former NHL hockey players.

The Junos are also bringing back the famed VIA Rail Juno train, the party express that leaves from Toronto and Montreal to take nominees and members of the press and industry to Ottawa. The awards themselves are spread out over two nights, the majority given out at a private gala dinner on April 1, followed the next evening, April 2, by the two-hour televised show on CTV from the Canadian Tire Centre.

Performers include Mendes, Cara, The Strumbellas, A Tribe Called Red and Ruth B, and will include a tribute to CARAS’ MusiCounts education charity, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year (“To date, MusiCounts has contributed more than $9 million worth of instruments to kids who need it the most, all across this country,” said Reid). Additional acts will be announced in the coming weeks.

Previously announced were the big awards -- Sarah McLachlan will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame; Randy Lennox will be honored with the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award; and Buffy Sainte-Marie with the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award.

In the Junos' only non-Canadian category, Ariana Grande’s Dangerous Woman; Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams; One Direction’s Made in the A.M.; Rihanna’s Anti; and Sia’s This is Acting will go head-to-head in the international album category.

In album of the year, The Weeknd’s Starboy; Mendes’ Illuminate; Drake’s Views; Cohen’s You Want It Darker; and Celine Dion’s Encore un Soir will do battle. Group of the year will be between Billy Talent, The Tragically Hip, the Strumbellas, Tegan and Sara and the Arkells.

There are nine triple nominees:

Gord Downie for songwriter, adult alternative album and video of the year; Grimes for alternative album, recording package and video; Tegan and Sara for group, songwriter and pop album; A Tribe Called Red for electronic album, producer and video; the Strumbellas for fan choice, single and group; Tory Lanez for fan choice, breakthrough artist and rap recording; Andy Shauf for breakthrough artist, adult alternative album and recording engineer; Ruth B for fan choice, breakthrough artist and songwriter; and 2016 Polaris Music Prize winner Kaytranda for breakthrough artist, video and electronic album.

Check the full list of nominees here.


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