'Insensitive' Singer Jann Arden Chosen for Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Isaiah Trickey/FilmMagic
Jann Arden arrives on the red carpet at the 2019 Juno Awards at London Convention Centre on March 17, 2019 in London, Canada.

Jann Arden, who had her breakout hit in the U.S. with "Insensitive" in the 90s, will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame this March at the Juno Awards, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced on Tuesday.

The multi-platinum-selling singer, with 14 albums to her name, 19 top 10 Canadian singles, and a hit TV sitcom, Jann, released her most recent album in 2018, These Are The Days.

The induction will take place March 15 during the 49th annual Juno Awards telecast from SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The Calgary native will also perform live. Known for her comedy chops, Arden hosted the Junos back in 1997 and co-hosted in 2016. This year's master of ceremonies has not yet been announced.

"I am so honoured to be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame," she said in a statement. "I've spent my career creating and performing music that I hoped would resonate with others. I feel incredibly humbled to be recognized with this award and to join such an esteemed group of past honourees whose art has helped connect us to one another as Canadians."

CARAS said Arden is "the first" hall of fame inductee for 2020, implying there will be others. CARAS has been trying to play catch up for many years, and this past October staged a standalone industry-only event at Calgary's Studio Bell, part of the National Music Centre, inducting Andy Kim, bands Chilliwack and Cowboy Junkies, plus the late Bobby Curtola.

"Jann is a multi-dimensional artist who has been entertaining and captivating audiences for over 25 years," said CARAS CEO/president Allan Reid.  "I've had the great pleasure of working closely with Jann over the years and I have so much respect for her as a songwriter and as a performer but equally for her tenacity and grit. She's respected and adored for her catalogue of heartfelt music, unapologetic honesty and entertaining quick wit, we are thrilled to welcome her into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame."

Added manager Bruce Allen: "Jann Arden being inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame is validation of an outstanding career. A career that is still on the rise with no end in sight."

Arden was Reid's first signing in the early 90s, when he was head of A&R for PolyGram (now Universal), and Arden remains with the company today. A rock ‘n' roll guy with long hair at the time, Reid had wanted to sign a rock band in this burgeoning era of grunge music. Instead, he threw on Arden's cassette after he had a fight with his girlfriend and has said, "All of a sudden the music totally spoke to me."  

Her debut album, Time For Mercy, in 1993, featured her first hit, "I Would Die For You." The follow-up, Living Under June, contained her first U.S. hit "Insensitive," which peaked at No. 12 in 1996 and spent 40 weeks on the chart.

Arden went on to win eight Juno Awards,10 SOCAN Awards, four Western Canadian Music Awards, a MuchMusic Video Award, three Prairie Music Awards and an Alberta Recording Industry Association Award. 

She also has a star on Canada's Walk of Fame, was inducted into the Western Canadian Music Alliance Hall of Fame and Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, as well as country's biggest honor presented to a civilian, the Order of Canada.

Established in 1978, The Canadian Music Hall of Fame recognizes Canadian artists who have made outstanding contributions to spotlighting Canadian music here at home and/or on the international stage. These four join such inductees as Joni Mitchell, k.d. lang, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Oscar Peterson, Rush, Anne Murray, The Guess Who, The Tragically Hip and Shania Twain.

In 2016 the Canadian Music Hall of Fame found a permanent home with the opening of Studio Bell. NMC will launch an exhibition celebrating Arden on March 20, featuring artifacts and memorabilia from her collection.

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