Polaris Music Prize 2020 Long List Includes The Weeknd, Jessie Reyez, Daniel Caesar

The Weeknd
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

The Weeknd attends the premiere of A24's "Uncut Gems" at The Dome at ArcLight Hollywood on Dec. 11, 2019 in Hollywood.

The long list for the 2020 Polaris Music Prize -- an annual award that celebrates the best Canadian album released over the past year -- was announced this week.

The 40-album list includes a mixture of high-profile, independent and emerging artists, including The Weeknd, Jessie Reyez, U.S. Girls, dvsn, Daniel Caesar, Wares and Allie X. Previous Polaris winners who made the long list this year include Owen PallettKaytranada, Caribou and Lido Pimienta, who were nominated for their albums Island, Bubba, Suddenly and Miss Colombia, respectively.

To qualify for this year’s honor, albums must have been released between June 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020. A total of 223 albums were considered for the 2020 long list, as determined by a 201-member jury comprised of music journalists, broadcasters and bloggers.

The long list will eventually be culled down to a short list of 10 albums, set to be announced July 15 during a CBC Music radio special. Eleven members of the jury will then be selected to serve on a grand jury that will choose this year’s winner.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the 2020 Polaris winner -- normally revealed during a splashy awards ceremony -- will be announced live on the CBC Gem streaming service and via the CBC Music website during a “special cinematic event” this fall. Like every year, the winner will receive $50,000 CAD, while shortlisted artists will receive $3,000 CAD each courtesy of Slaight Music.

Last year’s Polaris winner, rapper Haviah Mighty, took home the prize for her album 13th Floor.

The Polaris Music Prize is considered one of Canada’s most prestigious music awards; in addition to the cash prize, winners receive a level of attention and renown that is highly coveted in the Canadian music industry.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story left out Owen Pallett's name on the list of previous Polaris Music Prize winners. Pallett won the inaugural Polaris prize for his 2006 album He Poos Clouds, which he released under the name Final Fantasy. We regret the error.

The 2020 Polaris Music Prize long list is: 

Allie X – Cape God Anachnid – Dreamweaver

Aquakultre – Legacy

Marie-Pierre Arthur – Des feux pour voir

Backxwash – God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It

Badge Époque Ensemble – Badge Époque Ensemble

Begonia – Fear

P’tit Belliveau – Greatest Hits Vol. 1

Caribou – Suddenly

Daniel Caesar – CASE STUDY 01

Chocolat – Jazz engagé

Louis-Jean Cormier – Quand la nuit tombe

Corridor – Junior

dvsn – A Muse In Her Feelings

Jacques Greene – Dawn Chorus

Sarah Harmer – Are You Gone

Ice Cream – FED UP

Junia-T – Studio Monk

Kaytranada – Bubba

Flore Laurentienne – Volume 1

Cindy Lee – What’s Tonight To Eternity?

Men I Trust – Oncle Jazz

nêhiyawak – nipiy

OBUXUM – Re-Birth

Owen Pallett – Island

Pantayo – Pantayo

Lido Pimienta – Miss Colombia

Joel Plaskett – 44

William Prince – Reliever

Jessie Reyez – BEFORE LOVE CAME TO KILL US

Andy Shauf – The Neon Skyline

Riit – ataataga

Super Duty Tough Work – Studies in Grey

U.S. Girls – Heavy Light

Leif Vollebekk – New Ways

Wares – Survival

The Weeknd – After Hours

WHOOP-Szo – Warrior Down

Witch Prophet – DNA Activation

Zen Bamboo – GLU

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