The Weeknd Tops 2021 Juno Award Nominations With 6 Nods

The weeknd abel tesfaye
Micaiah Carter

The Weeknd photographed on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles.

Jessie Reyez, JP Saxe and Justin Bieber were runners-up with five Juno nominations.

The Weeknd was famously snubbed in the nominations for the 63rd annual Grammy Awards, but the Canadian star received lots of love in his homeland: He is the leading nominee for the 50th Juno Awards, with six nods, including artist, album, single and songwriter of the year.

Jessie Reyez, JP Saxe and Justin Bieber were runners-up with five Juno nominations. Artists with three nominations include Ali Gatie, Céline Dion, Curtis Waters and Lennon Stella. The Junos announced that Dion’s three nods brings her career total to a record 73. Dion is nominated for album of the year for Courage. She won in the category for Unison (1991) and The Colour of My Love (1995).

The nominations were announced by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences on Tuesday (March 9) in a virtual presentation streamed live via

The Weeknd swept the Juno Awards five years ago. He won album of the year for Beauty Behind the Madness, single of the year for “Can’t Feel My Face” and also artist and songwriter of the year. The Weeknd had won artist of the year the previous year as well. If he wins that award again this year, he’ll become the first three-time winner in that category in Juno history.

The Weeknd’s After Hours is also nominated for contemporary R&B recording of the year. At the Grammys, it was slotted in the category of best pop vocal album, rather than best progressive R&B album, where it might have had a better chance of being nominated.

Alessia Cara, who won the Juno last year for songwriter of the year, is nominated again in that category. Her competition includes JP Saxe, who is Grammy-nominated this year for song of the year for “If the World Was Ending,” which he co-wrote with Julia Michaels.

Several current Grammy-nominated albums are nominated for Junos in equivalent categories. Bieber’s Changes, which is Grammy-nominated for best pop vocal album, is nominated here for pop album of the year (as well as album of the year). Kaytranada’s Bubba, Grammy-nominated for best dance/electronic album, is nominated here for dance recording of the year. Rufus Wainwright’s Unfollow the Rules, Grammy-nominated for best traditional pop vocal album, is nominated here for adult alternative album of the year.

Loud Luxury, which won group of the year last year, is back to defend its title. Its competition includes Arkells, three-time winners in the category.

Unlike the Grammys, the Junos have one fan-voted award -- Juno Fan Choice Presented by Freedom Mobile. Bieber, who won the award five times between 2011 and 2016, and Shawn Mendes, who won in 2017-18, are nominated again this year, along with three other past nominees – The Weeknd, Ali Gatie and NAV. They are joined by five first-time nominees in the category -- Curtis Waters, JP Saxe, Lennon Stella, Les Cowboys Fringants and Tate McRae.

This award measures fan intensity, as the voting rules make clear: “There are no limits to the number of times people can vote, so fans are encouraged to visit weekly, daily or by the hour...Voting is now open and Canadians are invited to vote for their favorite artist on TikTok, the official voting platform, and by visiting for all voting options."

The 50th Juno Awards will be broadcast on May 16 on CBC TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music. The show will stream globally on Awards in 37 categories, and some special awards, will be presented two nights earlier at what the Junos call their " opening night awards."

The Junos will take place at several iconic musical landmarks from across the country, including Budweiser Stage in Toronto. A full list of other locations will be released ahead of the Juno awards broadcast, which will be presented to an at-home only audience for the second year in a row.

The Tragically Hip will receive the 2021 Humanitarian Award, presented by Music Canada. The band has helped to raise millions of dollars for various social and environmental causes including Camp Trillium, The Canadian Cancer Society, the Sunnybrook Foundation and the Special Olympics. The band, which featured the late Gord Downie, was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

Jann Arden will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The honor was announced a year ago, but the induction was delayed because of the pandemic. Pegi Cecconi will receive the Walt Grealis special achievement award for her role in the development of many artists, including Rush. Gary Slaight will receive the 2021 MusiCounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award, presented by the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation, to recognize his philanthropic impact on music education in Canada.

Here are the nominees in selected top categories:

Juno fan choice (presented by Freedom Mobile) (fan-voted):

Ali Gatie (Warner)
Curtis Waters (BMG/Warner)
JP Saxe (Arista/Sony)
Justin Bieber (Def Jam/Universal)
Lennon Stella (Columbia/Sony)
Les Cowboys Fringants (Les disques de La Tribu/Propagande/Believe)
NAV (XO/UniversalDev)
Shawn Mendes (Island/Universal)
Tate McRae (RCA/Sony)
The Weeknd (The Weeknd XO/Republic/Universal)

Artist of the year (presented by Siriusxm Canada):

Ali Gatie (Warner)
Céline Dion (Columbia/Sony)
Jessie Reyez (FMLY/Island/Universal)
Justin Bieber (Def Jam/Universal)
The Weeknd (The Weeknd XO/Republic/Universal)

Album of the year (presented by Music Canada):

You, Ali Gatie (Warner)
Courage, Céline Dion (Columbia/Sony)
Changes, Justin Bieber (Def Jam/Universal)
Thanks for the Dance, Leonard Cohen (Sony)
After Hours, The Weeknd (The Weeknd XO/Republic/Universal)

Single of the year:

“Drink About Me,” Brett Kissel (Warner)
“If the World Was Ending,” JP Saxe feat. Julia Michaels (Arista/Sony)
“Intentions,” Justin Bieber feat. Quavo (Def Jam/Universal)
“Kissing Other People,” Lennon Stella (Columbia/Sony)
“Blinding Lights,” The Weeknd (The Weeknd XO/Republic/Universal)

Group of the year (presented by SiriusXM Canada):

Arkells (Arkells/Universal)
Half Moon Run (Crystal Math/Universal)
Loud Luxury (Armada/Sony)
The Glorious Sons (Black Box/Fontana North)
The Reklaws (Universal)

Breakthrough artist of the year (presented by Factor, the government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters):

Curtis Waters (BMG/Warner)
JP Saxe (Arista/Sony)
Powfu (Columbia/Sony)
Ryland James (Universal)
Tate McRae (RCA/Sony)

Breakthrough group of the year (presented by Factor, the government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters):

2Frères (Independent/Select)
Crown Lands (Universal)
Manila Grey (1z Co/The Orchard)
Peach Pit (Columbia/Figure 8)
Young Bombs Universal

Songwriter of the year (presented by SOCAN):

Alanis Morissette
Publisher – Epiphanies Publishing/Kobalt Songs Music Publishing

Alessia Cara
Publisher – Sony Music Publishing Canada

Jessie Reyez
Publisher – BMG Rights Management Canada

JP Saxe
Publisher – Sony Music Publishing Canada

The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye), Belly (Ahmad Balshe), & Jason “DaHeala” Quenneville
Publishers – Kobalt Songs Music Publishing, Warner Chappell Music Canada, & Universal Music Publishing Canada

Jack Richardson Producer Of The Year:

Akeel Henry
Jordon Manswell
Murda Beatz

International album of the year:

Music To Be Murdered By, Eminem (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope/Universal)
Fine Line, Harry Styles (Columbia*Sony)
What You See Ain’t Always What You Get, Luke Combs (Sony)
Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon, Pop Smoke (Victor/Victor/Republic/Universal)
folklore, Taylor Swift (Republic/Universal)

Here is the complete list of nominations.

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