Canadian R&B hitmaker The Weeknd dominated the 2016 Juno Awards, the country’s music awards, on Sunday night.
Also known as Abel Tesfaye, The Weeknd won for best single of the year for “Can’t Feel My Face,” and capped off the night by nabbing best album of the year honors for Beauty Behind the Madness. “Make some noise, Canada, make some noise,” the Toronto native, who recently claimed three top slots on Billboard‘s Hot R&B Songs chart, said when accepting his trophy in Calgary during a live gala ceremony airing on the CTV network.
In pre-telecast prize-giving on Saturday night, The Weeknd earned another three Junos, for best artist of the year, best songwriter and best R&B/soul recording for Beauty Behind the Madness. He beat competition from Drake, Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes and City and Colour.
But Bieber didn’t go away empty-handed after earning the Juno Fan Choice Award, voted on by ordinary music fans, and Pop Album of the Year. At the same time, Bieber’s prize-giving was greeted with audience boos after he didn’t personally show up in Calgary and appeared instead via an acceptance video.
The pop phenom faced the same audience booing at the 2014 Junos, when he also earned the Fan Choice Award as a no-show. (On Sunday night, his absence was explained since he was performing at the iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles.)
Sunday night’s 45th annual Juno Awards kicked off with Toronto band Walk Off the Earth taking the trophy for best group of the year. “If you have a dream, go out and go for it,” Walk Off the Earth lead singer Sarah Blackwood told the Calgary audience.
And Alessia Cara nabbed the best breakout artist of the year honors on the strength of her breakout coming-of-age anthem “Here.” “I’ve never made an acceptance speech before,” an emotional Cara declared after bounding on stage to accept her trophy.
Other award winners included Dean Brody winning the Juno for best country album of the year, for Gypsy Road. The 2016 Junos, hosted by Jann Arden and Jon Montgomery, included stage performances by The Weeknd, who performed “Acquainted” and “Might Not,” Shawn Mendes, Alessia Cara, Bryan Adams, Shawn Hook and Buffy Sainte-Marie.
Another emotional high point at the Junos was Burton Cummings, lead vocalist for the Guess Who before launching a solo career, being inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. “This belongs to all of you, I will always try to honor the music,” Cummings said on stage.