Arcade Fire might have won big at last night’s Juno Awards, but the emcee for the evening, up-and-coming rap artist Drake who led the pack with six nominations, left empty-handed.
It was the 40th anniversary for the awards show, which honours Canadian musicians and bands. In the past most hosts have won an award – Nelly Furtado took home five Junos when she hosted in 2007, while country beaut Shania Twain won three awards as emcee in 2003. The Canadian Press pointed out that hosts the Barenaked Ladies (2002) and Alanis Morissette in (2004) didn’t win the years they hosted, however they hadn’t released any new music those years either – but Drake’s debut album Thank Me Later debuted at number one upon its release last June (he also won two Junos last year).
Neil Young received the Juno for Artist of the Year, while teen heartthrob Justin Bieber won pop album of the year along with the Juno fan choice award chosen by the public. Arcade Fire, who originally hails from Montreal, won four awards including album of the year, group of the year and songwriter of the year following the release of their third album The Suburbs (they were nominated for five Junos). "Thank you so much. It’s a long way from Sneaky Dee’s the first time we played in Toronto," said lead singer Win Butler (as reported by the Winnipeg Free Press) during his acceptance speech at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. He later said, "We kind of have the freedom to go make a record how we want to make it and have people hear it. That’s a real blessing,