JUNO Awards 2021 nominees

Leonard Cohen, Céline Dion and Shay Lia

The JUNO Awards unveil all the 2021 nominees

Leonard Cohen, Céline Dion and Shay Lia are just some of the Montrealers who cracked this year’s list.

The JUNO Awards have announced their full list of 2021 nominees. This will be the semi-centennial edition of the award show, which has celebrated the best in Canadian music since 1971, when it launched as the Gold Leaf Awards. The Weeknd leads this year’s JUNO Awards nominee list, with a hefty six nods.

There are a number of Montreal acts who were nominated at this year’s JUNO Awards. Half Moon Run, Shay Lia, CRi and Kataklysm are among the many from the city to receive their due diligence. The late Leonard Cohen also received a posthumous nomination for album of the year.

juno awards toronto
JUNO Awards 2021

The 50th JUNO Awards take place on May 16 in Toronto. See the full list of nominees below:

Album of the Year

  • You, Ali Gatie
  • Courage, Céline Dion
  • Changes, Justin Bieber
  • Thanks for the Dance, Leonard Cohen
  • After Hours, the Weeknd
The JUNO Awards unveil all the 2021 nominees

Single of the Year

  • “Drink About Me,” Brett Kissel
  • “If the World was Ending,” JP Saxe featuring Julia Michaels
  • “Intentions,” Justin Bieber featuring Quavo
  • “Kissing Other People,” Lennon Stella
  • “Blinding Lights,” the Weeknd 

Juno Fan Choice Award

  • Ali Gatie
  • Curtis Waters
  • JP Saxe
  • Justin Bieber
  • Lennon Stella
  • Les Cowboys Fringants
  • Nav
  • Shawn Mendes
  • Tate McRae
  • The Weeknd 

International Album of the Year

  • Music to be Murdered By, Eminem
  • Fine Line, Harry Styles
  • What you see Ain’t Always What you Get, Luke Combs
  • Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon, Pop Smoke
  • Folklore, Taylor Swift

READ: Eminem, Music to be Murdered By Review

Artist of the Year

  • Ali Gatie
  • Céline Dion
  • Jessie Reyez
  • Justin Bieber
  • The Weeknd 

Group of the year

  • Arkells
  • Half Moon Run
  • Loud Luxury
  • The Glorious Sons
  • The Reklaws 
The JUNO Awards unveil all the 2021 nominees

Songwriter of the year

  • Alanis Morissette:”Ablaze”, “Reasons I Drink”, “Smiling” (co-songwriter Michael Farrell, Such Pretty Forks in the Road).
  • Alessia Cara: “Hell and High Water,” Major Lazer featuring Alessia Cara (co-songwriters Bas Van Daalen, Jasper Helderman, Mickey Karbal, Philip Meckseper, Thomas Pentz, Music is the Weapon); “I Choose” (co-songwriters Brayden Deskins, Colton Fisher, Diana Studenberg, Jason Rabinowitz, Jon Levine, Jordyn Kane, Kris Pearn, Mark Mothersbaugh, I Choose); “Welcome Back,” Ali Gatie featuring Alessia Cara (co-songwriters Ali Gatie, Amy Allen, Blake Slatkin, Welcome Back).
  • Jessie Reyez: “Coffin” featuring Eminem (co-songwriters Andre Robertson, Marshall Mathers, Tobias Frelin, Before Love Came to Kill Us); “Far Away” (co-songwriters Rogét Chahayed, Vegyn (Joseph Thornalley), Far Away); “No one’s in the Room” (co-songwriters Dernst Emile II, Jordan Ullman, Before Love Came to Kill Us).
  • JP Saxe: “A Little Bit Yours” (co-songwriters Alex St. Kitts, Benjamin Rice, Ryan Marrone, A Little bit of Yours); “Golf on TV,” Lennon Stella featuring JP Saxe (co-songwriters Lennon Stella, Ruslan Odnoralov, Simon Wilcox; Three. Two. One.); “If the World was Ending,” JP Saxe featuring Julia Michaels (co-songwriter Julia Michaels, Hold it Together).
  • The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye), Belly (Ahmad Balshe), and Jason “DaHeala” Quenneville: “After Hours” (co-songwriters Carlo “Illangelo” Montagnese, Mario Winans); “Blinding Lights,” “Save Your Tears” (co-songwriters Max Martin, Oscar Holter, After Hours).

Breakthrough artist of the year

  • Curtis Waters
  • JP Saxe 
  • Powfu 
  • Ryland James 
  • Tate McRae

Breakthrough group of the year

  • 2Frères
  • Crown Lands
  • Manila Grey
  • Peach Pit
  • Young Bombs

Country album of the year

  • Timeless, Dallas Smith
  • Jade Eagleson, Jade Eagleson
  • Heart theory, Lindsay Ell
  • Drinkin’ Songs: The Collection, MacKenzie Porter
  • The Lemonade Stand, Tenille Townes 

Adult alternative album of the year

  • Sad Hunk, Bahamas
  • Are You in Love?, Basia Bulat
  • Fear, Begonia
  • Unfollow the Rules, Rufus Wainwright
  • Are You Gone, Sarah Harmer 

Alternative album of the year

  • Pity Party, Curtis Waters
  • The Sun and Her Scorch, Dizzy
  • Pray for It, July Talk
  • This Place Sucks Ass, Pup
  • Heavy Light, U.S. Girls

Pop album of the year

  • It’s Never Really Over, Johnny Orlando
  • Hold it Together, JP Saxe
  • Changes, Justin Bieber
  • Three. Two. One., Lennon Stella
  • Ryland James, Ryland James 

Rock album of the year

  • Crown Lands, Crown Lands
  • Ruthless, JJ Wilde
  • Colorado, Neil Young & Crazy Horse
  • All of Us, Sam Roberts Band
  • A Beautiful Place to Drown, Silverstein 

Vocal jazz album of the year

  • This Dream of You, Diana Krall
  • Out of Dust, Laila Biali
  • Sinatra, Matt Dusk
  • With You, Sammy Jackson
  • Clémence, Sophie Day 

Jazz album of the year: solo

  • Gang of Three, Andrés Vial
  • Básico, No Básico y Dirigido, Elmer Ferrer
  • Elegant Traveler, Jocelyn Gould
  • Conpambiche, Junior Santos
  • Vena, Rachel Therrien 

Jazz album of the year: group

  • The reMission, Andy Milne and Unison
  • Surfboard, Brandi Disterheft Trio with George Coleman
  • Rythme de passage, Emie R Roussel Trio
  • First Spring, Florian Hoefner Trio
  • Trane of Thought, Live at the Rex, Pat LaBarbera/Kirk MacDonald

Instrumental album of the year

  • Movements III, Blitz//Berlin
  • Crowing Ignites, Bruce Cockburn
  • Eleven Words, David Foster
  • Volume 1, Flore Laurentienne
  • Prior Street, Gordon Grdina 

Album francophone de l’année

  • À tous les vents, 2Frères
  • Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs, Klô Pelgag
  • Les antipodes, Les Cowboys Fringants
  • Quand la nuit tombe, Louis-Jean Cormier
  • Pour déjouer l’ennui, Pierre Lapointe 

Children’s album of the year

  • Letters and Numbers, ABC Singsong
  • Goodnight to you All: Traditional Lullabies from Ireland & the UK, Charlie Hope
  • Small But Mighty, Ginalina
  • J’aime mon école, Njacko Backo and Kalimbas at Work
  • Heart Parade, Splash’N Boots 

Classical album of the year: solo or chamber

  • Mosaïque, Ensemble Made In Canada
  • Bach & Brahms Reimagined, James Ehnes, Jon Kimura Parker, Jens Lindemann
  • Beethoven: Violin Sonatas Nos. 4, 5 & 8, James Ehnes with Andrew Armstrong
  • La Peste, Les Barocudas
  • Ana Sokolović: Short Stories, Quatuor Bozzini 

Classical album of the year: large ensemble

  • Mozart: Concertos pour piano/Piano Concertos Nos. 22 & 24, Les Violons du Roy, conducted by Jonathan Cohen, featuring Charles Richard-Hamelin
  • Saint-Saëns: Piano Concertos Nos. 3, 5, & Other Works, Louis Lortie with BBC Philharmonic, conducted by Edward Gardner
  • Jacques Hétu: Concertos, Orchestre symphonique de Laval, conducted by Alain Trudel, featuring Jean-Philippe Sylvestre
  • Ginastera – Bernstein – Moussa: Œuvres pour violon et orchestre/Works for Violin and Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, conducted by Kent Nagano, featuring Andrew Wan
  • Penderecki: St. Luke Passion, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal with Kraków Philharmonic Choir & Warsaw Boys’ Choir, conducted by Kent Nagano 

Classical album of the year: vocal or choral

  • La passione, Barbara Hannigan with Ludwig Orchestra
  • Massenet: Thaïs, Erin Wall, Joshua Hopkins, Andrew Staples, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir with Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis
  • Nuits blanches: Airs d’opéra à la cour de Russie au XVIIe siècle/Opera Arias at the Russian Court of the 18th Century, Karina Gauvin with Pacific Baroque Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Weimann
  • Sea Dreams, Luminous Voices conducted by Timothy Shantz
  • Sarah Slean and Symphony Nova Scotia, Sarah Slean with Symphony Nova Scotia, conducted by Bernhard Gueller 

Classical composition of the year

  • Take the dog Sled, Alexina Louie
  • Commedia dell’arte, Ana Sokolović Collection
  • Harbour, Anna Höstman
  • Violin Concerto “Adrano,”Samy Moussa 
  • Tachitipo, Zosha Di Castri 

Rap recording of the year

  • New Mania, 88Glam
  • Baby Gravy 2, bbno$ & Yung Gravy
  • Cold World, Eric Reprid
  • Good Intentions (Brown Boy 2 Deluxe Version), Nav
  • Elements Vol. 1, Tobi
The JUNO Awards unveil all the 2021 nominees

Dance recording of the year

  • Mine, Felix Cartal, Sophie Simmons
  • Dancing in the Dark, Frank Walker
  • Bubba, Kaytranada
  • Someone Else, Rezz and Grabbitz
  • Voices, So Sus 

Contemporary R&B recording of the year

  • Before Love Came to Kill Us, Jessie Reyez
  • Where you Are, Savannah Ré
  • Solaris, Shay Lia
  • After Hours, The Weeknd
  • Holiday, Tobi

READ: Cult MTL’s May 2019 Shay Lia cover story

Reggae recording of the year

  • “Give it All,” Ammoye
  • “Black Man,” Blessed
  • “Roots Rock,” Dubmatix featuring Micah Shemaiah, Lasai & Big Sugar
  • “Let it be Done,” Kirk Diamond
  • “I Pray,” Töme and Sean Kingston 

Indigenous artist or group of the year

  • Kîyânaw, Burnstick
  • Church House Blues, Crystal Shawanda
  • The Ridge, Julian Taylor
  • North Star Calling, Leela Gilday
  • Nunarjua Isulinginniani, Terry Uyarak 

Contemporary roots album of the year

  • The Ridge, Julian Taylor
  • North Star Calling, Leela Gilday
  • Bravado, Rose Cousins
  • Chickaboom!, Tami Neilson
  • Reliever, William Prince 

Traditional roots album of the year

  • All Hands, Beòlach
  • Debout!, Le Diable à Cinq
  • 13 or So, Nick Hornbuckle
  • Bet on Love, Pharis & Jason Romero
  • The Thing About Fish, Rum Ragged 

Blues album of the year

  • Hell Bent With Grace, Angel Forrest
  • Church House Blues, Crystal Shawanda
  • Spirits in the Water, Dione Taylor
  • Solar Powered Too, Rick Fines
  • The Reckless One, Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar 

Contemporary Christian/gospel album of the year

  • All Things New, Allen Froese
  • The Cure, K-Anthony
  • Alive & Breathing, Matt Maher
  • The Way, Shawna Cain
  • Wouldn’t you Love to Know?, Steve Bell

World music album of the year

  • VelkomBak, Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra
  • The Gold Diggers, Lengaïa Salsa Brava
  • Patria, Mazacote
  • Espiral, Okan
  • Kora Flamenca, Zal Sissokho 

Jack Richardson producer of the year

  • Akeel Henry: “Rain,” Trey Songz featuring Swae Lee (co-producer Mike “DZL” Holmes, Back Home); “Spell My Name,” Toni Braxton (co-producer Antonio Dixon, Spell my Name)
  • Jordon Manswell: “Fallin'” (co-producers Jonathan Martin, Toni Braxton, Spell my Name); “Home,” Dylan Sinclair (Proverb)
  • Kaytranada: “10%,” Kaytranada featuring Kali Uchis (Bubba); “Frontstreet (Freestyle),” Mick Jenkins (Frontstreet (Freestyle))
  • Murda Beatz: “motive,” Ariana Grande with Doja Cat (co-producers Joseph L’Étranger, Mr. Franks, Tommy Brown, Positions); “Say You Love Me,” Chris Brown & Young Thug (co-producers Joseph L’Étranger, OG Parker, Slime & B
  • WondaGurl: “Aim for the Moon,” Pop Smoke featuring Quavo (co-producers 5ive Beatz, 808Melo, Dani, Dez Wright, Tyy Beats, Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon); “Gang Gang,” Jackboys and Sheck Wes (co-producer Vou, Jackboys)

READ: Cult MTL Dec. 2016 Kaytranada cover story

Recording engineer of the year

  • George Seara:”Good Love,” “Take Me Home”(Shawn Hook, Take me Home)
  • Jason Dufour: “All of the Feelings” (Kiesza, Crave); “Whiskey Tonight” (Jade Eagleson, Jade Eagleson)
  • Johann Deterville: “Home” (Dylan Sinclair, Proverb); “La Memoria” (Jessie Reyez, Before Love Came to Kill Us)
  • John “Beetle” Bailey: “The End of a Love Affair” (Micah Barnes, Vegas Breeze); “The Grand Bazaar,” Sultans of String featuring Béla Fleck and Robi Botos (Sultans of String, Refuge)
  • Serban Ghenea:”Blinding Lights” (the Weeknd, After Hours); “positions” (Ariana Grande, Positions)

Album artwork of the year

  • Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs, Klô Pelgag: Julien Hébert (art director), David Beauchemin (designer), Florence Obrecht (illustrator), Marc-Étienne Mongrain (photographer)
  • Miss Colombia, Lido Pimienta: Lido Pimienta and Orly Anan (art directors), Mat Dunlap (designer), Daniela Murillo (photographer)
  • Just Words, Lynne Hanson: Jared Barter (art director and designer), Michael Zavacky (art director and Illustrator), Maryn Devine and Rémi Thériault (photographers)
  • Palimpsest, Protest the Hero: Luke Hoskin (art director), John Meloche (designer), Martin Wittfooth (illustrator)
  • Pray for It, July Talk: Peter Dreimanis (art director, designer and photographer), Scott Waring (art director and designer), Leah Fay (designer), Lyle Bell and Ty Snaden (photographers)

Music video of the year

  • “Wait No More” by Ben Knechtel (Scott Helman)
  • “Wrap Me Up” by Brittney Canda & Vincent René-Lortie (Sheenah Ko)
  • “No One’s in the Room by Emma Higgins (Jessie Reyez)
  • “Intruders” by les Solis (Solis Animation Inc.) and Peter Huang (Jessie Reyez)
  • “Pomegranate” by Nick DenBoer (deadmau5 and the Neptunes) 
The JUNO Awards unveil all the 2021 nominees

Electronic album of the year

  • Lavender God, ATTLAS
  • Desire, Bob Moses
  • Suddenly, Caribou
  • Juvenile, CRi
  • All the Time, Jessy Lanza 

Metal/hard music album of the year

  • Ballistic, Sadistic, Annihilator
  • Unconquered, Kataklysm
  • Palimpsest, Protest the Hero
  • Abyss, Unleash the Archers
  • Glory, Glory! Apathy Took Helm!, Vile Creature 

Adult contemporary album of the year

  • Such Pretty Forks in the Road, Alanis Morissette
  • Courage, Céline Dion
  • Starlit Afternoon, Craig Stickland
  • Pour déjouer l’ennui, Pierre Lapointe
  • CH III: the Come Up, Storry

READ: Cult MTL’s 2020 STORRY interview

Comedy album of the year

  • PanDerek (1st Wave!), Derek Seguin
  • Horse Power, Jacob Samuel
  • Existing is Exhausting, Matt Wright
  • The Pursuit of Comedy has Ruined my Life, Nick Nemeroff
  • Decoxification, Shirley Gnome 

Traditional R&B/soul recording of the year

  • “Take Care of You,” Charlotte Day Wilson featuring Syd
  • Proverb, Dylan Sinclair
  • Alt Therapy Session 1: Disillusion, Emanuel
  • “In This Thing Called Life,” Iamtheliving
  • Solid, Savannah Ré

For more about the 2021 JUNO Awards and nominees, please visit the official website.

For more music coverage, please visit the Music section.