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TORONTO – Vancouver rapper Shad K. scored a surprise victory over Drake Saturday night by winning the prize for best rap recording on the first night of the Junos, Canada’s music awards. The upset for Shad K. and his third album TSOL came ahead of Sunday night’s main award-giving in Toronto, where hip-hop sensation Drake, whose real name is Aubrey Graham, and Justin Bieber are to go head-to-head.
Drake came into the Junos with six nominations; Bieber has four noms.
Indie rockers Arcade Fire won the best alternative album prize for The Suburbs on Saturday; they are contending in a total of five categories.
In all, 32 non-televised Junos were given out Saturday evening. Neil Young took the trophy for best adult alternative album of the year for Le Noise. Fond of Tigers won for best instrumental album, while Matthew Good took the Juno for best rock album and Said the Whale won for best new group.
Elsewhere, Quanteisha Benjamin won for best R&B/soul recording of the year for “Stars”, while platinum pop star Katy Perry earned the Juno for best international album for Teenage Dream. And Karkwa took home the Juno for best Francophone album, deadmau5 won for best dance recording, and Johnny Reid received the Juno for best country album.
The Canadian music awards will hand out another eight top-profile trophies Sunday night in Toronto.
Drake will host the Junos telecast, and Bieber is expected to show up in Toronto, and possibly perform, even as he’s on tour. At the same time, Drake was a no-show at a planned Friday press conference in Toronto, which was cancelled on two hours notice.
Junos executive producer John Brunton told the QMI Agency that Drake was busy rehearsing for his hosting gig. “… We didn’t have enough rehearsal time here with all the bands that were moving in and out of the building so we had to do a rehearsal off site before he (Drake) comes in to rehearse this section of the program (Saturday) and so that’s what the hiccup was all about,” he said.
Speculation on the Twittersphere over Drake’s no-show Friday prompted Juno organizers to issue a press release Saturday with pre-show quotes and video clips. “I am a very proud Canadian. I think that’s why it was a no-brainer for me…I didn’t debate or think about my schedule. It was a clear cut ‘yes’ for me,” Drake said on his decision to emcee the Junos as its youngest-ever host. The main Junos telecast Sunday night will air nationwide on the CTV network.
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