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Canadian R&B hitmaker The Weeknd on Sunday night dominated the 2016 Juno Awards, the country’s music awards.
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 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 artist of the year, best songwriter and best R&B/soul recording for Beauty Behind the Madness. He beat out 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. At the same time, his acceptance was greeted with audience boos after he didn’t personally show up in Calgary and appeared instead on 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.)
The 45th annual Juno Awards kicked off with Toronto band Walk Off the Earth taking the trophy for group of the year. “If you have a dream, go out and go for it,” lead singer Sarah Blackwood told the Calgary audience.
And Alessia Cara nabbed breakout artist of the year honors on the strength of her 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 taking home the Juno for 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, Cara, Bryan Adams, Shawn Hook and Buffy Sainte-Marie.
Another emotional high point during the awards ceremony 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,” he said onstage.
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