Toronto transplants Magic! -- whose "Rude" was a massive international hit -- lead the Juno Award nominations this year with five nods -- for top single, pop album, Juno fan choice, breakthrough group, and songwriter -- it was announced earlier today at a press conference at Toronto's Danforth Music Hall.
Multiple nods also went to Bobby Bazini, the only Canadian artist last year to sell more than 100,000 copies at home; Kiesza; Leonard Cohen; Nickelback; Weeknd; deadmau5; Chromeo; Adventure Club; Serge Fiori and others.
The 2015 Juno Awards will be held in Hamilton, Ontario, just west of Toronto, at Copps Coliseum on March 15. Open to the public, tickets range from $39 to $149. Performers announced so far are Magic!, Shawn Mendes, Kiesza and Hedley and Hamilton's own Arkells. Rush will receive the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award. The Hall of Fame inductees and Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award will be announced in the coming weeks, said Allan Reid, president/CEO of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS).
Helping to announce the nominations were Marianas Trench frontman and "Call Me Maybe" co-writer Josh Ramsay; husband wife team Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland of the band Whitehorse; plus video messages from astronaut Chris Hadfield, Property Brothers' Jonathan and Drew Scott, and Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.
Champion beatboxer Hachey The Mouthpiece also performed at the press conference, as did the band Arkells.
While Magic! led the pack, two other acts weren't far behind. At four a piece, newcomer Kiesza -- whose "Hideaway" video is approaching 200 million views on YouTube -- landed nods for best single, breakthrough artist, dance recording and video, while the esteemed Leonard Cohen got recognized with nods for Juno fan choice, album, artist and adult alternative album.
Artists with three nominations each are: Hedley (album, single and Juno fan choice), Nickelback (album, group and Juno fan choice) and Quebec veteran Serge Fiori (Juno fan choice, album and francophone album).
Of the 179 nominees, 86 are first-timers across 19 genres, CARAS chairman Ed Robinson told the invite-only room of labels reps, publicists, managers, publishers and some artists.
Going head-to-head for Juno fan choice are: Arcade Fire, Bobby Bazini, Drake, Hedley, Leonard Cohen, Magic!, Michael Buble, Nickelback, Serge Fiori and You + Me.
Nominations in the artist of the year: Bryan Adams, Deadmau5, Leonard Cohen, Sarah McLachlan and The Weeknd.
Group of the year: Nickelback, Mother Mother, Chromeo, You + Me and Arkells.
Getting recognized for breakthrough artist: Shawn Mendes, Jess Moskaluke, Glenn Morrison, Kiesza, and Mac DeMarco. Breakthrough group: Magic!, USS, Zeds Dead, Alvvays and Adventure Club.
In the album of the year category: Bobby Bazini's Where I Belong, Hedley's Wild Life, Leonard Cohen's Popular Problems, Nickelback's No Fixed Address.
Nominees for single are Kiesza's "Hideaway," Magic!'s "Rude," Drake ft. Majid Jordan for "Hold On, We're Going Home" and Sam Roberts Band for "We're All In This Together."
Up for international album: Katy Perry's Prism, Lorde's Pure Heroine, One Direction's Midnight Memories, Sam Smith's In The Lonely Hour and Taylor Swift's 1989.
In the genre categories, country album battlers are: Dallas Smith's Lifted, The Road Hammers' Wheels, Mackenzie Porter's self-titled release, Kira Isabella's Caffeine & Big Dreams, and Jess Moskaluke's Light Up The Night. Alternative albums: Tanya Tagaq's Animism (declared the winner of the 2014 Polaris Music Prize), Timber Timbre's Hot Dreams, July Talk's self-titled release, Chad VanGaalen's Shrink Dust, and Alvvays self-titled release.
In the pop album category: Magic!'s Don't Kill The Magic, Nikki Yanofsky's Little Secret, Lights' Little Machines, Avril Lavigne's self-titled release, and Down With Webster's Party For Your Life. Rock album nods go to: Big Wreck's Ghost, Arkells' High Noon, The Glorious Sons' Lo-Fantasy, and Your Favorite Enemies' Between Illness and Migration.
Under rap recording are: P Reign's Dear America, Saukrates' Amani, Tre Mission's Stigmata, Marco Polo's PA2: The Director's Cut and Naturally Born Strangers' The Legends League Presents: Naturally Born Strangers. Dance recording nominees are Kiesza's Sound of a Woman, Chromeo's White Women, Adventure Club's Calling All Heroes, Glenn Morrison's Goodbye and Trevor Guthrie's Soundwave. The Weeknd's Often is up for R&B/soul recording, alongside JDRD's self-titled release, Melanie Durrant's Four Seasons, Ben Stewenson's Dirty Laundry and the posthumous album, Got To Have It, from jacksoul.
Going beat to beat for electronic album of the year are Deadmau5' While (1<2), Ryan Hemsworth's Alone For The First Time, Plastikman's EX, Lydia Ainsworth's Right From Real and Caribou's Our Love. In the metal/hard rock album category: Devin Townsend Project's Z², Kataklysm's Waiting for the End to Come, Shooting Guns' Brotherhood of the Ram, Single Mothers' Negative Qualities, and Skull Fist's Chasing The Dream.
For jazz, instrumental, classical, roots & traditional blues, reggae, aboriginal, producer, Christian and other categories, go to www.junoawards.ca.