There were no major surprises as Canada’s reigning pop princess and prince cleaned up with the most 2013 Juno Award nominations.
Mission, B.C., native Carly Rae Jepsen and Stratford, Ont.’s Justin Bieber lead the pack of multiple nominees for the country’s top music awards with five and four nods each, and will face off in four categories.
Jepsen’s Kiss and Bieber’s Believe are both in the running for album of the year along with Quebec star Celine Dion’s Sans Attendre, and records from two Vancouver pop bands – Hedley’s Storms and Marianas Trench’s Ever After.
Jepsen, 27, and Bieber,18, are also up for the Juno Fan Choice Award — along with Dion, Toronto rapper Drake, Hedley, 78-year-old Montreal poet-singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, Marianas Trench, Toronto band Metric, this year’s Juno Awards host and Vancouver crooner Michael Buble, and Alberta rockers Nickelback — and artist-of-the-year opposite Toronto EDM star Deadmau5, Scottish-born, Ontario-raised country-soul performer Johnny Reid, and Cohen.
Jeps and the Biebs’ final competing category is for pop album of the year with Victoria, B.C., native Nelly Furtado’s The Spirit Indestructible, Abbotsford, B.C’s Victoria Duffield’s Shut Up and Dance, and Ottawa’s Kristina Maria’s Tell the World also in the race.
The only edge Jepsen has over Bieber, who gave her career a major boost when he got her signed to his manager Scooter Braun’s School Boy Records in the U.S., is she is also up for single of the year for Call Me Maybe.
Her huge hit, which recently saw her nominated for two Grammys — neither of which she won — will compete against Hedley’s Kiss You Inside Out, Toronto pop-punk band Billy Talent’s Viking Death March, Toronto singer-songwriter Serena Ryder’s Stompa and Saskatoon retro-rock band The Sheepdogs’ The Way it is for best single.
Jepsen has also been confirmed to perform at the April 21 Junos live broadcast on CTV from Regina’s Brant Centre along with Buble, Billy Talent and Marianas Trench.
“She’s a really proud Canadian, like she’s very supportive of the Juno Awards, and we’re thrilled to have her,” said CARAS (Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) president Melanie Berry at Monday’s nominations announcement.
Attendance by Bieber, who was snubbed by this year’s Grammys — which prompted a Twitter outburst by Braun — is looking slim since he’s on tour in Europe at that time.
Still, Berry hasn’t totally given up hope.
“Well, right now he’s scheduled to be on tour,” said Berry. “Now the nominations are out so now we start to program the show. We just have to wait and see. He’s definitely done well in the nominations and we have 60 days or so to figure the rest out.”
Pop music also figures prominently in the international album of the year race, which pits British boy band One Direction’s Up All Night against country-pop music star Taylor Swift’s Red, British folk-rock band Mumford & Sons’ Babel (this year’s album of the year Grammy winner), Maroon 5′s Overexposed and Rod Stewart’s Merry Christmas Baby.
Otherwise, Dion, Cohen, Hedley, Marianas Trench, The Sheepdogs, Billy Talent and Metric are among a large group of artists with three nominations a piece.
K.D. Lang was previously announced as this year’s inductee into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
A full list of nominees can be found at junoawards.ca.