Canadian pop favourites Michael Bublé and Drake each have a shiny new Grammy on their shelves, while singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. has two, thanks in part to Harry Styles.
The trio of homegrown talents were among the highlights of a historic Grammy Awards on Sunday that had a few Canadian surprises.
One of them came as Styles’ “Harry’s House” won album of the year, an announcement made on the live broadcast by a fan from Sudbury, Ont. named Reina, who seemed as stunned as anyone, her voice cracking as she revealed his name.
The great-grandmother had appeared earlier in the night to defend Styles’ album in a roundtable discussion of super fans where each made a case for why their artist should take the top prize.
Styles beat out Beyoncé’s “Renaissance,” a favourite in the category, after she had smashed the record for the most-decorated artist earlier in the night.
His victory proved to be one for Jesso Jr. too, giving the North Vancouver native his second Grammy for co-writing the album’s track “Boyfriends.”
Already, Jesso Jr. had won the inaugural songwriter of the year, non-classical award, recognizing creators who penned some of the year’s standout pop tunes.
He took the opportunity of his first Grammy to celebrate the introduction of the new songwriting award.
“I think this is a big win for everyone — this is not just for me, this is for them,” he told the audience at the pre-broadcast ceremony where most Grammys are handed out.
Drake won best melodic rap performance for his appearance on Future’s “Wait for U,” while Vancouver crooner Michael Bublé’s “Higher” was named best traditional pop vocal album.
Neither of them attended, in Bublé’s case because he was on tour overseas.
“I honestly feel this is the best album I’ve ever made, making the recognition from the Academy members that much more meaningful,” he tweeted after the fifth win of his lifetime.
Other big Canadian winners included Montreal conductor and pianist Yannick Nézet-Séguin who added two Grammys to his collection.
Nézet-Séguin took home best opera recording for “Blanchard: Fire Shut Up In My Bones,” and best classical solo vocal album for “Voice Of Nature – The Anthropocene.”
He had to skip the Grammys, however, because of a previously scheduled performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra on Sunday afternoon. But he still managed to sneak away after his concert to celebrate bringing his career tally to three wins.
“Of course there were bubbles,” he said by phone.
“It was not a huge party, but it’s always special to feel like your work is noticed and recognized this way.”
And two Canadians were part of the team that pocketed a best jazz instrumental album Grammy for “New Standards Vol. 1.”
Matthew Stevens, a Toronto-born guitarist and co-producer on the project, shared the win with jazz pianist and composer Kris Davis, who was born in Vancouver and grew up in Calgary.
Davis, a first-time winner, called the accomplishment “surreal” personally, but also “monumental” for the project, which is an effort by the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, where she teaches.
She said the goal of “New Standards” was to “give space to women composers and performers through the book and album.”
“It’s very meaningful for women at this moment,” Davis added.
Other notable Canadian wins include one for Toronto drummer Larnell Lewis, a member of Snarky Puppy. The Brooklyn jazz fusion band landed best contemporary instrumental album for “Empire Central,” their fifth Grammy.