The Weeknd has smashed out the competition at the 2016 Juno Awards in Calgary, Canada, taking home multiple prestigious awards at the ceremony over the weekend for his spectacularly successful array of track releases last year. With praise and concurrence widely expressed by fans and industry professionals alike for The Weeknd’s receipt of the awards, chart-topping R&B artist The Weeknd’s five-award sweep at the 2016 Juno Awards shows us what good new music is.
The unwavering acclaim for, and continuing rise of genre-blending artists like The Weeknd says something about what is required to be successful— not only at the Juno Awards, but also in the music industry today. The Weeknd joins a league of artists who earned their stripes for sonic innovation: Anderson.Paak, whose rise as West Coast hip-hop pioneer and Dr. Dre’s protege spoke volumes of his own talent for combining musical genres, is also riding a wave of industry acclaim.
The Juno Awards, also known as the Canadian Grammys, is a celebration of talent – mainly Canadian – in the music industry. While the designation of some awards was wholeheartedly unsurprising – Justin Bieber having received the fan-voted Fan Choice Award for the fifth time – The Weeknd proved himself as a music industry juggernaut for his seamless blend of soul, pop, R&B, rap, and trap genres. As a new artist whose star only began to rise last year, The Weeknd’s five-award sweep at the 2016 Juno Awards shows us what good new music is with fan-favorite tracks like “Can’t Feel My Face,” “The Hills” and “Beauty Behind The Madness.”
Indeed, The Weeknd laid claim to a bundle of the most prestigious Juno awards to be received. The Weeknd’s first track release, “Can’t Feel My Face,” won Single of the Year, and his album, Beauty Behind The Madness, won the coveted Album of the Year award. It didn’t stop there – The Weeknd was also named Songwriter of the Year for the enormously popular album. R&B/Soul Recording of the Year also went to The Weeknd for the album’s namesake track, and to top it all off, the statement-haired singer won arguably the biggest award at the Junos: Artist of the Year.
The Taylor Swift-esque spectacle that played out as The Weeknd swept the 2016 Juno Awards with five big wins was enough to attract the attention of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who posted a congratulatory message on Twitter to The Weeknd, who he spent some quality time with at an event in Washington earlier this year.
According to the Calgary Herald, The Weeknd – born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye – was gratuitous in accepting his Juno awards.
“Tesfaye was in attendance at the televised show to accept his awards, acknowledging his fans, his record company and, first and foremost, the Junos themselves after his Single of the Year win,” reports the Calgary Herald on The Weeknd’s acceptance speech.
The CH went on to report that the soulful singer’s closing ceremony performance was a crowd-pleaser, reassuring, perhaps, to all those who watched The Weeknd sweep the 2016 Juno Awards with an epic five-award win that showed us what good new music is.
“…in a fittingly show-stopping and explosive turn, The Weeknd performed a pyro-heavy medley of his hits Acquainted and Might Not with special guest, rapper and frequent collaborator Belly,” said the CH.
With genre-blending artists an increasingly frequent presence on our stages and at the top of international charts, perhaps The Weeknd’s five-award sweep at the 2016 Juno Awards marks the beginning of a trend that will see more makers of good new music being rewarded for their artistic innovation.
[Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]