Juno Awards 2024: Anne Murray makes surprise appearance


HALIFAX –

Anne Murray swooped into the Juno Awards to give viewers a hearty East Coast welcome, as host Nelly Furtado added some extra spark to the early festivities and Tegan and Sara criticized the Alberta government for pushing anti-LGBTQ2S+ policies.

Within minutes of the Junos broadcast getting underway, the “I’m Like a Bird” singer went from performing a dizzying medley of her many hits, dressed in a silver “Barbarella”-esque space-age outfit, to welcoming Murray onto the stage.

The Springhill, N.S.-born singer, who also holds a record Juno wins, was met with a rousing cheer from the crowd inside Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre.

The Springhill, N.S.-born singer, who also holds a record 25 Juno wins, was met with a rousing cheer from the crowd inside Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre.

“Seeing that I’m a Nova Scotian who lives just up the street, the producers thought I’d be just the person to welcome you to Halifax,” Murray said with a smirk on Sunday’s CBC broadcast.

“So here I am. And welcome to Halifax.”

Murray then presented the first award of the evening, giving Toronto band The Beaches the group of the year prize.It was the second win for the female four-piece act, after they picked up rock album of the year at a Saturday pre-telecast ceremony. They excitedly embraced and encouraged other young women to start bands with their friends.

Calgary natives Tegan and Sara accepted the 2024 Humanitarian Award for their work with the LGBTQ2s+ community from Halifax-bred actor Elliot Page, using the moment to call out recent policies in Alberta for threatening transgender youth.

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has said her United Conservative Party government would ban puberty blockers and hormone therapy for children 15 and younger who have not already begun those treatments.

Elliot Page arrives on the red carpet for the Juno awards, in Halifax, Sunday, March 24, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

“These attacks are harmful because they are directed at the kids who need our support the most,” Tegan said to applause from the audience

Meanwhile, Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee Maestro Fresh Wes became the first hip-hop inductee into the esteemed space.

The “Let Your Backbone Slide” rapper, born Wesley Williams, took a moment to reflect on his pioneering history as a Canadian hip-hop performer, which started when he wrote his first rhyme in 1979.

He then embarked on a lengthy list of thanks to people who helped elevate his career, including past industry players and TV station MuchMusic.

“We don’t make records, we make history,” he proclaimed, clad in all-black including a leather tailcoat.

“We created a backbone and started conducting things and…now this music we love won’t ever be underestimated.”

Other winners included Montreal singer-songwriter Charlotte Cardin whose “99 Nights” scored album of the year. It was her second win for the record after she landed pop album of the year during the pre-telecast.

On the Junos red carpet, the stars were buzzing with excitement over the Halifax show.

Dominique Fils-Aimé, who won vocal jazz album of the year at a pre-telecast ceremony on Saturday, said the whirlwind “felt like a big celebration and party.”

Other Canadian talent picked up multiple awards at the Saturday industry party. Rapper Tobi, alternative singer Aysanabee and pop star Tate McRae all won two awards for their work.

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