Junos Miss Young

The Juno Awards, Canada’s equivalent of the Grammys, offered nods to several young artists at the expense of veterans like Celine Dion and Shania Twain. The April 3rd show, at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, was sans hometown hero Neil Young, who was recuperating from a brain aneurysm.

Winners included Billy Talent, indie artist Feist, k-os and Avril Lavigne.

Young was scheduled to kick off the show but was replaced by k.d. lang. It would have been the first time the musician appeared at an awards show since being inducted into the country’s Music Hall of Fame in 1982. His appearance was considered a coup by Juno producers because Young eschews commercial award shows.

He performed with The Pretenders at the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York City March 14th. Afterward, his vision became blurry. An MRI scan revealed the aneurysm and he had surgery immediately.

The rocker, who expected to make a full recovery, watched the Junos from the Canadian consulate in NYC. He was reportedly moved by lang’s performance of his song “Helpless” and told the Juno producers he would take a rain check and play next year.

Soul-rapper K-os won three awards, including single of the year. Lavigne also got three nods, including artist of the year and fans choice. She was not there to pick up her trophies because she was performing in Singapore.

Billy Talent, Feist and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra each won two Junos. Sarah Harmer won best adult alternative album (the category was created recently to honor artists who are normally beat out by mainstream acts). On his third nomination over the years, Ron Sexsmith finally scored best songwriter.

Diana Krall won best jazz vocal album, Sum 41 took home rock album honors and The Tragically Hip was inducted into the Hall of Fame.