Shawn Mendes wins big at Juno Awards pre-telecast gala
David Friend, The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, March 16, 2019 9:46PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, March 16, 2019 10:32PM EDT
LONDON, Ont. -- Shawn Mendes emerged the big winner at Saturday's Juno Awards pre-telecast as the heartthrob picked up four wins across several major categories.
The Pickering, Ont. native won artist, pop album, songwriter and single of the year for his hit track "In My Blood." But the pop singer wasn't able to accept the awards because he's on the European leg of his concert tour.
That left Michael Buble as the biggest surprise appearance of the night. The crooner swooped into the ceremony to pick up a trophy just minutes before he recognized David Foster for his philanthropic efforts.
Buble grabbed his 14th career Juno for "Love," which won adult contemporary album of the year. But the singer made it clear he was mostly at the event to celebrate his close friend Foster receiving this year's humanitarian award.
"He has inspired me to be a better man and embrace the importance of giving back however I can," Buble said as he introduced the acclaimed producer, whom he called "a man whose heart is as big as the sun."
Foster was recognized for his support of hundreds of charities, including his own foundation, which provides financial help to Canadian families in need of life-saving transplants.
The suave producer said he enjoyed the opportunity to speak about his interests outside of music, calling his philanthropy "a second commitment in my life that's equal or (will) maybe outlive my music."
Other winners at the Juno gala dinner included country act the Washboard Union, who won breakthrough group of the year, while alternative album went to newcomers Dizzy for "Baby Teeth."
Jeremy Dutcher's "Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa" was picked as Indigenous music album of the year.
The operatic tenor had the crowd buzzing after he was played off the stage while delivering his acceptance speech, which touched on Indigenous representation in music and included a direct message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about reconciliation.
"A nation-to-nation relationship does not look like pipelines," said Dutcher.
"A nation-to-nation relationship does not look like sending a militarized police force into unceded territory and a nation-to-nation relationship does not look like, in 2019, our communities still on boiled-water advisories."
The show's producers didn't afford Dutcher much longer than the allotted 60 seconds given to other artists, so he stopped short on his message.
That led Arkells frontman Max Kerman to call Dutcher back onto the stage with them to finish his speech as they picked up the rock album prize.
In the metal/hard music category, Voivod marked a career first when they pocketed the award, telling the crowd it was their first Juno win in 36 years.
Wesli's "Rapadou Kreyol" snagged world music album, while Dave Merheje's "Good Friend Bad Grammar" won comedy album.
Loud Luxury, the pair of DJs who met at London's Western University, picked up their first Juno for dance recording with their global hit "Body."
The group is nominated for three more Junos at Sunday night's televised show, where the remaining awards will be doled out. Top categories, including album, group and breakthrough artist, as well as country album of the year, are part of the broadcast.
Viewers can also vote for the Juno Fan Choice Award on the Juno Fan Choice website.