Singer k.d. lang will perform her version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah in a tribute to the Montreal singer-songwriter at the Canadian Songwriter's Hall of Fame gala on Sunday.
Cohen is one of eight Canadian songwriters and industry pioneers to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in a star-studded gala at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
The hall will add 26 songs to its list of Canadian classics and induct four other songwriters: Quebec's Gilles Vigneault, big-band composer Carmen Lombardo, ragtime composer William Eckstein and classical composer and lyricist Lionel Daunais.
Singer Anne Murray, Quebec chanteuse Lucille Dumont and recording industry pioneer Herbert Berliner win the songwriters Legacy Award.
CBC Radio One will broadcast a one-hour special of the gala on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 11 a.m. and CBC Radio Two will have a two-hour special Monday, Feb. 6, at 8 p.m. CBC Television will air a TV presentation of the gala on Monday, March 6 at 9 p.m. (9:30 pm NT).
Cohen, who usually shuns the limelight, says he will be on hand to accept his award from former governor general Adrienne Clarkson.
His songs, Ain't No Cure For Love, Bird on the Wire, Everybody Knows, Hallelujah and Suzanne are being highlighted at the gala for their impact on Canada's musical landscape.
"I'm really happy that I've written them. You always try to write a good song but you don't always do it," he said in an interview with the Canadian Press. "It's a really wonderful thing to write a song and have it move into the world and have it touch people."
Cohen has a new CD and a new book of poetry coming out later this year, part of an effort to make some money after a scandal involving his financial manager. Cohen is believed to have lost much of his personal savings and several lawsuits are pending.
The gala will feature performances by hot young talent such as Jully Black, Sarah Slean, Bedouin Soundclash and Quebec's Marie-Mai.
Divine Brown will sing an Oscar Brand song destined for the Hall of Fame, A Guy is a Guy, and folk duo Marabu will perform La Manic by Georges Dor. Andy Kim will sing his classic, Sugar Sugar, and The Stampeders reprise their hit Sweet City Woman in a new arrangement with Doc Walker.
Willie Nelson, Rufus Wainwright and Doc Walker are also planning to sing at the gala.
Vigneault is being honoured for his music legacy and four of his songs will be inducted into the Hall of Fame —Mon Pays, Gens du Pays, Pendant Que and Si les Bateaux. His daughter, Jessica Vigneault, will sing Mon Pays during the gala, with Martin Léon on piano.
The gala is hosted by Andrew Craig of CBC Radio Two and Sophie Durocher of Radio-Canada.
Founded in 1998 by music publisher Frank Davies, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates the accomplishments of popular-music songwriters in Canadian history.