Juno Awards 2017: Drake, Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd lead nominees

Drake, The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes and Alessia Cara lead the race for the 2017 Juno Awards, topping the list of nominees announced for Canada's annual music prize.

Will singer Michael Bublé return as host for a 2nd time when the awards show airs in April?

A youthful pack of artists leads this year's nominees for the Juno Awards, including, from left, rapper Drake and singers Alessia Cara, The Weeknd and Shawn Mendes. (Associated Press)

Drake, The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes and Alessia Cara lead the race for the 2017 Juno Awards, topping the list of nominees announced today for Canada's annual music prize.

Rapper Drake, R&B singer The Weeknd and singer-songwriter Mendes garnered five nominations each, while singer Cara and the late Leonard Cohen followed with four nods.

The Tragically Hip also earned multiple nominations, including for group of the year and rock album of the year for Man Machine Poem.

Hip frontman Gord Downie earned separate nods as songwriter of the year and for best video, while his solo project, Secret Path, is up for best adult alternative album and recording package of the year.

The Tragically Hip and frontman Gord Downie, centre, earned a host of Juno nominations. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Contenders in select categories include: 

Album of the year: Encore Un Soir, Céline Dion;  Views, Drake;  You Want It Darker, Leonard Cohen;  Illuminate, Shawn Mendes;  Starboy, The Weeknd.

Single of the year: Wild Things, Alessia Cara; One Dance, Drake; Treat You Better, Shawn Mendes; Spirits, the Strumbellas; Starboy, The Weeknd.

Group of the year: Arkells; Billy Talent; Tegan and Sara; the Strumbellas; the Tragically Hip.

Artist: Alessia Cara; Drake; Leonard Cohen; Shawn Mendes; The Weeknd.

Breakthrough artist: Andy Shauf; Jazz Cartier; Kaytranada; Ruth B; Tory Lanez.

Fan's Choice: Alessia Cara; Belly; Drake; Hedley; Justin Bieber; Ruth B.; Shawn Mendes; the Strumbellas; The Weeknd; Tory Lanez.

Video of the year: Kill V. Maim, Grimes; Killa, Wiwek/Skrillex; The Stranger, Gord Downie; Lite Spots, Kaytranada; R.E.D., Yasiin Bey, Narcy & Blackbear, A Tribe Called Red.

International album: Dangerous Woman, Ariana Grande; A Head Full of Dreams, Coldplay; Made in the A.M., One Direction; Anti, Rihanna; This Is Acting, Sia.

Organizers have also tapped some of this year's high-profile nominees to perform, including Cara, Mendes, the Strumbellas, Ruth B and A Tribe Called Red.

The annual awards show is in Ottawa this year. A week of festivities will precede the live awards broadcast on April 2.

Michael Bublé was announced last fall as the 2017 ceremony's host, and is returning to the gig he first took on to rave reviews in 2013.

However, his participation has been in question since it was announced his toddler son was undergoing cancer treatment.