Music

Jann Arden's best Juno Awards moments

The singer-songwriter will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at this year's Junos.

The singer-songwriter will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at this year's Junos

This year's Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee Jann Arden is a nine-time Juno Award winner who has also hosted the ceremony twice. (Getty Images; graphic by CBC)

This year, Jann Arden will officially be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. (Arden was supposed to be inducted last year, but the Junos were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic; a later ceremony took place but Arden's induction was pushed to 2021.) To mark this occasion, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced on Tuesday that Arden will be performing at the 2021 Juno Awards from her hometown, at Calgary's Studio Bell. Anne Murray will induct Arden.

Arden is a longtime Junos darling, having earned 27 nominations and nine wins. Even more impressive are her various, memorable appearances at the ceremonies. She has performed, collaborated and hosted —  and she even shared the stage with 'N Sync once. Every time, her talent, humour and magnetic personality shone through, proving she's one of the country's best entertainers. To celebrate Arden's upcoming induction, we took a look back at her best Juno moments.


1994: Winning her 1st Juno

Arden scored her first-ever Juno wins in 1994 when she took home best new solo artist and best video for I Would Die for You. In her acceptance speech for the former, she thanked A&M Records' Joe Summers and Allan Reid, joking, "I know you wanted to sign a grunge band, but I'm very thankful you signed me." (Reid, as many may know, is now the president and CEO of CARAS, the Juno Awards and MusiCounts.) Arden capped off her short speech by giving herself a pat on the back: "For someone who didn't know what to say, I did very good."  

Arden winning her first Juno Award for best new solo artist in 1994. (CBC)

1995: Beating Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and more for songwriter of the year 

Arden followed up her first two Juno wins with three more the next year: female vocalist of the year, songwriter of the year and single of the year for Could I be Your Girl. When CBC Music asked Arden in 2019 to reflect on her songwriter of the year win, in which she beat out Bryan Adams, Blue Rodeo, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, she seemed even more shocked in retrospect that she came out victorious in such a stacked category. "How is that even possible?" she said as she re-watched the footage. In addition to wanting to give that award to Mitchell instead, Arden was surprised to hear her young self give such a shy speech: "It's like a completely different human being.... The version of me now, I'd be up there talking a blue streak. I'd be up there pontificating." 

 

1997: Making her hosting debut

Arden's innate sense of humour made her an ideal candidate for hosting the Juno Awards. In 1997, she made her hosting debut and her entrance was one of the most memorable moments of the evening (and in Juno history). Cutting between the real Arden and a dummy version of herself, Arden crowd-surfed her way to the stage. "Take it easy on me," she shouted to the fans hoisting her up. "I can't take it anymore!" If anything, this clip really illustrates the dos and don'ts of crowd-surfing, showing people that you can indeed hurt yourself pretty badly while doing it. Thankfully, the real Jann Arden made it out in one piece.

 

1998: Passing the host torch 

Even though Arden didn't return to host in 1998, the singer-songwriter still showed up for an opening skit in which she and that year's host, actor Jason Priestley, went over show notes while sporting Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks jerseys — in bed. Priestley later gave Arden another shout-out when introducing her as "my favourite bed partner." 

Arden giving 1998 Juno Awards host Jason Priestley some advice before the big show. (CBC)

2001: Meeting 'N Sync

While introducing a performance by Nelly Furtado, Arden joked that she found a pair of car keys that were labelled "N-S-Y-N-C." In a year when boy bands were all the rage — the Moffatts and SoulDecision performed — it made sense that one of the world's biggest boy bands would also sneak in an appearance. After Arden brought up the keys, 'N Sync's Lance Bass and Joey Fatone walked onstage to rapturous applause and together, they threw to the evening's breakout star, Furtado. Arden also performed Wondering Where the Lions Are with Terri Clark as part of a Hall of Fame tribute for Bruce Cockburn. 

'N Sync members Lance Bass and Joey Fatone joined Arden onstage at the 2001 Juno Awards. (CBC)

2008: Performing with Anne Murray 

To celebrate Anne Murray's album Duets, the iconic musician invited Sarah Brightman and Arden to perform in one of that year's standout performances. 

2016: Hosting again 

Arden returned to the Junos in 2016 to host once again, but this time alongside Olympic gold medallist Jon Montgomery. Having someone to bounce off gave Arden a perfect foil, and vice versa, as the two traded facts about Calgary (Arden is a proud Calgarian; Montgomery used to train there), the Scotiabank Saddledome where the Junos took place (Montgomery was once thrown out of the venue; Arden recalled having "peed in a garbage can here in the '80s") and the differences between athletes and musicians (the former are subjected to drug tests; Arden joked the Saddledome would be empty if drug tests were enforced on musicians). While she may have failed to gain 10 million Twitter followers, a goal she announced onstage, Arden undoubtedly succeeded as a host.

Tune in to the 50th annual Juno Awards live on June 6 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBC TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music, CBC Listen, globally on cbcmusic.ca/junos and live streamed on CBC Music's TikTok, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages. 

(CBC Music)

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