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Edmonton-raised Bernie Herms wins Grammy for best contemporary Christian song

Canadian songwriter Bernie Herms came out an early winner at the pre-telecast Grammy Awards ceremony on Sunday.

Other Canadians up for Grammys include Alberta Indigenous singing group Northern Cree

Bernie Herms poses with the award for best contemporary Christian music performance/song for "Thy Will" by Hillary Scott and the Scott Family at the 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (The Associated Press)

Canadian songwriter Bernie Herms came out an early winner at the pre-telecast Grammy Awards ceremony on Sunday.

The London, Ont.-born and Edmonton-raised musician took home a golden gramophone for best contemporary Christian music performance or song for Thy Will by Hillary Scott and the Scott Family.

Scott, who is a singer in Lady Antebellum, also won best contemporary Christian music album for Love Remains, which features Herms' song. The spirit of Leonard Cohen's music was felt during a performance by Grammy-nominee Judy Collins.

The folk singer began with a memory of Cohen, a long-time friend and collaborator, and the first time he brought her the lyrics to Suzanne. "He came into my living room and said, 'I can't play the guitar and I can't sing," she told the audience. "And I don't know if this is a song." She then launched into a solo performance of the Montreal poet's famed song on a grand piano.

A number of other Canadians are up for Grammys in the pre-telecast, including Alberta Indigenous singing group Northern Cree.

The early show is streaming at Grammy.com/live.

Drake, Justin Bieber up for album of the year

Several Canadians are also going for gold at Sunday's main Grammy Awards ceremony, including two of the country's biggest pop performers.

Drake and Justin Bieber will square off against country singer Sturgill Simpson and pop powerhouses Adele and Beyonce, who are all nominated for album of the year.

The evening's biggest prize is only one of eight nominations Drake has in his pocket.

The Toronto-raised hip-hop star's Views is also in the running for best rap album, while Hotline Bling is nominated for best rap or sung performance. Drake is also being considered for his vocal contributions to Rihanna's smash hit Work, which is up for both record of the year and best duo or group performance. He's not expected to attend this year's ceremony due to schedule conflicts with his European tour.

Drake only counts a single Grammy to his name for the 2011 rap album Take Care. Bieber is another Canadian hoping to grab a few statues at this year's show.

He's nominated for his single, Love Yourself in the best song and best pop solo performance categories. His album, Purpose is also up for best pop vocal album.

Bieber also only has one Grammy, which he won last year for contributing vocals to Where Are U Now, a side project of Skrillex and Diplo.

The Grammys main event airs on City and CBS starting at 6 p.m. MST.

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