Buffy Sainte-Marie says timing was key for Polaris win

Polaris 2015 winner Buffy Sainte-Marie says some of songs celebrated last night couldn't even get airplay when she first wrote them.
Buffy Sainte-Marie's 'Power in the Blood' wins the 2015 Polaris Music Prize. (CBC Music)

Celebrated musical innovator Buffy Sainte-Marie beat nine other acts to win this year's $50,000 Polaris Music Prize — a victory she says is of its time. The 74-year-old artist says some songs in Power in the Blood trace back to the 70s, a time when they couldn't even get airplay, never mind recognition.

"It's very interesting that this album should be doing so well now, in these times," she tells q host Shadrach Kabango. 

Last night an 11-person grand jury crowned her latest album the best Canadian record of the past year. The title is awarded based on merit despite genre, music label or sales figures. 

Other finalists included rap heavyweight Drake, former Polaris winner Caribou and rising star Tobias Jesso Jr.

WEB EXTRA | Watch Shad's feature interview with Sainte-Marie, recorded this past spring, below. (Or listen here.) 

When the 74 year old joined Shad in May to discuss the record, she underscored that she doesn't believe in burning out. Her dedication shines through in her sometimes fierce, sometimes lyrical collection — and her passion and sense of purpose are evident throughout.


Plus, watch Sainte-Marie perform live from Power in the Blood at last night's Polaris Music Prize gala. 


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