It was the fourth year in a row that Canadian pop phenomenon, Justin Bieber, won the Fan Choice Award at the Juno Awards on Sunday. But, thankfully for him, Bieber was not present to soak in the crowd’s reaction: His name was greeted with a chorus of jeers, hisses and boos from the Juno Awards audience. It seemed that he had annoyed a home crowd that had once adored and celebrated him- now they seemed to resent his existence in the music scene.
The music awards ceremony took place within the MTS Center in Winnipeg and is the Canadian equivalent of the Brits. The singer, who turned 20 this March, bagged the Fan Choice Award after beating artistes like Celine Dion, Michael Buble and Drake. But when the crowd heard Bieber’s name being announced as the winner it broke out into audible booing that seemed to drown out those cheering. The Olympic women’s curling team from Canada took the awards on behalf of the pop star. Bieber was seen later tweeting to his fans thanking them for their continuing support.
Growing from a “darling” child artiste into his heavily tattooed bad boy image, Bieber has been increasingly making headlines for reasons other than his singing. The year seems to have begun on a troubled note for him after he was first taken into custody in Miami for driving his car under the influence. Bieber’s other trysts with the system includes a assault charge involving a limousine driver in Toronto and a search of his residence by the California Police following complaints that he allegedly flung eggs at a neighbor’s place.
However, Bieber was not entirely without support at the Juno Awards Ceremony in Winnipeg where he was booed by the audience: Music artist and fellow Canadian Serena Ryder took his side when she spoke after taking her Juno award for Songwriter of the Year. Rebuking the crowd for their negative response to Justin Bieber, she said that he totally deserved the award because he has worked hard right from his childhood. She also said that she thought Bieber was a great musician and that they (Canadians) ought to support his awesomeness. Serena was also awarded Artist of the Year at the ceremony, which she jointly hosted with other nominees Johnny Reid and Classified.
Also, Bieber was not the only controversial name at the 2014 Juno Awards – Robin Thicke, who had bagged three nominations at the awards ceremony, had to call off his performance on Sunday. Though he blamed his last minute withdrawal on his vocal chords and said that they had been ordered “compulsory rest”, the relevance of an online petition doing the rounds against his blatant sexism was not lost on anybody.
Some of the biggest winners at the Canadian music awards ceremony were the twin sister stars, Sara and Tegan. They were named Group of the Year, took the Pop Album of the Year for Hearthrob and the Single of the Year award for Closer. Popular rock outfit, Arcade Fire won the Album of Year as well as the Alternative Album of the Year for their Reflektor. They accepted the award through a video link from South America where they are presently touring.
The Breakthrough Group of the Year went to A Tribe Called Red recognizing their novel combination of First Nations and electronic music. Brett Kissel took home the Breakthrough Artist of the Year award. While Drake’s Nothing Was the Same brought him the Rap Recording of the Year award, Bruno Mars clinched the International Album of the Year for his Unorthodox Jukebox.
Another highlight at the Juno Awards Ceremony, where Justin Biber was booed by the crowd, was the induction of Randy Bachman, Fred Turner, Blair Thornton and Robbie Bachman from Bachman-Turner-Overdrive into Canada’s Music Hall of Fame.
By Aruna Iyer