City and Colour, Dan Mangan, Drake, Feist, Hedley and Nickelback lead the Juno Award nominations for 2012 with four nods apiece, but holy Shat, this year's announcement came with an extra surprise.
William Shatner -- a.k.a. Captain Kirk, Denny Crane, T.J. Hooker and the man behind Dose.ca's official office anthem -- will host the ceremony April 1 in Ottawa. Double nominee Paul Banwatt of the Rural Alberta Advantage sums it up for this year's Juno delegation -- or at least the ones with a copy of Has Been -- "I am so excited. I just want to meet him, so badly."
The RAA, nominated for New Group and Video of the Year, are among 99 Juno rookies -- with Diamond Rings, JRDN, Braids and Lindi Ortega also among the first-time honorees. The same goes for Rolling Stone cover men The Sheepdogs -- a Saskatchewan rock band that's come out with three nominations (Single of the Year, New Group of the Year, Rock Album of the Year) after today's announcement.
Juno vets Avril Lavigne, deadmau5 and Michael Buble are also tied for three nods -- and while the names of familiar Can-Con soldiers like that trio are all over this year's nominations list, best new artist contender Alyssa Reid says she was heartened to see the Junos repping the little guy. (As in anyone who's not The Biebz -- though the pride of Stratford, ON will vie for the fan choice and Album of the Year Junos off the strength of his holiday record Under the Mistletoe.)
âI was very surprised, actually, at the amount of HUGE Canadian artists that, I thought they were going to completely sweep the awards because of popularity," said pop singer Reid following the nominations announcement in downtown Toronto. "But I was very happy to see that the Junos actually stay true to recognizing a lot of other Canadian talent."
Select categories from the 2012 Juno Awards nominations are posted below -- and you can find the exhaustive list at junoawards.ca.
Former winners and current nominees City and Colour, deadmau5, Feist, Hedley and Nickelback are all booked to play the big show in Ottawa -- as is 2012 Canadian Music Hall of Fame recipient Blue Rodeo, who'll be joined by special guest Sarah McLachlan.
The Juno Awards airs live from Ottawa Sunday, April 1 on CTV.
2012 Juno Award Nominations:
Album of the year:
Avril Lavigne (Goodbye Lullaby), Drake (Take Care), Justin Bieber (Under The Mistletoe), Michael Buble (Christmas), Nickelback (Here and Now)
Fan choice: Arcade Fire, Avril Lavigne, City and Colour, Deadmau5, Drake, Ginette Reno, Hedley, Justin Bieber, Michael BublÃ©, Nickelback
Group of the year: Arkells, Down with Webster, Hedley, Nickelback, Sam Roberts Band
Artist of the year: Avril Lavigne, Drake, Justin Bieber, Nickelback, Michael Buble
New artist of the year: Alyssa Reid, Dan Mangan, Diamond Rings, JRDN, Lindi Ortega
New group of the year: Braids, Hey Rosetta, Mother Mother, The Rural Alberta Advantage, The Sheepdogs
Single of the year: "Fragile Bird" (City and Colour), "Invincible" (Hedley), "Let's Go Higher" (Johnny Reid), "When We Stand Together" (Nickelback), "I Don't Know" (The Sheepdogs)
Pop album of the year: Avril Lavigne (Goodbye Lullaby), Down With Webster (Time to Win Vol. II), Hedley (Storms), Lights (Siberia), Marianas Trench (Ever After)
Alternative album of the year: Braids (Native Speaker), Dan Mangan (Oh Fortune), Destroyer (Kaputt), F*cked Up (David Comes to Life), Timber Timbre (Creep on Creepin' On)
Rock album of the year: The Sam Roberts Band (Collider), The Sheepdogs (Learn & Burn), Arkells (Michigan Left), Matthew Good (lights of Endangered Species), Sloan (The Double Cross)
Electronic album of the year: Arthur Oskan (A Little More Than Everything), Austra (Feel it Break), Azari & III (Azari & III), Junior Boys (It's All True), Tim Hecker (Ravendeath, 1972)
Rap recording of the year: Classified (Handshakes and Middle Fingers), Drake (Take Care), D-Sisive (Jonestown 2: Jimmy Go Bye Bye), Kardinall Offishall (Anywhere (Ol' Time Killin' Part 2)), Swollen Members (Daggermouth)
Dance recording of the year: Anjulie ("Brand New Chick"), Deadmau5 ("Aural Psynapse"), Duck Sauce ("Barbara Streisand"), Martin Solveig & Drgonette ("Hello"), Mia Martina ("Devotion")
(First-time category) Metal/hard music album of the year: Anvil (Juggernaut of Justice), Cauldron (Burning Fortune), F*ck the Facts (Die Miserable), Ken Mode (Venerable), Devin Townsend Project (Deconstruction)
International album of the year: Adele (21), Coldplay (Mylo Xyloto), Lady Gaga (Born This Way), LMFAO (Sorry For Party Rocking), Rihanna (Loud)