Nelly Furtado’s pop music comeback continues with the singer stepping up to host the 2024 Juno Awards.
Organizers named the “I’m Like a Bird” hitmaker as MC of next year’s celebration of Canadian music during a press conference in Halifax, the host city for the 2024 event.
“It’s going to be spicy. It’s going to be sexy,” Furtado promised in a recent phone interview ahead of the big reveal.
“I’m going to bring my A-game of keeping the festivities rolling along and bringing the fun, fashion and energy.”
It will be the second time Furtado oversees the televised bash, following her stint at the 2007 Junos in Saskatoon where she won five awards including album of the year and artist of the year.
The Victoria native is in the midst of a return to the spotlight after several years of laying low. Recently, she appeared as a vocalist on “Eat Your Man,” a club track by Dom Dolla, and in the upbeat pop single “Keep Going Up,” with Justin Timberlake and Timbaland.
The Junos also announced that hip-hop pioneer Maestro Fresh Wes will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
The Toronto-raised performer, born Wes Williams, landed on the scene with his 1989 single “Let Your Backbone Slide” and went on to win the first rap recording of the year Juno in 1991 for his debut album “Symphony in Effect.”
He scored further Canadian chart hits in the late 1990s, including the Guess Who-sampled track “Stick To Your Vision.” Williams, who now resides in Saint John, N.B., becomes the first rapper to receive the Hall of Fame honour.
“The bottom line is this is big for Canada, this is big for Canadian hip-hop, this is big for Black music in Canada,” he said at the Halifax event.
“I had a slogan: don’t make records, make history. And we are making history, definitely.”
Calgary sisters Tegan and Sara will be given the humanitarian award from actor Elliot Page for their work as advocates for the LGBTQ+ community. The twin sisters created the Tegan and Sara Foundation, which supports grassroots organizations and social causes.
Meanwhile, the Junos show is locking in its first round of performers with Furtado and Maestro Fresh Wes both set to play, as will Toronto rock quartet the Beaches, who’ve found popularity on social media this year with their ex-boyfriend anthem “Blame Brett.”
Montreal singer Charlotte Cardin is also booked to perform two years after she emerged as the breakout star with four Juno wins.
Tickets for the Juno Awards go on sale to the public Friday. The live broadcast airs March 24 on CBC from Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre.
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 7, 2023.
— with files from Lyndsay Armstrong in Halifax