By Keith Sharp
Shania Twain re-established herself as Canada’s Pop Music Queen, The Weeknd nudged out fellow Torontonian Drake to rule R&B/Dance categories and Vancouver’s Hedley triumphed in the top pop categories as all three nominees won two Long & McQuade microphone awards each during the annual 2018 Music Express Awards.
A total of 94,140 fan ballots (a voting record) were cast amongst the 15 categories with the pride of Timmins Ontario, taking home Top Female Vocalist (53%) and Top Album for `Now’ with 41% of the fan vote.
Hedley (60%) were voted top Canadian Pop/Rock Group and Top Arena/Festival Performer with (54%) of the vote whilst The Weeknd fought off tight competition from Drake to win Top R&B/Dance performer (41%) and Top R&B/Dance album (43%) for `Starboy’.
In the Country Music categories, Toronto’s James Barker Band was voted Top Country Group (61%), Jess Moskaluke received the most votes as Top Country Female Artist (54%), Dallas Smith triumphed as Top Canadian Country Male artist (42%) and Brett Kissel’s `We Were That Song’ (52%) was voted Top Canadian Country Music Album.
Johnny Reid received a massive vote from his Tartan Army to handily claim Top Canadian Male Vocalist with a staggering 83% vote count, Toronto/Brampton band, The Ascot Royals were comfortable winners of Canada’s Top New Group/Artist award with 60% of the vote support and Vancouver’s Boulevard marked their successful return to the domestic recording scene by capturing 79% of the vote in The Comeback Of The Year category while Alan Doyle was voted Top Live Performer Theatre/Club venue with 75% of the popular vote.
In the two Blues categories, Saskatoon’s Colin James was voted Top Canadian Blues performer (74%) and the late Jeff Healey’s `Holding On’ album was posthumously voted Top Blues Album for 2018.
Five nominees in each category were selected by Music Express staff with the final results being determined by fan ballot support. Music Express thanks award sponsors Long & McQuade and everyone who took the time to support their favorite artists, performances and recordings. Let’s do it again in 2019!
2018 MUSIC EXPRESS AWARD WINNERS:
Top Male Vocalist – Johnny Reid
Top Female Vocalist – Shania Twain
Top Canadian Group – Hedley
Top Canadian Album – `Now’ – Shania Twain
Top Canadian Country Male Vocalist – Dallas Smith
Top Canadian Country Female Vocalist – Jesse Moskaluke
Top Canadian Country Group – The James Barker Band
Top New Canadian Group/Artist – The Ascot Royals
Top Canadian Comeback Group/Artist – Boulevard
Top Canadian R&B Group/Artist – The Weeknd.
Top Canadian R&B Album – `Starboy’ – The Weeknd
Top Canadian Blues Artist/Group – Colin James
Top Canadian Blues Album – `Holding On’ – Jeff Healey Band
Top Live Band/Artist Concert/Festival Venue – Hedley
Top Live Band/Artists/Club/Theatre – Alan Doyle