14 books by and about Juno Award winners that hit the right note
The annual Juno Awards celebrate outstanding achievements in Canadian music. Hosted by Canadian actor Simu Liu, the 2022 Juno Awards will air live from Toronto on May 15, 2022 on CBC-TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music and CBC Listen.
Let the Junos inspire your reading and check out one of these 14 books written about or written by past Juno winners.
Juno Award wins: 7
Far from Overis an "unofficial" biography by writer and hip hop expert Dalton Higgins. The nonfiction work looks at the early life and career of Aubrey Drake Graham, otherwise known as Drake. Far from Over tracks Drake's life from growing up in Toronto's upscale Forest Hill neighbourhood, his acting stint as Jimmy Brooks in the teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation and his journey to becoming one of the world's biggest hip hop stars.
Higgins is a Canadian author, publicist, professor and expert on hip hop culture. Two of his four pop culture books, Hip Hop and Hip Hop World, are used in classrooms across North America. His interviews, features and reviews have appeared in most major American rap publications.
Juno Award wins: 9
Jann Arden is one of Canada's best known singer-songwriters. But when she reached her 50s, her life changed in unexpected ways: she became the caregiver for her mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, she became the star of the sitcom Jann and she realized that getting older doesn't mean she can't grow, change and celebrate. If I Knew Then is Arden's memoir looking back on this journey, and how she learned to free herself from expectations and not only live her life, but revel in it.
Arden is a multi-platinum recording artist, actor and author. She recently starred in the fictional television series Jann on CTV. She is also the author of Feeding My Mother, a memoir of caring for her mother after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
Juno Award wins: 5, as a founding member of Blue Rodeo
In Music Lessons, musician Bob Wiseman writes about finding the link between music and daily life. Each entry in the book explores improvisational music, life lessons and conflict.
Wiseman is a Canadian film composer, songwriter and music teacher. He is one of the founding members of Juno Award-winning band Blue Rodeo. Music Lessons is Wiseman's first book.
Juno Award wins: 20
With more than 250 million albums sold, Céline Dion is a music superstar and singing legend. Celine Dion's Let's Talk About Love, written by Canadian music critic and journalist Carl Wilson, takes a look at the singer's career and her standing in pop culture. The book delves into her impoverished childhood, her husband's struggle with cancer and why her music connects with so many people.
Carl Wilson is a Canadian journalist and music critic who has written for Slate, The Globe and Mail, Hazlitt,The New York Times Magazine and many other online and print publications.
Juno Award wins: The Tragically Hip (17), Gord Downie (6)
The Tragically Hip, fronted by the late Gord Downie, sold more than eight million albums and won 16 Juno Awards over their career. In The Never-Ending Present, music writer Michael Barclay chronicles how five high school students from Kingston, Ont., became Canadian music legends.
Barclay is a Canadian journalist, editor and music critic. He is also a co-author of Have Not Been the Same: The CanRock Renaissance 1985–95 and Hearts on Fire.
Juno Award wins: 13, inducted into JUNO Hall of Fame/Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1986
Gordon Lightfoot has been called Canada's greatest songwriter. Known for classic songs like The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and If You Could Read My Mind, Lightfoot helped define the folk-pop sound of the 1960s. Journalist and biographer Nicholas Jennings had total access to the legendary troubadour in order to document his long career in Lightfoot.
Jennings is an author and one of Canada's most respected music journalists. He was the music critic and feature writer for Maclean's magazine from 1980 to 2000.
Juno Award wins: 9, inducted into JUNO Hall of Fame/Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1991
In the final days of his life, singer-songwriter, poet and novelist Leonard Cohen completed The Flame, a collection of unpublished poetry, selections from his notebooks and lyrics from his albums. Cohen curated the book's selections, which include his insights as an artist and thinker.
Cohen is a Canadian writer, singer-songwriter and poet.
Juno Award wins: 7, inducted into JUNO Hall of Fame/Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1995
Buffy Sainte-Marie is an iconic Cree singer-songwriter. Music critic and CBC Music producer Andrea Warner drew from over 60 hours of interviews with Sainte-Marie for this authorized biography. The book goes deep into Sainte-Marie's childhood and through her career as a groundbreaking artist and tireless activist who won an Oscar and was blacklisted by two U.S. presidents.
Andrea Warner is a writer, critic and music journalist for CBC Music.
Juno Award wins: 4, inducted into JUNO Hall of Fame/Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1981
Joni Mitchell is considered one of the most distinctive voices in Canadian music. Rolling Stone called her "one of the greatest songwriters ever." With Reckless Daughter, music critic and professor David Yaffe spent nearly 10 years interviewing Mitchell, along with more than 60 people who knew her, to produce this definitive biography.
Yaffe is an American author and professor of English at Syracuse University.
Juno Award wins: 3
K'naan's song Wavin' Flag was an international hit and this children's book looks at the success of both the song and the artist. Born in Mogadishu, Warsame moved to North America with his family and settled in Toronto. When I Get Older is a universal story about immigration and hope and the struggle to succeed in a new land.
Keinan Abdi Warsame, a.ka. K'naan, is a Somali Canadian poet, rapper, singer, songwriter and activist.
Juno Award wins: 2
Opera singer and concert artist Measha Brueggergosman has led a remarkable life. Her Grammy-nominated voice was heard by more than three billion viewers at the opening of the Olympic Games in 2010 and she has sang in prestigious concert halls all over the world. Her memoir, Something Is Always On Fire, gives a candid account of the former Canada Reads panellist's highs and lows of her life and career.
Juno Award wins: 2, inducted into JUNO Hall of Fame/Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1978
Mauricio Segura's book, translated from French by Donald Winkler, revolves around the life of legendary Canadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson. The book takes a fictional look back at a Depression-era Montreal neighbourhood and explores how race, class and money shaped the world of the jazz legend.
Segura is a Canadian writer, screenwriter and author.
Juno Award wins: 1
Tanya Tagaq is an Inuk throat singer, composer and visual artist. Combining memoir with fiction, Tagaq writes about a young girl's coming of age in 1970s Nunavut. She is a witness to the mythic wonders of the Arctic world, which are juxtaposed harshly against the violence and alcoholism in her community. Split Tooth is the first book by Tagaq, a Polaris Prize and Juno-winning Inuk singer.
Split Tooth is the first book by Tagaq, a Polaris Prize and Juno-winning Inuk singer. It was shortlisted for the Amazon Canada First Novel Award and was on the longlist for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize.
Juno Award wins: The Tragically Hip (17), Gord Downie (6)
The poetry book Coke Machine Glow by the late Canadian musician and author Gord Downie was first jointly released in 2001 with a solo music album of the same name. Coke Machine Glow features images, song lyrics and original poetry. In 2021, Coke Machine Glow was reissued with an accompanying audiobook version read by Canadian figures such as singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer and actors Dan Aykroyd and Bruce McCulloch.
- 20 years ago, Gord Downie reflected on music, songwriting and how poet Al Purdy inspired Coke Machine Glow
Downie was the lead singer of the Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip. He was a singer-songwriter, poet, actor, philanthropist and activist. He died at age 53 in 2017. Downie's music album Coke Machine Glow was originally released in 2001, in between the ninth and 10th albums by his band The Tragically Hip. The album was released with an accompanying book of poetry of the same name that featured poems about his work, life and music. The reissue marks the record's 20th anniversary.