The nine-time JUNO winner was inducted by Anne Murray – who has won more JUNOs than any other performer – and joined the broadcast from the National Music Centre in Calgary to collect her special award. Jann delivered a moving speech, saying it was "difficult to articulate completely" just how much music has shaped her life. The 59-year-old also joked she thought she was too young to receive the honour.
The "Insensitive" crooner chatted about how she was grateful to those who offered her help along the way as well as those who didn't because the latter made her more resilient, more persistent and more emphatic.
"If I have learned anything in my life up to this point, it's that good things come out of bad things," Jann explained.
The singer shared some poignant anecdotes about her father and mother and how music related to experiences with them. She recounted her father's struggles with alcoholism when she was growing up and how they led her to seek refuge in music. She would often head into to her basement with the old record player and stacks of vinyl to get lost in music and find relief.
"It just was my whole world, down there playing records," the Canadian icon stated.
Before she performed her top-10 hit "Good Mother," Jann went on to share some ways music also helped her late mother, who battled Alzheimer's.
"When my mother was towards the end of her life and in the grips of Alzheimer's, and she didn't know who she was, or where she was, or why she was, when we played a song for mom, she could sing along, she could tap her foot, and it was those moments that I knew, and we all knew, that she was still in there," Jann revealed.
"Music is magic. Music is unbelievably special and important in life. It always has been and it always will be."
In the press room after her speech and performance, Jann opened up to HELLO! Canada about the biggest thing she's learned in her career: the ability to stick with something you love is everything in an industry where people will often loudly tell you "no."
"I think the thing that is still consistent is that you just have to keep going," she said. "Persistence is bigger than talent. Persistence outweighs everything, I think, so just stick with this."
Jann mused about how she "was told 'no' the entire way through [her] career," but still didn't let that stop her. She also added it's important for young musicians to understand there isn't just one way to make it in the business.
"[I was told] I didn't look right, I didn't sound right, my music was too personal, yadda yadda yadda, but when I worked with one of my very first managers, whose name was Neil McGonigal, he said, 'If they're telling us no, it means that we're on the right track,' so don't be afraid of opposition. I think that's a good thing."
Many congratulations to Jann!
In this challenging time, it’s really hard to be separated from family and friends. It’s also a time when everyone needs a beautiful escape. Here at Hello! Canada, we’re still busy creating the magazine you know and love, to spread positivity and provide some entertainment as a gentle reprieve from all the hard news. And with our new special offer for subscribers, there’s never been a better time to have Hello! delivered directly to your front door. Why not treat yourself, or someone you love, today?