2021 JUNOs: See who took home key awards on opening night

By Zach Harper

The Weeknd's incredible 2021 continued on June 4 as the Toronto electropop superstar picked up three awards at the opening night of the JUNOs.

The man who is also known as Abel Tesfaye won the coveted Single of the Year award for the hook-filled "Blinding Lights," and "After Hours" was named the Contemporary R&B Recording of the Year. He was also named Songwriter of the Year along with Jason "DaHela" Quenneville and Ahmad "Belly" Balshe for many of the incredibly catchy tunes on 2020's critically acclaimed After Hours.

Thirteen-time JUNO winner Alanis Morissette can add another trophy to her collection after picking up the Adult Contemporary Album of the Year award for her Such Pretty Forks in the Road LP. Written and recorded from 2017 to 2019, it details mom of three Alanis's love for her kids and her experiences with postpartum depression, which she's battled three times now.

Hamilton's Arkells won the Group of the Year award. The rockers have won it before, also having picked it up in 2019. Oshawa, Ont.'s Crown Lands were named Breakthrough Group of the Year.

Haitian-Canadian DJ and producer KAYTRANADA won the Best Dance Recording award for Bubba, which also garnered him two GRAMMYs earlier this year, and Nigerian-Canadian rapper TOBi picked up the coveted Rap Recording of the Year honour for his Elements Vol. 1.

Opening night featured performances from country musicians MacKenzie Porter and Lindsey Ell, Crown Lands, reggae musicians Ammoye, Kirk Diamond and TÖME, Francophone singer/songwriter Klô Pelgag and Toronto's Monowhales.

During the June 6 broadcast, Jann Arden will perform and be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Anne Murray, who has won more JUNOs than any other artist, will do the honours for Jann.

The Tragically Hip will receive the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award for their philanthropy throughout their careers. Both the Hip and Jann will perform, as will Justin Bieber, Jessie Reyez, Feist, Serena Ryder and others.

A full list of the opening night winners is available on the JUNOs website. Here are the winners relevant to HELLO! Canada readers:

If you missed the show, you can watch all of opening night below, courtesy CBC Music:

Rock Album of the Year: JJ WildeRuthless
Contemporary R&B Recording of the Year: The Weeknd – "After Hours"
Breakthrough Group of the Year: Crown Lands
Group of the Year: Arkells
Music Video of the Year: Jessie Reyez – "No One's in the Room" (Emma Higgins)
Adult Contemporary Album of the Year: Alanis MorissetteSuch Pretty Forks in the Road
Alternative Album of the Year: July TalkPray for It
Francophone Album of the Year: Louis-Jean CormierQuaid la nuit tombe
Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year: Leela Gilday – "North Star Calling"
Songwriter of the Year: The Weeknd, Belly and Jason "Deheala" Quenneville
Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year: Unleash The ArchersAbyss
Electronic Album of the Year: CaribouSuddenly
Single of the Year: The Weeknd – "Blinding Lights"
International Album of the Year: Harry StylesFine Line
Adult Alternative Album of the Year: BahamasSad Hunk
Country Album of the Year: Tenille TownesThe Lemonade Stan
Dance Recording of the Year: Kaytranada – "Bubba"
Rap Recording of the Year: TOBi – "Elements Vol. 1"

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