It’s the last day before the JUNOs Weekend begins and that brings us to our last three Alberta nominees. Today, it’s all about the ladies as we look at the nominees for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year, Gospel Album, of the Year and Reggae Recording of the Year. (And be sure to catch up on Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3)
Reggae Recording of the Year
Sexy Gal ft. T.O.K., Kreesha Turner
With two successful albums, a Platinum single, numerous past JUNO nominations, and music featured on hit television shows such as Entourage and Desperate Housewives, Kreesha Turner has certainly made a mark on the Canadian Music Scene. The Edmonton-born star spent much of her youth travelling to her mother’s home country of Jamaica, even completing part of her high school education there.
According to her bio, 2008 was the year everything began to happen for Turner as she dropped her debut album Passion. That album had the single “Don’t Call Me Baby,” and garnered her JUNO Award nominations for Best New Artist and Pop Album of the Year. On top of that, Turner won the Canadian Radio Music Award for Best New Group/Solo Artist and was nominated for a MuchMusic Video Award for International Video of the Year by a Canadian.
Drawing on her Jamaican heritage, Turner has developed a style of her own, and now, with a third album in the works, she’s ready to take her unique sound across the border to America. According to Turner, “… it definitely feels like the American audience is looking for something a little more rooted. To me, there’s nothing more rooted than Reggae.”
Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year
Brave New World Amanda Cook
Originally hailing from Medicine Hat (by way of Winnipeg), Amanda Cook is a familiar name in the gospel music scene. A worship leader and songwriter with Bethel Music since 2010, her music “wraps wors and pictures around what it is like to live honestly and passionately connected to God…”
She’s also no stranger to the JUNOs, already having her self-titled debut album win a 2006 JUNO award for Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year. Since then, Cook has hardly slowed down, releasing three more albums and taking home the GMA Canada Covenant Award for Female Vocalist of the year from 2005 to 2008 and recently again in 2014.
Brave New World is Cook’s fourth album but first under the name Amanda Cook (her other three were under her maiden name Falk). It’s also her first solo album on the Bethel Music label, though Cook has been featured on a number of the label’s other albums. Describing the album, Cook has said “Brave New World represents a voyage of discovering that God has been on our side all along, that we can live a whole life, full of heart, with a capacity to process pain, wrestle with truth, and find ourselves steady at the end of our pilgrimage. There is an endless possibility for God to create a world within us, a world transformed through the bravery of perfect love.”
Here’s the first track from Brave New World, “Heroes”
Adult Contemporary Album of the Year
A Jann Arden Christmas, Jann Arden
If you’ve spent any time in Alberta, you’ve likely heard – and heard of – Jann Arden. Known for her moving ballads, like I Would Die For You and Insensitive, and sharp wit, the Calgary-born singer, songwriter, broadcaster and author is one of Canada’s most celebrated artists. She’s had 19 top ten singles and to date, she’s received eight JUNO Awards; 10 SOCAN Awards; four Western Canadian Music Awards a Much Music Video Award, three Prairie Music Awards and an Alberta Recording Industry Association Award. She’s also the proud recipient of a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame; she has been inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame; she has been given the Vantage Women of Originality Award; she was awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal inducted into the Western Canadian Music Alliance Hall of Fame. Oh, and did we mention she’s written three books, has appeared in numerous television shows, contributed to a monthly advice column for Elle Canada and is active philanthropist? With all these gifts, it might sound a bit a bit sappy, but Jann Arden makes it feel like Christmas every day.
Oh, and one more thing: she’s also CO-HOSTING THE JUNOS! Is there nothing she can’t do?
And with that, we close up our JUNO Week coverage of all the Albertans nominated for awards. But the party isn’t stopping! There’s still the JUNO Cup, a whole bunch of JUNO Fest events, and of course, The Main Event itself. Be sure to tune in to the awards on Sunday, cheer on your favourite artist and celebrate the best in Canadian music!