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Justin Bieber, Drake, the Weeknd make Polaris Prize long list

Justin Bieber accepts the award for top male artist at the Billboard Music Awards at the T-Mobile Arena on Sunday, May 22, 2016, in Las Vegas.
Justin Bieber accepts the award for top male artist at the Billboard Music Awards at the T-Mobile Arena on Sunday, May 22, 2016, in Las Vegas. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

TORONTO – Canada’s biggest pop stars — Justin Bieber, Drake and the Weeknd — joined a roster of old favourites and newcomers on the Polaris Music Prize long list.

Chart-topping albums like Bieber’s “Purpose,” Drake’s “Views” and the Weeknd’s “Beauty Behind the Madness” were the marquee names on the 40-title list, which will be whittled down in the coming weeks.

Albums from other big names also made the list, like Carly Rae Jepsen, Peaches, the Strumbellas and City and Colour.

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Justin Bieber cries during performance dedicated to Christina Grimmie
Justin Bieber cries during performance dedicated to Christina Grimmie

Lesser-known indie acts like Black Mountain, Jean-Michel Blais, Basia Bulat and Suuns will also vie for the crown.

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The Polaris Music Prize is awarded to the artist who created the best Canadian album of the previous year irrespective of genre or sales, as chosen by a large team of journalists, broadcasters and bloggers.

The long list was selected from 183 albums that made the first ballots. It will be narrowed to a shorter list on July 14.

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The Weeknd the big winner at the Junos
The Weeknd the big winner at the Junos

The winner will be awarded $50,000 on Sept. 19 at a gala presentation held at Toronto’s Carlu.

Last year, folk icon Buffy Sainte-Marie’s album “Power in the Blood” won the prize.

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