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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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 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.