In terms of music, 2018 was a massive success. The industry spawned brand new artists, countless smash hits and an abundance of shocking headlines.
We were treated to all things Ariana Grande, including the throwback music video we never knew we needed, Eminem starting a lot of fights, Migos on Carpool Karaoke and of course, the raunchy and oddly-specific Beatles‘ sexcapades, sure to leave an unsettling image burning in your mind.
Let’s not forget about the Canadian music highlights. From Indigenous singer Jeremy Dutcher winning the Polaris Music Prize to the hilariously brutal breakup of Toronto doom metal band, Witchrot, our nation had a lot to offer in 2018.
READ MORE: Ariana Grande named Billboard’s 2018 Woman of the Year
Here are some of Canada’s greatest triumphs in the music industry this year.
When Shania Twain dominated the CCMAs
Man, she feels like a winner.
Not only did Shania Twain, 53, host the CCMAs, but she won the most accolades of the night — four to be exact.
The legendary country singer was the second artist ever to win the Generation Award.
Rush recognized the most entertaining air drummer of all time
Although the video was captured in the U.S., it’s likely that this man is indeed an honourary Canadian citizen.
The short video depicted him air-drumming Rush song Tom Sawyer at an NFL game earlier this year.
It exploded with hundreds of thousands of interactions. Rush even reached out to praise the man for his talents via Twitter saying, “the professor (drummer Neil Peart) would approve!”
READ MORE: Man caught on camera air-drumming to Rush’s ‘Tom Sawyer,’ Rush approves
The Weeknd reinvented himself with his most powerful music yet
After an unexpected split with Selena Gomez, Abel Tesfaye (best known as The Weeknd) released his most heartfelt music to date.
Fans still recovering from Starboy (2016) were floored by this year’s EP offering, My Dear Melancholy.
Tesfaye is now back with model Bella Hadid and after much reflection, he seems to be back and better than ever. He even teased his upcoming fourth album earlier this year, which is expected to drop in 2019.
When The Beaches got the recognition they deserve
This all-female rock band from Toronto had quite the year. After more than a year dominating the Canadian rock charts, The Beaches earned themselves a Juno Award for Breakthrough Group of the Year.
Not only that, but they played two of their biggest shows to date. Just last month, they played a sold-out show with the Glorious Sons at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena.
To up the ante, they opened for the Foo Fighters which allowed them to play in front of 50,000 people at the Rogers Centre — home of the Blue Jays.
Drake’s numbers put Canada right where we belong — on top
The numbers came out last month and Drake topped streaming platforms Apple Music and Spotify with the most listened to album, Scorpion (2018).
God’s Plan was also the most popular single on both. On Spotify alone, he accumulated more than 8.2-billion listens.
A new album, a highly successful tour with Migos and the king of all streaming services, what more could he do? Well, let’s not forget that the 32-year-old beat The Beatles’ record of most Top-10 singles to reach the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in a calendar year.
They had 11 — he beat that in October with 12. Now that’s an accolade to be proud of, proving the sheer power of Canadian music.
READ MORE: Drake just beat a record held by The Beatles since 1964
Alessia Cara stood up for us all when firing back at online bullies
Following the release of her critically-acclaimed sophomore album, The Pains of Growing (2018), Alessia Cara did something that seems to be avoided in modern society — especially with the dominance of the digital age.
The bada** up-and-comer addressed bullying and how it’s become an undying issue.
After receiving an influx of unnecessary hate mail, the 22-year-old spoke out against keyboard warriors and pleaded her fans to “never put someone down online or elsewhere.”
Michael Bublé’s son is healthy again, he’s Love-ing it and so are we
During a personal two-year absence to take care of his ailing son Noah, Michael Bublé hinted at the possibility of retiring.
After a long hiatus, he officially returned to the stage and revealed his son had gone into remission. Not only that, but his wife Luisana Lopilato, gave birth to their second child, Vida.
The iconic crooner quickly announced a further Canadian tour along with another album, his latest and greatest, Love (2018).
Bublé addressed his fans in a Facebook live video and admitted: “For me, Love is a small way of being able to thank you and tell you how much I love you.”
READ MORE: Alessia Cara takes a stand against online bullying and ‘Stan culture’
Mike Myers’ cheeky callback to Wayne’s World
** If you have not seen Bohemian Rhapsody (the film), this is a spoiler — scroll on! **
Bryan Singer‘s Bohemian Rhapsody was one of the most anticipated movies of the year — a Queen biopic featuring Rami Malek. What’s not to like?
Well, comic legend Mike Myers, was adamant on making an appearance in the film — so he played Ray Foster, a grumpy and unwilling record executive from the EMI label.
As if that wasn’t enough, he made a subtle reference to the cult-classic film Wayne’s World (1992). “We need a song teenagers can bang their heads to in a car,” he said. “Bohemian Rhapsody is not that song.”
For those who may not know, Myers played his own fictional character Wayne Campbell, in Wayne’s World, which shot the Bohemian Rhapsody (1977) single back to the top of the charts for a second time, thanks to the infamous car scene where Campbell and friends headbang to the six-minute Queen epic.
Avril Lavigne is back and she kicked Lyme Disease’s a**
READ MORE: Avril Lavigne’s new song ‘Head Above Water’ reflects on Lyme disease
Avril Lavigne, 34, made her long-awaited return with the highly emotional Head Above Water, which recounts her difficult battle with Lyme disease.
She went public with her diagnosis back in 2015. She battled the disease for an entire year before dropping off the public radar and going quiet for almost two years post-announcement.
Now she’s back and more fierce than ever. The passion and emotion present in her lyrics and voice are expected to shine through in her upcoming album which she is currently working on. It is expected to drop next year.
When the Gord Downie tribute at the Juno Awards made us cry
Half a year after his death, the late Gord Downie was celebrated at the annual Juno Awards with a very touching tribute which captured his legacy as The Tragically Hip‘s frontman, a solo artist, a philanthropist and an ultimately kind-hearted person.
Downie lost his life to a tragic battle with terminal brain cancer on Oct. 17, 2017, at the age of 53. He reminded us why we love our country through his words and through his music. At the end of the ceremony, he was honoured with the Artist of the Year award.
This was more than just a highlight from an award ceremony. It was a highlight for our country, Canada.
Which other Canadian music moments did you love this year? Share them in the comments section below.