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The best moments in Canadian music in 2019

Celine Dion talks ‘Courage’; becoming a triple threat
WATCH: Celine Dion will be bringing the house down in Quebec City as she kicks off her Courage world tour on Wednesday, Sept. 18 ahead of the release of her upcoming album, ‘Courage.’

2019 was an eventful year in the global music industry.

Records were broken, chart-topping albums were released, prestigious awards were won and, again, even more records were broken.

There were a lot of notable moments but a lot of sloppy ones, too.

Scooter Braun speaks out about comments by Taylor Swift about him and company
Scooter Braun speaks out about comments by Taylor Swift about him and company

From Taylor Swift‘s music catalogue being purchased by her rival, Scooter Braun, to the unexpected comeback of Mötley Crüe, there was plenty of controversy.

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The Who‘s main man, Pete Townshend, bad-mouthed his deceased bandmates, while Eminem breathed life back into his long-dead rivalry with Nick Cannon by dropping yet another diss track.

READ MORE: Best movies of 2019 — 11 films that rose above the rest this year

Canadian musicians, on the other hand, seemed to avoid the drama and maintained a solid year of triumphs, making for a fantastic way to round out the decade.

Not only did Ontario-based punk icons Alexisonfire reunite and tour, but they released new music, too. Shania Twain stole our hearts at the AMA Awards with a jaw-droppingly fierce Drake cover.

Then, in the span of only 48 hours, The Weeknd released two surprise singles from an album that’s not even out yet.

Here are some more of Canada’s greatest victories within the music industry this year:

Celine Dion

7-year-old girl performs song and wows crowd during Celine Dion concert
7-year-old girl performs song and wows crowd during Celine Dion concert

In June, Celine Dion played her final Las Vegas residency concert after a 16-year run and 1,100 explosive performances in Sin City.

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The emotional, record-breaking finale wasn’t just the end of an era for the Quebec-born singer. Though she said goodbye to her home away from home, she also announced her first world tour in more than a decade — the Courage tour.

Celine Dion performs during the final show of her Las Vegas residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace on June 8, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nev.
Celine Dion performs during the final show of her Las Vegas residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace on June 8, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nev. Denise Truscello/Getty Images for AEG

The ongoing trek includes a whopping 19 Canadian dates and comes in support of Dion’s newly released album of the same name.

With all her success in 2019, it seems once again, at the age of 51 — and 27 albums deep into her treasured music career — Dion is on top of the world. She shows no signs of slowing down, either.

The Rolling Stones invited us to celebrate Canada Day weekend in style

Rolling Stones rock out in Ontario at what may be their last Canadian performance
Rolling Stones rock out in Ontario at what may be their last Canadian performance

One of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands in history, The Rolling Stones — albeit, not Canadian — kicked off the Canada Day weekend last June by inviting 71,000 fans to their day-long Canada Rocks festival in small-town Ontario.

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It was one of the biggest concert events of the year and took place at the Burl’s Creek event grounds in Oro-Medonte, marking the group’s 35th gig in Ontario.

Since their first-ever Canadian show on April 23, 1965, The Rolling Stones have established a deep-rooted connection with Canada, frequently make a point of celebrating the country.

(L-R) Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards perform onstage as The Rolling Stones perform for the North American run of their No Filter tour at Burl’s Creek event grounds on June 29, 2019 in Oro-Medonte, Ont.
(L-R) Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards perform onstage as The Rolling Stones perform for the North American run of their No Filter tour at Burl’s Creek event grounds on June 29, 2019 in Oro-Medonte, Ont. George Pimentel/Getty Images

From headlining Toronto’s biggest-ever charity event, SARSStock, in 2003, to recording live albums across the nation — including Love You Live (1975) and Light the Fuse (2012) — the four-piece has created a rich history in Canada and won the hearts of millions here.

Canada Rocks was more than just a concert. Sure, people got to hear some of their favourite classics, and some got to relive their golden years, but like it or not, this was bigger than just the Stones. This was a Canada Day celebration done right.

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READ MORE: Canada Rocks with the Rolling Stones — Here’s what happened at the show

Shawn Mendes played his first-ever stadium show in Toronto

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Only last week, after nine months of intense touring, Pickering, Ont.-born singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes concluded his extensive Shawn Mendes: The Tour world tour.

Not only did the If I Can’t Have You star play 105 shows across five different continents, he played his first-ever stadium show in Canada.

It was on Sept. 6 that Mendes, 21, claimed the Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays. He scheduled it as the final show on the North American leg of his tour as a nod to his core fanbase.

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Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes performed ‘Senorita’ at the American Music Awards.
Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes performed ‘Senorita’ at the American Music Awards. Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The 53,500-capacity venue is Ontario’s largest and became Mendes’ biggest show to date, having only ever played there once in support of Taylor Swift back in 2015.

As an additional treat to his loyal fans, the star invited girlfriend Camila Cabello onstage for a surprise live rendition of their romantic, chart-topping duet Señorita.

Morrissey broke his vow to boycott Canada after a 15-year absence

Morrissey performs onstage on the first day of SOS4.8 on May 1, 2015 in Murcia, Spain.
Morrissey performs onstage on the first day of SOS4.8 on May 1, 2015 in Murcia, Spain. Xavi Torrent/Redferns via Getty Images

Whether you like the former Smiths singer or not, it might bring you pride to know that without even being prompted, he waved the white flag to Canada in 2019.

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For the first time in 15 years, Morrissey returned with not just one show but a full eight-date Canadian tour, despite his distaste for the country.

Back in 2006, the now-60-year-old vowed not to buy Canadian products or perform in Canada as a “protest against the barbaric slaughter of baby seals.”

However, it seems Morrissey had a sudden change of heart about Canada when announcing his return. In his own words, he said his act of animal rights protest “was ultimately of no use and helped no one.”

Morrissey performs on stage at Manchester Arena on July 28, 2012 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
Morrissey performs on stage at Manchester Arena on July 28, 2012 in Manchester, United Kingdom. Neil H Kitson/Redferns via Getty Images

Though fans of The Smiths seemed happy about the tour, the How Soon is Now? singer was mocked relentlessly by former supporters, who said he was abandoning his own morals.

Morrissey then revealed that with a portion of the ticket proceeds, he would be “making sizeable donations” to animal protection groups across Canada.

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READ MORE: Trump’s viral presidency — The moments that ignited the internet in 2019

We discovered three Canadian icons might be distant relatives

(L-R) Avril Lavigne, Justin Bieber and Ryan Gosling.
(L-R) Avril Lavigne, Justin Bieber and Ryan Gosling. CP Images Archive

Back in September, Justin Bieber revealed to the public possible evidence of a familial connection to some other Canadian stars.

The Sorry singer took to Instagram to share a screenshot of a family tree from Ancestry.com, which showed that he may be related to fellow Canadians Ryan Gosling and Avril Lavigne.

As a response to the revelation, Lavigne, 34, commented: “I’ll host Christmas dinner this year.”

The family tree suggested Lavigne may be Bieber’s 12th cousin, while Gosling, 38, could be his 11th cousin, once removed.

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As Gosling has no social media and did not address the possibility, the question still remains: did the star-studded trio end up sharing a turkey dinner together last week?

Leonard Cohen had us weeping over his music one final time

On Nov. 7, 2016, the world lost one of its greatest songwriters, Leonard Cohen. He was best known for his emotional poems, folk records and jazz numbers, as well as his most-beloved hit, Hallelujah (1984).

The Quebec-born musician released 14 studio albums in his lifetime, and though he died more than three years ago, fans were treated to one more this past November.

Thanks to the late musician’s son and producer, Adam Cohen, we were given nine more songs from the Canadian legend in the form of an album called Thanks for the Dance.

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In this Aug. 18, 2010 file photo, singer Leonard Cohen performs open air at the Waldbuehne in Berlin.
In this Aug. 18, 2010 file photo, singer Leonard Cohen performs open air at the Waldbuehne in Berlin. AP Photo/DAPD, Kai-'Uwe Knoth

Cohen’s passing was both a sad occasion and a bitter loss. But it seems the most recent release under his name was a perfect and beautiful way to celebrate his life and work.

To put his career in perspective, Cohen was inducted into not only the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame but the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, too. In 2003, he was even invested as a Companion of the Order of Canada — the nation’s highest civilian honour.

READ MORE: The best and worst holiday songs of 2019

Carly Rae Jepsen returned as the pop icon we simply don’t deserve

Carly Rae Jepsen’s new album
Carly Rae Jepsen’s new album

It felt like Carly Rae Jepsen had left her fellow Canadians in the dust after announcing a full U.S. tour in support of her latest album, Dedicated (2019), early this year.

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However, that wasn’t the case, as the Mission, B.C.-born singer later announced a full Canadian tour as the grand finale for the extensive North American leg of her Dedicated tour. She went from Vancouver all the way to London, Ont., to perform 13 shows across the country.

There were four years between the release of the 34-year-old’s previous album, Emotion (2015) and Dedicated, and it seems that time away really took a toll on her fans. The demand was high, and the tour sold out almost instantaneously.

Spotify and Carly Rae Jepsen celebrate her album ‘Dedicated’ with her biggest fans on May 11, 2019 in Marina del Rey, Calif.
Spotify and Carly Rae Jepsen celebrate her album ‘Dedicated’ with her biggest fans on May 11, 2019 in Marina del Rey, Calif. Rich Fury/Getty Images for Spotify

Not only that, but in support of LGBTQ2 communities, Jepsen made a surprise appearance at Toronto’s annual Pride parade in June, where she performed two songs atop a float as she was carted through the city.

Dedicated charted in 10 different countries, making it to the No. 16 spot in Canada. The record spawned 13 new fan-favourite songs as well as four smash-hit singles: Party for OneNow That I Found YouNo Drug Like Me and Too Much.

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Arcade Fire backed First Nations people with anti-pipeline movement letter

Win Butler (L) and Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire perform on Downtown Stage during the 2018 Life Is Beautiful Festival on Sept. 23, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nev.
Win Butler (L) and Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire perform on Downtown Stage during the 2018 Life Is Beautiful Festival on Sept. 23, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nev.

At the beginning of the year, Arcade Fire joined members of Arkells, July Talk, Billy Talent and Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq, among many other solo musicians, to stand in solidarity with the Unist’ot’en clan.

The First Nations community has been fighting against the Coastal GasLink pipeline project in northern B.C., which was launched to transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) to global markets off the west coast.

On Jan. 21, 2019, more than 150 signatures helped launch a Musicians in Solidarity letter addressed to the Unist’ot’en people.

‘I understand your frustration’: Justin Trudeau has fiery exchange over LNG pipeline protests
‘I understand your frustration’: Justin Trudeau has fiery exchange over LNG pipeline protests

Along its route, the proposed 670-kilometre pipeline is set to cross Wet’suwet’en territory, which quickly became an issue for members of the Unist’ot’en camp.

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The open letter encouraged fellow Canadians and musicians to sign the letter to “amplify” the protest against the Coastal GasLink project. In less than 24 hours, it received more than 400 signatures.

READ MORE: Christmas fail — 12 Canadians reveal the worst gifts they’ve ever received

Twenty-five years past her prime? No, Alanis Morissette proved she’s still dominating the industry

Alanis Morissette announces ‘Jagged Little Pill’ tour dates
Alanis Morissette announces ‘Jagged Little Pill’ tour dates

You Oughta Know Alanis Morissette was going to make this list. Though the 45-year-old never really took a break from her career, 2019 felt like the ultimate comeback for her.

Not only did the Diablo Cody musical based on Morissette’s infamous 1995 album, Jagged Little Pill, make its way to Broadway, but the Ironic singer announced she’d be touring the album to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2020.

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Next July, the beloved singer will play Toronto’s Budweiser Stage along with Liz Phair and Garbage.

Alanis Morissette receives her achievement from the Canadian Music Hall of Fame during the 2015 Juno Awards in Hamilton, Ont., on Sunday, March 15, 2015.
Alanis Morissette receives her achievement from the Canadian Music Hall of Fame during the 2015 Juno Awards in Hamilton, Ont., on Sunday, March 15, 2015. Nathan Denette / CP Images

Along with the unexpected tour announcement came a surprise single by the name of Reasons I Drink.

Better yet, Morissette revealed that it serves as the lead single from her upcoming ninth studio album, which will also be her first record release in nearly eight years.

Justin Bieber officially announced his return to music

Justin Bieber announces new song, album and tour with Canadian dates
Justin Bieber announces new song, album and tour with Canadian dates

On Christmas Eve, Bieber delivered an early present to his fans by confirming his return to the music scene.

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Though the Stratford, Ont.-born singer was featured on three different singles this year, he has remained inactive with his own music career for nearly three years.

As well as a new single entitled Yummy, Bieber, 25, revealed that he’d be releasing his fifth studio album early next year.

In this Sept. 30, 2012 file photo, Justin Bieber performs at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
In this Sept. 30, 2012 file photo, Justin Bieber performs at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Invision/AP, File)

To make things sweeter for his dedicated fans, the star unveiled plans for a full North American tour with four Canadian stops next September.

#Bieber2020 was truly the comeback nobody was expecting.

READ MORE: The best moments in Canadian music of 2018

Which other Canadian music moments did you love this year? Share them in the comments section below.

Happy New Year from Global News!

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adam.wallis@globalnews.ca