Rogers Arena, Vancouver.
The annual Juno Awards celebrating the best in Canadian music were hosted by Twelve-time Juno Award winner Michael Bublé from Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Sunday, March 25th.
Jessie Reyez was one of this past year’s biggest breakout stars and she proved that at the 2018 Juno Awards by taking home the title for breakthrough artist of the year.
The soulful 26-year-old R&B singer, born in Canada to Colombian parents, worked to get her music heard by handing out copies of her mixtape to DJs while they were performing. One of those DJs was Calvin Harris, who years later would feature Reyez on the track “Hard to Love” from his album Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1.
Her first EP, Kiddo, was released in 2017, with tracks such as lead single “Figures” and “Gatekeeper,” a song with lyrics about the misogyny and sexual abuse in the music industry.
Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly awarded Breakthrough Artist to Reyez. She offered an emotional acceptance speech reflecting on her sudden rise to fame. “It means so much to get this love out at home,” she said. “Hell ya, to be Canadian say ‘Yah.”
In addition to her Juno Award, she also performed her 2016 hit, “Figures”. Reyez was joined on stage by another big Juno winner, Daniel Caesar, who took home the title of R&B/Soul Recording of the Year.