For the first time in over a decade, pop star and newly-minted R&B artist Justin Bieber will perform at the 50th annual Juno Awards, organizers announced today.
Bieber — who last appeared at the show in 2010 when he performed a new version of his old hit Baby alongside fellow Ontarian artist Drake — is also one of the leading nominees. He scored five nods at this year’s Juno Awards, largely off the strength of his album Changes, and is up for single of the year, artist of the year, album of the year, pop album of the year and Juno fan choice.
Excluding 2019 and 2015, Bieber has been nominated for fan choice consistently for the past ten years. The last time he was nominated outside of that category was 2016, when he won Juno fan choice and pop album of the year for Purpose.
Bieber did not attend ceremonies that year, and was booed by audience members when the Canadian women’s curling team accepted on his behalf. He was similarly booed in 2014, when he won fan choice and was also not in attendance.
Bieber pushes for R&B recognition of new album
Changes, which was released in 2020, marked his first full length album released since Purpose. With it, he became the first male solo artist to debut at No. 1 on both Billboard’s 200 album chart and Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart, while his song Peaches — from his 2021 album Justice — went platinum soon after the album’s release.
Changes was also nominated for best pop vocal album at the 2021 Grammys, a categorization Bieber protested against in a short letter written to organizers.
“To the Grammys I am flattered to be acknowledged and appreciated for my artistry. I am very meticulous and intentional about my music. With that being said I set out to make an R&B album. Changes was and is an R&B album,” he wrote. “It is not being acknowledged as an R&B album which is very strange to me. I grew up admiring R&B music and wished to make a project that would embody that sound.”
For the Junos, two other artists — Jessie Reyez and 2020’s breakout star JP Saxe — are nominated for five awards, while The Weeknd leads the pack with six.
Bieber recently announced he was rescheduling his Justice World Tour — which was slated to take place this summer — to 2022. That tour has 52 dates in both the U.S.A. and Canada, including stops in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal.
Jann Arden will also perform
Also announced Wednesday, singer-songwriter Jann Arden will perform at the Junos as well. Arden was already scheduled to be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and will be presented with the honour by Anne Murray.
“I am honoured to join the celebrated list of artists who have been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame before me,” Arden was quoted as saying in a news release.
“This past year has reminded us all of the enduring Canadian spirit. I look forward to taking the stage and celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Juno Awards the best way I know how — through song.”
Alongside Arden and Bieber, organizers already shared that The Tragically Hip will perform alongside Feist at the ceremony.
The Hip will also receive the 2021 Humanitarian Award, which honours artists or industry leaders who have shown an “exemplary dedication to social, environmental and humanitarian causes … in a single noted action or a lifelong commitment.”
The 50th annual Juno Awards are scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 6 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. They will be broadcast on CBC TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music and globally on CBCMusic.ca/junos.