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Michael Bublé and Drake win Grammys as songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. takes home new award

TORONTO — Canadian pop favourites Michael Bublé and Drake each have a shiny new Grammy for their shelves after winning at this year's awards.
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A view of the red carpet appears prior to the start of the 62nd annual Grammy Awards on Jan. 26, 2020, in Los Angeles. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jordan Strauss-Invision-AP

TORONTO — Canadian pop favourites Michael Bublé and Drake each have a shiny new Grammy for their shelves after winning at this year's awards.

The pair of homegrown stars both earned trophies during a pre-broadcast ceremony where the bulk of the golden gramophones were handed out on Sunday, though neither star was in attendance.

Drake picked up best melodic rap performance for his appearance on Future's "Wait for U," while Vancouver crooner Michael Bublé won best traditional pop vocal album for "Higher."

Singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. was there in person to pick up the inaugural songwriter of the year, non-classical award which celebrates creators who penned some of the year's best-loved pop tunes.

The North Vancouver native won for writing tracks that included "Can I Get It" from Adele," "Boyfriends" sung by Harry Styles and "Careless," performed by FKA Twigs and Toronto's Daniel Caesar.

Jesso Jr. took the opportunity on stage to celebrate the introduction of the new songwriting award at the Grammys.

"I think this is a big win for everyone — this is not just for me, this is for them," he told the audience of industry players at the pre-telecast.

Other big Canadian winners at the premiere ceremony — where most of the 91 categories are handed out before the broadcast show — included Montreal conductor and pianist Yannick Nézet-Séguin who scored two Grammys for his classical works.

Nézet-Séguin won best opera recording for "Blanchard: Fire Shut Up In My Bones," and best classical solo vocal album for "Voice Of Nature - The Anthropocene."

And two Canadians were part of the team that pocketed a best jazz instrumental album Grammy for "New Standards Vol. 1."

Matthew Stevens, a Toronto-born guitarist and co-producer on the project, shared the win with jazz pianist and composer Kris Davis, who was born in Vancouver and grew up in Calgary.

Davis called the Grammy win "surreal" personally, but also "monumental" for the project, which is an effort by the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, where she teaches. 

She said the goal of the project was to "give space to women composers and performers through the book and album."

"It’s very meaningful for women at this moment," Davis added.

Several Canadians were unable to make the event, including Nézet-Séguin, who had performances in Philadelphia, and Bublé, who is on tour overseas.

“I honestly feel this is the best album I’ve ever made, making the recognition from the Academy members that much more meaningful,” Bublé tweeted.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 5, 2023.

David Friend, The Canadian Press

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