No one is calm at the moment, but Canuck talent can certainly settle the nerves
Let's be honest. These aren't exactly normal days. But Canadian performers have long been heroes in times of crisis. With her impromptu Facebook Live concert of hits yesterday, Jann Arden showed us all that we can come together and celebrate resilience, strength... and patriotism. And she inspired us!
Here are our top 10 picks for homegrown singles that will offer hope in these uncertain times ahead...
1. Luba — "How Many"
Luba never translated in America. The winner of three consecutive Juno Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year (Matching just Céline Dion and Anne Murray with that streak), she enjoyed huge success in the late '80s and early '90s in Canada... solely. Which, really, is sad for our neighbours to the south. Her single "How Many", which featured a sax effort from a young Kenny G, was produced by Whitney Houston-confidante Narada Michael Walden and peaked at #16 in 1986. In it, she exclaims, "Got to get on with my life!" Indeed.
2. Drake — "Hold On (We're Going Home)"
Whilst American sports leagues keep trying to claim him, Drake is a tried and true Canuck. (We obsessively watched him on "Degrassi" after all.) The man is a genuine talent and certainly someone who can help us hit the absolute heights in the best of times... but he can also chill us out. His "Hold On (We're Going Home)" peaked at number five in Canada and hit the top spot on the Billboard R&B charts.
3. Bryan Adams (featuring Tina Turner) — It's Only Love
You don't get more "Vancouver" than Bryan Adams. He grew up on the North Shore, worked at the Tomahawk... and ran backstage at the PNE in 1985 to throw a demo tape into Tina Turner's dressing room. What resulted was musical perfection.
4. k.d. lang — Hallelujah
The 2010 Olympics in Vancouver took a tragic turn in the first days. An athlete dead. Equipment questioned. And a country—so ready to celebrate—in need of a calming voice. The planning committee was clearly lucky, then, that k.d. lang answered the phone. Long held in high esteem for hits like the Grammy-winner "Constant Craving", lang demonstrated just what it means to be a leader, a performer... and a Canadian.
5. Anne Murray — Snowbird
There are just a handful of Canadian women who have done it. Céline has done it. Alannah Myles has done it. Nelly Furtado and Alessia Cara and Sarah McLachlan have done it. But none—NONE—did it before Anne Murray. In 1977, she broke records and hit the Top 10 in the States with this crossover wonder.
6. The Weeknd — Can't Feel My Face
Sometimes... we just need to move! For a man that seems so calm, cool and collected, The Weeknd deserves to dance. (And call us, if ya wanna, Abel!) Hitting number one on the U.S. charts and receiving two Grammy nominations, he did us proud!
8. Wide Mouth Mason — Change
Some may think Wide Mouth Mason never went worldwide, but the good ol' boys from the Prairies toured the globe with AC/DC (and more!) And anyone blessed enough to have heard them perform live knows why. "Change" made them a radio staple in Canada... and thank God!
7. Shania Twain — That Don't Impress Me Much
Years before #metoo, Shania Twain called men on the carpet. And her audience rejoiced. "So ya think you're Brad Pitt?" (Except, as unapologetic Canadians, we are still a bit worried that she may have offended Mr. Pitt.)
9. Céline Dion — A New Day Has Come
Céline wanted a baby. All of Canada wanted Céline to have a baby.
And this joyous ode captured our collective excitement.
10. Jann Arden — Good Mother
Perhaps one of the greatest songs ever written.
If you haven't called your mama yet... do it.
To soothe us all. To calm us all.
Thank you, Jann. And very importantly.... thank you, Joan. You raised a woman who helps us all keep our heads together.