Top 10 Canadian Music Artists

Every year we celebrate Canada’s birthday, with this year being the 150th. To celebrate Canada here is a top 10 list of the best musical acts that this country has every produce. I’m basing this list on cultural impact and career accomplishments of each artist. Hit songs, album sales and awards can define the career success of the artist on this list. While cultural impact is harder to define there for it’s going come off a little bit bias. So lets start with the honorable mentions, I would like to say sorry to Tory Lanez, Arcade Fire, Michael Bublé, Nelly Furtado and of courses Canada’s favorite band; Nickel Back.

In other words, making this list wasn’t easy. Have your arguments handy!


Avril Lavigne

Home Town: Belleville, ON
Hit Song: Complicated

Since her professional debut, Lavigne has sold more than 40 million albums and over 50 million singles worldwide making her the 2nd best selling Canadian female artist of all time, behind Celine Deon (who is also on this list). When it comes to cultural impact and career accomplishments how can you not think of Avril Lavigne. Avril was the female face of pop punk. Critics called her the queen of pop punk with hits like Skater boy, Let it go and Girlfriend. But her biggest hit by far that gave her international fame was called Complicated. Avril was such a hit that her songs were featured on TV shows like Gilmore girls. Does anything re-present the views of white teen-preteen girls of the early 2000s who felt left out? Shows like Gilmore girls gave them a face Avril no doubt gave them a voice.

The Tragically Hip


Home Town: Kingston, ON
Hit Song: Doing it for you

I would be a danm fool if I didn’t add The Tragically Hip to this list. They have released 14 studio albums, two live albums, 1 EP, and 54 singles. Nine of their albums have reached No. 1 in Canada. One point in time the Hip was the face of Canadian music. Canadian rapper K-os says his career has also been inspired by the Hip’s music, which gave him a window into Canadian culture while growing up in Whitby, Ont. The only reason why I have them at number 9 is because they don’t have much of an impact out side of Canada unlike some of the other acts on this list.

Bryan Adams

Home Town: Kingston, ON
Hit Song: I do it for you

Bryan Adams has been a staple in the music industry since 1975 of course he would make this list. The man that gave the world hit songs like “Run to you” and “Summer of ‘69”. But Bryan didn’t reach the peek of his success until he releasing “Everything I do I do for you” from the album Waking up the neighbors. The album became a worldwide hit, which went to number 1 in many countries, including 16 consecutive weeks in the United Kingdom. The only reason why Bryan Adams is number 8 is because he didn’t make much of an impact on the younger generations.


The Weeknd

Home Town: Toronto, ON
Hit Song: Can’t feel my face

How can a man that made a song about cocaine and turn around and win a kid’s choice award for it not make this list? The Weekend has won two Grammy awards, eight Billboards music awards two American music awards, nine Juno awards, and has been nominated for one Academy awards. For his cultural impact the guy is know for dating Disney stars to supermodels. Whoever he’s spotted with becomes front page news. If The Weeknd continues at this pace he will no doubt climb up this list in the near future.



Home Town: Toronto, ON
Hit Song: Tom Sawyer

When you think Canadian rock and roll what comes to mind? If you guessed Rush then you are right. With hit songs like “Fly by night”, “Spirit of the radio” and of course “Tom Sawyer”. Rush has received nominations for seven Grammy awards, the band has won several Juno awards, won an International Achievement Award at the 2009 SOCAN Awards, was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Rush is the greatest rock band in Canadian history, any rock bands that come after can only dream to achieve what they have.


Shania Twain

Home Town: Windsor, ON
Hit Song: Man, I feel like a Women

Where do you start with the great Shania Twain is it the 85 million records sold, or do you start with the fact that she is the best selling female country singer of all time. Success garnered her several honorific titles including the “Queen of country pop”. Twain’s third album, Come on over, became the best selling studio album of all time by a female act in any genre and the best-selling country album. Shania Twain has three certified diamond albums and has received 5 Grammy awards. She is by far one of the most successful artists that Canada has ever produced.


Justin Bieber


Home Town: Stratford, ON
Hit Song: Sorry

I have one question are you a Belieber? Because I’m a Belieber. You would have to be crazy not to be one (or not a fan). Bieber has given the world hit songs like Baby, Boyfriend, Lose your self and of course Sorry. Justin is the first artist to have 7 songs off his debut album to reach billboards hot 100. Sorry is the most watched video in VEVO history with just over 2 billion views and is the first artist that has surpassed over 10 billion views on VEVO. Bieber has won numerous awards including the American Music Awards for Artist of the Year in 2010 and 2012. Justin has also won one Grammy. Forbes has listed Bieber as one the top ten most powerful celebrities 4 separate times.


Home Town: Toronto ON
Hit Song: Hotline bling

Canada was first introduced to Drake from a little old teen drama called Degrassi maybe you heard of it. Back then people only knew Drake as Jimmy, the boy who got shot and put in a wheelchair. Little did we know that he would shed that persona and become the biggest rapper in Canadian history. Lets run of the accomplishments that made Drake earn the 6th god nickname. With songs like One Dance and Energy and of course his biggest hit yet Hotline Bling, you can see why Drake came in at number 3. Drake has won 80 awards and with three of them being Grammys. Drake Forth studio album Views sat on top of the Billboard 200 charts for 10 consecutive weeks making him the first male artist to do that in the last 10 years. The 6th god is the face of a generation and he started a groundbreaking movement in this country. It’s fair to say if we didn’t have drake we might not have acts like The Weeknd, Tory Lanez and many more of the hip hop and R&B acts that we have today.

Neil Young

Home Town: Toronto ON
Hit Song: Old man

Coming in at number 2 is the rock and roll god him self Neil Young. For those who do not know who Neil young is (as a Canadian that would be surprising) he is the first Canadian “rock star”. Neil Young has been labled as the godfather of  Grunge music. Young has won many awards including Grammys and Juno awards. Young has been inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice once as a solo act and once as a member of Buffalo Springfield. He is also a memebr of the Canadian music Hall of Fame.  Rolling Stones Magazine ranked him as the 63third greatest rockstar in music history. In 2009 Neil Young was made an officer of the Order of Canada.

Celine Dion

Home Town: Charlemagne, QB
Hit Song: My heart will go on

Of course the French queen her self Celine Dion would make this list. I would have to be absolutely insane if she wasn’t. Fun fact Celine is the only person not born In Ontario to make this list. Lets start off by running down her long list of accomplishments shall we? Celine has given the world hit songs like My heart will go on (lead song for the blockbuster movie Titanic) All by my self (lead song for Disney classic Beauty and the Beast) and Because you love just to name a few.  There has never been a Canadian artist that has sold more records then the great Celine Dion and very few have done it world wide. Ms. Dion has sold over 200 million records worldwide she won 252 awards including 5 Grammys. Accolades like those its hard not to rank Celine Dion as the greatest artist in Canadian History.

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