Reporter: Amber Van Wort
Drake and Justin Bieber have both helped to put Canadian rap and pop music on the map. But their absence at the 2012 Juno Awards, which aired live from Ottawa April 1 was a disappointment to their fans.
According to reports Drake, who is currently on tour, was playing a concert in another country on the same night as the Canadian awards show.
It was also reported prior to the event that Juno Awards organizers didn’t even expect to see Justin Bieber that night, and they were right. This is not the first time Bieber has failed to make an appearance at the Junos.
Head of the organization responsible for running the Junos, Melanie Berry told the Toronto Star that she didn’t see these absences as a blow, and believed the show would turn out fine without them. And it did.
The Junos still came and went as usual. However, that doesn’t change the fact that for Drake and Beiber fans, the show lacked their presence. These stars have a gigantic fan base and millions of love-struck teenage girls had no reason to turn on the TV last Sunday. Some of the Canadian artists who did attend the awards, like Sarah Mclachlan and host William Shatner, wouldn’t appeal to the preteen Drake and Beiber fan base.
Last year Drake hosted the event and much to many fan surprise, he didn’t win a Juno. However, this year has been huge for the Canadian rapper’s career. The release of his album Take Care only expanded his fan base, and his chance at taking home an award.
Rap recording of the year was awarded to Drake last Sunday, however, it wasn’t presented live, and fans simply saw a still image of his album, Take Care on the screen.
One would think that winning a first Juno is something to be enjoyed in person.
Equally disappointing for the audience there and at home, was when Bieber’s pre-recorded speech for Juno Fan Choice flashed upon the screens.
Singer Carly Rae Jepsen presented the award, and there was an awkward pause before Jepsen had to inform fans that Bieber couldn’t make it to the show.
Bieber recently released a new single titled Boyfriend.
This single should have been performed at the Junos to show off the new song to all his adoring and loyal Canadian fans. Instead, fans got a poorly produced acceptance video that wasn’t more than a minute long.
All the fame and the millions of fans must come with a little stress.
Both of these artists have had a busy year, and it is understandable that Drake couldn’t just cancel an already scheduled concert.
However, this was the second year in a row that Bieber has blown off The Junos. Missing his own country’s awards show again, no matter what the circumstances was discouraging for his fans.
My Twitter feed was clustered with Juno hashtags. Many of the tweets were expressing their disappointment at the absence of these celebrities, and some were even tweeting about how they didn’t even bother to tune in.
Berry is quick to defend the boys, saying that they have been supportive of the Junos.
However, supportive or not, the absence of two celebrities as big as Bieber or Drake hurt the award show.
No fan wants to tune in to see a pre-recorded acceptance speech that they could simply watch on YouTube later.