From The Weeknd to Rush, Rolling Stone selects the greatest artists in Canadian history

The American edition of Rolling Stone took advantage of the celebration of “Canada Day”, to draw up a list with the 50 greatest artists in the country. The text jokes that the country, which has one-tenth the population of the United States, gave us three of the five, or something close to it, the greatest songwriters who ever lived, as well as the most beloved progressive rock bands (Rush), the most country singer (Shania Twain), the biggest hip-hop star of the last two decades (Drake) and the ultimate R&B superstar of our time (The Weeknd).

Not to mention The Band, the most important group of “Americana” (the genre of rock that emerged from the mixture of various styles of American roots music) which is almost entirely Canadian.

The top 50 recalls several stars and important personalities of the country, in a ranking open to different styles and eras. There is kd lang (40th), Nelly Furtado (35th), Bryan Adams (30th), Shawn Mendes (27th), Avril Lavigne (22nd), Justin Bieber (17th), Carly Rae Jepsen (14th) and Arcade Fire (12th ) .

Groups that were very popular in Canada but never managed to get their music out across the border, such as Sloan (20th) and especially Tragically Hip (18th) are also remembered, as well as now half-forgotten bands like Loverboy or April Wine, who found success with their hard rock in the 80s and 70s.

Joni Mitchell

The top spot on the list went to Joni Mitchell, with Neil Young taking second place. Proof that the work of the singer and songwriter is in a moment of great critical appreciation and is also reaching a whole new audience.

Discover the “top 10 Canada” according to the opinion of the magazine:

Alanis Morissette

10 – Celine Dion (“few artists are as beloved in Canada as she is”)
9 – Alanis Morissette (“Her legacy is that of a woman who is not afraid to speak her truth”)
8 – The Weeknd (“In 2021, he was so big he became the first Canadian to play at halftime at the Super Bowl”)
7 – Shania Twain (“Even though she’s sold over 100 million records, she stays true to her roots”)
6 – The Band (“They may be the quintessential American band, but four of their members are from Canada”)


5 – Drake (“Toronto isn’t just a backdrop for his songs, he’s a character”)
4 – Leonard Cohen (“He gave the world ‘Hallelujah’, ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’, ‘Anthem’, ‘Treaty’, ‘Avalanche’ and his love song to his hometown of Montreal, ‘Suzanne’.)


3 – Rush (“they never stopped innovating, never lost their sense of humor, and never performed below the peak of their abilities”)
2 – Neil Young (“Even in his most ‘LA rocker’ moments, his love for his homeland is evident”)
1 – Joni Mitchell (“Like Neil Young, she would always go back to her roots, even living in LA”)

Julia Fleming

"Prone to fits of apathy. Beer evangelist. Incurable coffeeaholic. Internet expert."

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