Grammy nominations shine on Canadian artists

Sun Dec 30, 2007 8:41pm EST
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TORONTO (Billboard) - In a strong year for Canadian talent, acts ranging from alt-rock band Arcade Fire to polka king Walter Ostanek have tallied up no fewer than 20 Grammy Award nominations among them.

Leading the pack with four is pop singer/songwriter Leslie Feist, who goes by her last name. Among her mentions, best new artist, which has not been won by a Canadian since (American-born) Robert Goulet in 1962.

Joni Mitchell and Michael Buble each received two nominations. Power-rock trio Rush will be hoping for its first ever Grammy, for rock instrumental performance.

Industry insiders say the nominations have genuine commercial value domestically.

"When a Canadian receives a nomination," said Ken Kirkwood, director of product at the HMV Canada retail chain, "they're usually (already) a household name here, but the added attention and focus they receive always helps in selling more CDs."

Kirkwood said Feist would likely benefit significantly from her nominations. Her CD "The Reminder," a contender for pop vocal album, has sold more than 500,000 copies in the United States and Canada, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

In Canada, weekly sales soared to 4,100 from 2,400 following the December 6 Grammy announcement. Unfortunately for Feist, she will be competing with six-time nominee Amy Winehouse in three of her four categories.

Buble saw weekly sales of "Call Me Irresponsible," a contender for traditional pop vocal album, increase to nearly 7,000 from around 4,000 in the same period. It is currently No. 9 on the Canadian pop chart.


<p>Canadian band Arcade Fire perform on stage during a concert in Oslo, Nov. 4, 2007. REUTERS/Kyrre Lien/Scanpix Norway</p>