clock menu more-arrow no yes

Despite its size, Canada is frequently overshadowed by its southern neighbor, the United States. But don’t be fooled – Canada has a wealth of talent to offer, particularly in the music industry.

Over the years, Canada has produced many incredible musicians, many of whom are household names. And in this post, we’ll look at 10 of Canada’s greatest and most famous musicians. Let’s get this party started.

 

1. Joni Mitchell

Roberta was born Joan Macleod, better known as Joni Mitchell, transcends generations and genres. A legend is any artist who reaches out to people and influences future generations.

Mitchell’s music (folk-rock) is founded on social, philosophical, gender, and life musings that resonate with fans and reflect her humble beginnings in Fort Macleod, Alberta.

‘Big Yellow Taxi,’ with its environmental theme still relevant 50 years later, is one of Joni Mitchell’s most significant contributions.

2. Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams is a rock legend who represents rock, soft rock, pop-rock, arena (anthem rock), and has a massive fan base in all genres.

This multi-talented guitarist, singer, songwriter, and record producer has sold between 75 and 100 million singles and records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time.

Adams traveled extensively with his parents as a child and began playing guitar at the age of 12 with a ‘fake’ Les Paul.

Top hits like ‘Cuts Like a Knife, ‘Summer of 69’,’ and ‘Run to You‘ cemented his success.

Everything I Do’ put him on a trajectory of success and reached #1 in 19 countries, and remains one of the best-selling singles of all time.

3. Oscar Peterson

O.P. Oscar Emmanuel Peterson is a name that transcends time, having been born in Montreal to an immigrant family from the West Indies.

Peterson, a jazz and classically trained pianist, demonstrated an early interest and talent at the age of five.

Peterson loved the trumpet, but tuberculosis limited his lung capacity, so he studied the piano instead. He practiced for 4-6 hours every day.

There are 200 recordings of his exceptional talent available today. He has seven Grammy Awards and is regarded as one of the greatest jazz pianists of the twentieth century.

4. Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber rose to fame after releasing his teen pop debut album, ‘My World,’ representing London, ON and Canada’s contribution to the Teen Idol category.

The album propelled him to the top of the Billboard 200 (youngest solo male in 47 years), and ‘Baby’ is one of the most certified singles in the United States.

Despite being in his late twenties, Justin Bieber has sold over 150 million records worldwide.

Grammys, Latin Grammys, Brit Awards, Billboard Awards, American Music Awards, MTV, and Teen Choice Awards are just a few of his accolades (among others).

5. Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright is a Canadian-born American (Rhinebeck, NY). Wainwright is well-known for his distinctive Baroque, operatic pop, and indie-pop styles.

Wainwright’s music is heavily influenced by his passion for opera. He began playing the piano at the age of six and began touring with his musical family (The McGarrigle Sisters and Family) at the age of thirteen.

Wainwright’s first big break came when his album ‘Poses’ was picked up by DreamWorks executive Lenny Waronker.

In 1998, Wainwright toured with Sean Lennon and released nine albums, as well as two operas and theater music.

6. Neil Young

Neil Young broke into the Canadian music scene in the 1960s in Winnipeg, Massachusetts. Young is ranked #7 on the list of most celebrated artists due to his distinct tenor voice (Acclaimed Music).

Young has long-standing friendships with Joni Mitchell and members of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, as well as collaborations with Pearl Jam. Crazy Horse (1968-present) has released 12 studio albums as well as two live albums.

Young and Crazy Horse represent rock, folk-rock, and country-rock, though Young is jokingly referred to as the Godfather of Grunge. He was inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame twice.

Young has lived in California since the 1960s, becoming a citizen in 2020 (dual citizenship), and marrying Daryl Hannah in 2018.

7. Shania Twain

Yes, Eilleen Regina ‘Shania’ Twain was born in Canada. Twain rose to stardom after her second album, ‘The Woman in Me,’ sold 20 million copies.

Twain sold more than 100 million albums and is the best-selling female singer in country music history, thanks to her universal appeal to both country and pop fans.

‘Come on Over,’ Twain’s third album, is the best-selling studio album by a female in any genre and the best-selling country music album, selling 40 million copies.

Twain has five Grammy Awards and two World Music Awards to his name, and he is currently one of the best-selling artists of all time, with over 100 million records sold worldwide.

However, private and health issues slowed the ‘Queen of Country Pop’s’ career.

8. Celine Dion

Celine Dion is a global icon who represents pop, rock, R&B, gospel, and classical music. People have praised her talent since she first appeared on the scene as a teen in the 1980s.

The music industry has never heard a voice that is both technically and emotionally perfect.

She is considered to be the greatest Canadian and French-language artist of all time. She primarily performs in English and French, but she also speaks six other languages.

Dion’s Taking Chances World Tour is still one of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time, and she is currently ranked among the top 20 best-selling music artists of all time, with over 200 million sales.

9. Michael Bublé

If fate had answered and turned Michael Bublé into a professional hockey star, things might have turned out differently for him.

Bublé began singing at a young age and credits Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” with awakening his singing abilities.

Bublé is a household name and transcends musical boundaries, representing swing, jazz, traditional pop, and easy listening styles.

Bublé broke onto the international music scene with albums like ‘It’s Time’ in 2005 and ‘Call me Irresponsible’ in 2007. His smooth, crooning voice has made him a fan favorite for several generations. He has a growing collection of Grammy and Juno Awards and credits his success to his grandfather.

10. David Foster

If the award for best musician of all time is ever given out, it will go to David Foster of Victoria, British Columbia.

While most people associate musicians with singers or instrumentalists, Foster is the undisputed king of classical, pop, rock, jazz, gospel, and R&B music. His career began with stints with legends such as Ronnie Hawkins, Chuck Berry, and Chicago.

His resume includes 16 Grammy Awards, 47 nominations, and a who’s who of celebrities.

Foster’s talent, while perhaps best known for the theme song ‘St. Elmo’s Fire,’ has influenced the careers of hundreds of stars and megastars.

Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston, Beyonce, Toni Braxton, Diana Krall, Michael Jackson, Barbara Streisand, Bette Midler, Celine Dion, and others have had hits produced by Foster.

Summing Up Our List Of Great Canadian Musicians

There are many more talented musicians in Canada who should be included on this list. The music industry north of the border is bursting at the seams with talent.

More On
Top Tags