The winners of the 32nd annual SOCAN Awards have been announced. Honouring Canada's most successful songwriters, composers and music publishers, the Awards were held online for the second year and this year on May 27.
Leading the illustrious list is global superstar The Weeknd, who achieved yet another milestone by gaining five SOCAN Awards for his accomplishments in 2020. This tally matches Shawn Mendes as the most-awarded SOCAN member in a single year. After dominating the Billboard Music Awards, The Weeknd adds the coveted SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Award, the SOCAN International Song Award for the smash hit Blinding Lights, two SOCAN Pop Music Awards and a SOCAN R&B Music Award.
The SOCAN Cultural Impact Award was presented to Eddie Schwartz. His impact as a songwriter on the international music scene is undeniable, and his hit song, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, holds a special place in music history. An anthem of empowerment and resilience, not only was this Schwartz's earliest hit as a songwriter for another artist, but it would see singer Pat Benatar achieve her first Billboard top 10 single. A special performance by JJ Wilde of the song was featured in the Awards events.
The SOCAN Guardian Award honours the 24 industry and government leaders who championed Canadian content legislation, the Broadcasting Act, ensuring Canadian art and storytelling could be discovered and thrive. Their contributions of a half-century ago inspire us as we look to the future and how we will continue to nurture Canada's music creators in the digital era.
For his music contributions to such television productions as Heartland, and Hawaii Five-0, Keith Power is celebrated for a fourth time with the SOCAN Screen Composer of the Year Award, the SOCAN Domestic Television Music Award – Fiction Programming and the SOCAN International Television Series Music Award.
Frank Dukes continues to dominate the world of production, receiving his fourth consecutive SOCAN Songwriter of The Year – Producer Award. He produced for many of the biggest names in music, including the global chart-toppers My Oh My by Camila Cabello feat. DaBaby, and Monster by Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber.
In 2020 Tate McRae’s single You Broke Me First became one of the biggest international hits of the year. This followed amassing tens of millions of streams on her debut single Tear Myself Apart, co-penned with Billie Eilish and Finneas, and being added as the youngest musician to the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Tate McRae is being honoured with the SOCAN Breakout Songwriter Award and a SOCAN Pop Music Award.
For their investment in music creation and commitment to the long-term success of music creators in 2020, peermusic receives the SOCAN Publisher of the Year Award.
The SOCAN Licensed To Play Award goes to Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canada's preeminent classical music organization, for providing much-needed online concerts while continuing to recognize the value of music and importance of music rights by adhering to legal and ethical music licensing.
Special virtual presentations at the SOCAN Awards included SOCAN members Drake, Lido Pimienta, Shawn Mendes, OZ, Tenille Arts and many more music creators and publishers who exemplify the domestic and international success of Canadian music creation.
In a press release from the org, SOCAN interim CEO Jennifer Brown noted that "In a difficult year, the incredible work of Canada's music creators and publishers has never been more important and meaningful. 2020 reminded us of the deep connection we have with music and the huge role it plays in our mental and emotional health. We will continue to advocate for a country in which music creation is fairly valued and rewarded."
Music fans can support music creators by donating to the official charitable partners of the SOCAN Awards, the Unison Benevolent Fund and the SOCAN Foundation, organizations that work to assist deserving musicians, music creators and music publishers in their lives and careers.
SOCAN Achievement Award winners are determined collaboratively between the SOCAN Board of Directors' Membership Committee and the leaders of SOCAN's Membership department. They receive "The SOCAN" – the world's first and only music industry trophy that is also a musical instrument, incorporating five custom bronze crotales created by world-class percussion instrument maker SABIAN of New Brunswick.
The annual Gala de la SOCAN, which celebrates and honours the work of SOCAN's Francophone members, will be held in a similar event later this year.
A complete list of winners can be found at 2021 SOCAN Awards.