Canadian talent was shining bright on the 2024 Grammys stage Sunday night.
Montreal was represented big with two local artists taking home the coveted status: celebrated conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and singer-songwriter Allison Russell.
Russell has been nominated eight times and this is when the Montreal folk singer finally got her merited statue.
She picked up the Grammy for best American roots performance.
“I love our community — all Americana, all colours, all ages, all abilities, all orientations, all genders, it’s for everybody and I love y’all. Thank you so much,” she said in her acceptance speech.
Russell and her clarinet later joined folk living legend Joni Mitchell. Mitchell received her 10th Grammy for best folk album.
That same night, Nézet-Séguin won for best opera recording for “Blanchard: Champion.”
Despite this being his fourth Grammy win, it was the first time the celebrated artist made it to the ceremony — and not without a few musical arrangements he made with Montreal’s Metropolitan Orchestra, with whom he was performing the day before.
Get the latest National news.
Sent to your email, every day.
“I saw that there was one way for me to make it to L..A. in time and I asked the Orchestre Metropolitan to change the concert time, so that I could get on the flight to L..A.. and they said yes,” Nézet-Séguin told Global News.
“It was crazy. I went with my musicians of OM, I was making music and it was worth it because I won the Grammy.”
Nézet-Séguin said he felt proud of being Canadian as he shared the stage with other Canadian talent, including Russell, Mitchell and singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright — who was nominated for his album Folkocracy in the category best folk album”– and of course, fellow Québecoise, Céline Dion.
“Seriously, I think giving back to the community that saw me grow, Montreal is such an incredible scene and Canada in general. Canada was so well-represented in the end.”
In a touching speech, he dedicated the award to his husband and fellow musician, Pierre Tourville.
“I think all artists can say that, without that special person, we’re nothing in a way because artists we need love, we need support and Pierre is even more than this, because he’s a musician himself,” Nézet-Séguin said.
Québec idol Céline Dion makes surprise appearance
Another famous Québecer took centre stage at the ceremony: Céline Dion.
The diva made a surprise appearance at the Grammys a year after she was forced to cancel all her shows due to her battle with a rare neurological disorder.
But she was caught in an infamous moment when she presented the award to Taylor Swift for album of the year and Swift grabbed the hardware from her hands, without even a look or a thank you.
“I don’t think she needs Taylor Swift to say ‘thank you so much you’re the greatest’ but just ‘thanks, I’m happy to get the trophy’. It was just… weird,” said Montreal Gazette columnist Brendan Kelly, who wrote about the topic.
From one Grammy winner to another, Nézet-Séguin says we shouldn’t hold it against Taylor.
“There is something in the heat of the time, I’m sure that afterwards she went and thanked Céline,” mused the decorated conductor.
That is what seems to have happened, as backstage photos appear to show Céline and Taylor wrapped in a loving hug.
© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.