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Corey Hart to be Inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) and have announced that singer-songwriter Corey Hart will be the 2019 inductee into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Hart, who has sold over 16 million albums worldwide and had a big hit with "Sunglasses at Night" in 1983, will be officially inducted into The Canadian Music Hall of Fame during The 2019 JUNO Awards on Sunday, March 17. To celebrate his induction, Hart will take the stage at Budweiser Gardens to perform on live television and online for the first time in over 20 years.

The Canadian Music Hall of Fame was established by CARAS in 1978 to acknowledge artists that have made an outstanding contribution to the international recognition of Canadian music. Hart will join the ranks of Canadian music icons including Anne Murray, Joni Mitchell, k.d. lang, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Oscar Peterson, RUSH, The Guess Who, The Tragically Hip, and Shania Twain.

A new exhibition honouring Hart, in partnership with CARAS, will launch at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre in Calgary.

“I am deeply humbled by this invitation into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame,” says Hart. “It’s an incredible honour to be acknowledged alongside so many other talented and venerable Canadian artists. My career goal since the beginning has always been to remain one hundred percent authentic to my artistic vision while embodying the highest respect and dedication towards the craft I love so much. It’s even more symbolic to receive this recognition as I release my first collection of new studio music and prepare to embark on my first national Canadian tour in over 20 years – these are indeed…very exciting times for me.”

“We are proud to welcome Corey into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame,” adds Allan Reid, president and CEO of CARAS/The JUNO Awards and MusiCounts. “He was one of the biggest Canadian success stories of the eighties and nineties and even though he stepped back from the spotlight, he remained active in writing and producing for other artists. We look forward to celebrating him at The 2019 JUNO Awards in London.”

Hailing from Montreal, Hart started singing at the age of 11, performing alongside the likes of Tom Jones and Paul Anka. In 1981, at the age of 18, Hart sent tapes of his own songs to the Montreal Forum addressed to Billy Joel and his bandmates. What followed speedily set his career in motion: the band’s saxophone player called Hart, and he spent the following summer playing gigs with members of the Billy Joel Band and quickly began performing solo and writing songs.

In 1983, Hart released his debut album, First Offense, which took off in Canada, the U.S., and internationally, becoming a monumental success. The album gave the world the iconic song “Sunglasses at Night,” and the video for the song was both a staple on MTV and won the first-ever JUNO Award for Best Video in 1984. The following year, Hart released his sophomore album, Boy In The Box, which achieved Diamond status certification (1 million-plus sales) faster than any other Canadian artist in history. The album had four hit singles, including “Never Surrender,” which was number one in Canada for nine weeks and won Single of the Year at the 1985 JUNO Awards.

The international sensation “Sunglasses at Night” combined with his handsome James Dean persona, propelled him to be adulated by frenzied fans throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s. Hart performed in arenas around the world, and in 1985, sold out the 25,000-capacity CNE Grandstand in Toronto. Hart has sold over 16 million records around the world, has had nine consecutive singles on the U.S. Billboard top 40 and has had 11 top-10s in Canada. Hart has been nominated for a Grammy, as well as ASCAP, ADISQ, SOCAN, and JUNO Awards.

In 1999, Hart took a hiatus from touring and recording to focus his energy and time on his children and wife, singer Julie Masse. Although out of the spotlight, Hart wrote and produced several songs for 20-time JUNO winner Céline Dion. In 2003, Hart started a record label partnership with Warner Music Canada called Siena Records, where he continues to act as president. In 2014, after 12 years off from live performing, Hart made a comeback in his hometown at the Montreal Bell Centre Arena with a marathon set called “One Night – Three Decades Of Music.” At the same time, he launched his autobiography, Chasing The Sun.

Today, Corey Hart releases “Dreaming Time Again,” the first official single from his forthcoming EP of the same name, produced by the legendary Bob Ezrin. The Dreaming Time Again EP, releasing on May 3, 2019 is Hart’s first new music in 20 years and comes ahead of his cross-Canada Never Surrender Tour set to begin May 31 (his birthday) in St. John’s, NFLD. Tickets for the Never Surrender Tour include a free download of the Dreaming Time Again EP.

The 48th annual JUNO Awards and JUNO Week 2019 will be hosted in London from March 11-17, 2019, culminating in The JUNO Awards, on Sunday, March 17, at Budweiser Gardens, broadcast live at 8 PM ET on CBC, CBC Radio, on the free CBC Gem streaming service in Canada, and globally at cbcmusic.ca/junos.

[Photo of Corey Hart at top of page by John Wagner]

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Michael Raine is the Senior Editor at Canadian Musician. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Radio weekly podcast.