Host Shania Twain is big winner at 2018 Canadian Country Music Awards

Twain used hosting duties, acceptance speeches to promote women in music industry

By David Friend - The Canadian Press
September 9, 2018

Man, she feels like a winner.

Shania Twain proved nothing could stop her at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards on Sunday as she picked up the most accolades of the night after serving as host of the festivities.

The Timmins, Ont.-raised superstar eagerly participated in a celebration of her career that included winning the Generation Award and the fans' choice award.

Her latest album Now was recognized for its appeal across borders, winning the top-selling album and top-selling Canadian album awards.

The CCMA Awards opened with a tribute to Twain's legendary status led by three of Canadian country music's new generation of female voices: Jess Moskaluke, Kira Isabella and Madeline Merlo.

Twain then joined the trio on stage to finish the song and proclaim that country remains close to her heart.

"My musical influences have always been diverse but country music gave me a home, a place where a fast-talking girl from northern Ontario, who dreamt for bigger things for her and her family, could be heard," she said.

Twain also took several opportunities throughout the broadcast to celebrate the inroads women are making in the country music industry. She also called for more progress.

"I'm thrilled to see women in country dominating the album of the year category," she said, pointing to how rare it was to see so many women among the nominees.

"But we can go further by recognizing a place for diversity in country music by being inclusive and by really respecting what women of country have always been able to deliver: heart, soul and a kick-ass guitar riff."

When Twain was given the Generation Award by pop singer Alessia Cara, Twain paused to recognize how Cara is forging a voice for a younger generation.

"Alessia really represents the empowered, independent female of today," she said.

Terri Clark inducted to hall of fame

Among the other winners was Moskaluke whose Past the Past locked in album of the year.

James Barker Band's Chills picked up single of the year, giving the song an extra boost after it won top-selling single at a gala dinner ahead of the broadcast. The Reklaws won rising star.

International country star Keith Urban, who performed his song Never Coming Down, inducted Terri Clark into the hall of fame after a reel of best wishes from longtime pals.

"To be congratulated by Reba, Brooks and Dunn and be given this award by one of the most talented men on this planet is pretty awesome," Clark said.

"I can't wait to see where this crazy ride takes me next," she added. "I'm not done, this is just the second chapter."

Some CCMA awards were handed out in events leading up to the broadcast.

The Washboard Union took home their third award for roots artist or group.

Moskaluke's Home Movie won for country music program or special, while the design of her album Past the Past received an award for its creative directors.

Stephano Barberis received the video director award for the visual esthetic he added to numerous projects, including Meghan Patrick's The Bad Guy, Jade Mya's Dirt Covered Rhinestone and Gord Bamford's Neon Smoke.