The future of music

30 Best Canadian Musicians & Singers of All Time (Most Famous)

May 22, 2023
canadian musicians

Are you interested in finding out about the best Canadian musicians?

Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Canada is home to some of the biggest stars in the world, including Drake and Celine Dion.

The country’s musical contribution is nothing to be sniffed at, so we hope you enjoy checking out the most famous singers from Canada.

Enjoy our list of the best Canadian musicians & singers!

1. Drake

Drake, whose full name is Aubrey Drake Graham, is one of the world’s most famous rappers and singers.

He is credited for his talent in the genre of R&B and rose to fame upon the release of his debut mixtape Room for Improvement in 2006.

He has seven number-one, multi-platinum albums which have helped him to achieve his one hundred and ninety-three award wins.

This includes five Grammy awards, in the categories Best Rap Album for Take Care and Best Rap Song for Hotline Bling.

2. Michael Bublé

Michael Bublé is a Canadian singer who is known for renewing interest in traditional pop standards.

He has won nineteen awards, including five Grammys for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album (Higher, To Be Loved, Crazy Love, and Call Me Irresponsible).

His most successful studio album is his 2011 release Christmas, which topped at least nine charts and sold over sixteen million copies worldwide.

It has since been certified double diamond in Australia!

See also: Best Michael Bublé Songs

3. Neil Young

Neil Young is a Canadian singer who began his career when he moved to Los Angeles to join the folk-rock group Buffalo Springfield.

He kicked off his solo career with his debut studio album Neil Young, which was released in 1969.

He has won three Grammy Awards during his solo career: Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package for The Archives Vol. 1 1963–1972, MusiCares Person of the Year, and Best Rock Song for “Angry World”.

See also: Best Neil Young Songs

4. The Weeknd

The Weeknd, whose full name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, is one of the biggest stars in Contemporary pop music today.

He has four studio albums that reached number one in multiple countries, with Beauty Behind the Madness being certified 7x Platinum.

He has won one hundred and sixty-six awards with four hundred and thirty-nine nominations, including four Grammy Awards including Best Urban Contemporary Album (Beauty Behind the Madness), and Best R&B Performance (“Earned It”). 

5. Shania Twain

Eilleen Regina “Shania” Twain is a Canadian singer who is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, selling over one hundred million records during her career.

She is referred to as the “Queen of Country Pop” and the “leader of ‘90s pop crossover stars”.

She has five number-one, multi-platinum albums, with her most popular being Up! which was released in 2002 and was certified double diamond.

She has won a total of two hundred and twenty-three awards, including five Grammy Awards.

6. Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams is one of the most famous Canadian singers out there, selling over one hundred million records around the world.

His most popular studio album is Waking Up the Neighbours, which was certified diamond for sales of over ten million.

He has over one hundred and thirty award wins, including a Grammy Award in the category Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media for “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”, which topped charts in twenty countries worldwide.

7. Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell is known as one of the best singers from the 1960s folk music circuit.

She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, and has been coined “the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century”.

Her most popular album is Blue, which was released in 1971 and was certified double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry for sales of over twenty million in the United Kingdom and ten million in the United States.

8. Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne is a Canadian singer-songwriter who shot to fame at the young age of sixteen upon the release of her debut studio album Let Go.

It was released in 2002 and is the best-selling album of the 21st century by a Canadian artist.

Her second studio album Under My Skin, which was released in 2004, shot to number one in various countries around the world and sold a total of over ten million copies.

It was subsequently certified 5x platinum in Canada.

9. Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen was a Canadian singer-songwriter who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and is well-loved around the world.

His 2012 studio album Old Ideas is his most popular, with double platinum status.

He has won Grammy Awards in the categories Album of the Year for his contribution to River: The Joni Letter, the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Best Rock Performance for “You Want it Darker”.

10. Sarah McLachlan

Sarah McLachlan is a Canadian singer who has sold over forty million albums around the world.

She has won eighteen awards, including three Grammy Awards for “Last Dance”, “Building a Mystery”, and “I Will Remember You (Live)”.

She has four number-one studio albums, with her most successful being Surfacing.

It was released in 1997 and was awarded Diamond certification for sales of over ten million copies in Canada.

11. Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes is a Canadian singer/songwriter and one of the biggest pop stars today.

All four of his studio albums became number-one hits, with the 2016 Illuminate being his most popular.

It was awarded triple platinum certification in Canada.

With one hundred and thirty-two award wins and three hundred and thirty-six nominations, he is highly critically acclaimed worldwide, with multiple MTV awards in Europe, America, and Japan.

12. David Foster

David Foster is a Canadian composer whose career has spanned over five decades.

He has received a total of sixteen Grammy Award wins and forty-seven nominations, including Record of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best Rhythm & Blues Song.

Some of his work includes “Suites for My Lady” from the album Skylark, “A Moment” from Attitudes, “Foster’s Frees” from Good News, and nine songs from Airplay.

He has been in a multitude of bands, and orchestras.

13. Gordon Lightfoot

Gordon Lightfoot was a folk, folk-rock, and country musician and is credited for the 1960s and 1970s folk-pop sound.

He is often referred to as the greatest songwriter to ever come from Canada and was even inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 1998.

He had four number-one studio albums in the 1970s, and one in the 1980s.

His most popular was Sundown, which was awarded Platinum certification in the United States and Gold certification in Australia.

14. Carly Rae Jepsen

Carly Rae Jepsen is a famous pop, disco, pop-rock, and folk singer from Canada.

She shot to fame upon the release of her 2011 single “Call Me Maybe”, which reached number one in nineteen countries worldwide and is from her album Curiosity and Kiss.

She has received several Grammy Award, MTV, and People’s Choice Award nominations, as well as winning three Juno Awards, three Billboard Music Awards, and an Allan Slaight Award.

15. Paul Anka

Paul Anka is a Canadian singer-songwriter who first rose to fame in the late 1950s with his debut hit single “Diana”.

The song rose to number one in nine different countries and has sold millions of copies around the world.

He has thirty studio albums, two of which were awarded Gold certification in Canada and the United States.

Anka was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2005 and also won several Juno Awards throughout his career.

16. NAV

NAV is a Canadian rapper and producer who began his career after co-producing Drake’s single “Back to Back”.

His debut single “Myself” caused his rise to fame, selling over two million copies in the United States and being certified double Platinum.

He has released three number-one studio albums, with the most popular being Good Intentions, which was released in 2019.

He has teamed up with lots of other great rappers and singers, including The Weeknd, Travis Scott, and French Montana.

17. Jully Black

Jully Black is a singer that has been chosen as one of “The 25 Greatest Canadian Singers Ever” by CBC Music.

She has also been coined the “Queen of R&B”, and has released seven studio albums during her career.

Her most successful single was “Seven Day Fool”, which was released on her album Revival in 2007.

It reached number nine on the Canadian Singles Chart.

18. Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright is a singer and composer from Canada who has written two classical operas and released a number of solo albums and singles.

He has won a total of ten awards, including two Juno awards for Best Alternative Album (Poses). 

His self-titled debut studio album was released in 1998, and reached the charts in the United Kingdom, being certified Silver.

His most popular, though, was Release the Stars which reached the number two spot and was certified Gold in Canada and the UK.

19. Chad Kroeger

Chad Kroeger is a Canadian singer who is best known for being the frontman of the rock band Nickelback as the lead singer and guitarist.

He has been a part of other bands, including Village Idiot and The Suits XL, which he founded in 2001.

He has had several number-one hits with Nickelback, including “Hero” featuring Josey Scott, “How You Remind Me”, “Someday”, “Figured You Out”, and “Photograph”.

20. Corey Hart

Corey Hart is a Canadian singer who has sold over sixteen million records around the world.

He has recorded ten studio albums, with his most popular being his second release Boy in the Box.

Released in 1985, it reached number one in Canada.

He was inducted into the Canada Music Hall of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame for lifetime achievement in music in 2019 and 2016 respectively. 

21. deadmau5

deadmau5 is a Canadian electronic music DJ and producer.

He appears with a large mouse-like mask on his head, hence his stage name which is pronounced ‘dead mouse’. He has received fifteen award wins and forty-two nominations.

His awards include Best Electro House Artist, Best Single for “Not Exactly”, and Best Electro Track for “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” featuring Rob Swire.

He has also received six Grammy Award nominations.

22. Geddy Lee

Geddy Lee is best known for being the lead singer, keyboardist, and bassist of the rock band Rush.

He joined the group in 1968 but also had a successful solo career.

His debut solo studio album is called My Favourite Heartache.

My Favourite Heartache peaked at number fifty-two on the Billboard 200, and gave rise to his popular singles “Grace to Grace” and “My Favourite Heartache”.

23. Isabelle Boulay

Isabelle Boulay is a French-Canadian singer who has won several awards for her outstanding voice.

They include Female Singer of the Year (for seven years), Pop Album of the Year for Scènes d’amour, and Country Album of the Year for De retour à la source.

Both of these award-winning albums have been awarded Platinum certification in Canada, and Mieux qu’ici-bas achieved Diamond certification in France.

Nos Lendemains reached number one on the Canadian Singles Chart.

24. Bruno Pelletier

Bruno Pelletier is a Canadian singer known as the “Genius of French Music”.

He has released fifteen studio albums, with one featuring on the soundtrack of Dracula.

He has won twenty awards, including World Best Selling French Recording Artist/Group twice.

Many of his tracks have been certified Diamond and Platinum for sales of over ten million/one million copies in France.

25. Niel Peart

Niel Peart is the lead lyricist and drummer of the rock band Rush.

He is known as one of the best drummers in the history of Rock and was inducted into the Modern Drummer Readers Poll Hall of Fame in 1983 as the youngest person ever.

Peart has won several awards, including Best Drum Recording for “YYZ” from Exit…Stage Left, and Drummer of the Year several times.

26. bbno$

bbno$, pronounced Baby No Money, is a Canadian rapper who shot to fame upon the release of his single “Lalala”, recorded in 2019.

It reached over 900 million streams on Spotify and sold over three million copies in the United States.

He also collaborated with Rich Brian on “Edamame”, which became popular in 2021 and charted in seven different countries.

The single was from the album Eat Ya Veggies and was awarded Platinum certification in the United States.

27. Ruth B.

Ruth B. is a Canadian singer-songwriter who rose to prominence upon the release of her debut studio album Safe Haven.

It has nearly two million streams on Spotify and is by far her most popular release.

She has won three awards, including Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the Juno Awards, Best New Group or Solo Artist: Hot AC, and Best New Group or Solo Artist: CHR at the Canadian Radio Music Awards.

28. Céline Dion

“The Queen of Power Ballads”, otherwise known as Céline Dion, is a Canadian singer who sings mainly in English and French.

She is known as one of the greatest singers ever.

She has released twenty-seven studio albums, with her most popular being Let’s Talk About Love which has sold over thirty-one thousand copies around the world and charted at number one in twenty-six different countries.

29. Alanis Morissette

Alanis Morissette is a Canadian singer with ten studio albums.

Her 2002 release Under Rug Swept sold over four million copies around the world and charted at number one in at least six different charts.

She has won thirty-eight awards and received eighty nominations.

This includes seven Grammy Awards: Album of the Year and Best Rock Album for Jagged Little Pill, Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, and Best Rock Song for “You Oughta Know”.

30. Loreena McKennitt

Loreena McKennitt is a Canadian musician who has sold over fourteen million records around the world.

She has released twelve studio albums, with her most popular being her 1997 release The Book of Secrets which sold over four million copies in Canada.

She has won multiple awards, including Best Roots/Tradition Album for The Visit and The Mask and Mirror, the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Western Canadian Music Awards.

Best Canadian Musicians & Singers – Final Thoughts

Canada is home to some of the most famous musicians in the world right now.

From hip-hop to pop to country, this article demonstrates some of their best work.

Their contributions to music are incredible, so we hope you enjoy checking them out!

You may also like: Best Singers of All Time

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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