Top 10 Best Musicians In Canada – The Rankings

Canada is know for their good music and the fact that their music industry is the sixth largest in the world says it all. Also, Canada have produced many internationally renowned musicians/artists, song writers, and this list of the top 10 best musicians in Canada shows some of these talented and proficient musicians/artists.

Canada has developed music infrastructure, that includes church halls, chamber halls, conservatories, academies, performing arts centres, record companies, radio stations and television music video channels. Canada’s music broadcasting is regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). With all these been said we look at the rankings of the musicians in this list of the top 10 best musicians in Canada.

Top 10 Best Musicians In Canada

10. The Band

Sometimes it takes a bunch of Canadians to write some of the most quintessential American songs in music history. While the band is 80 per cent Canadian (with one Arkansan in drummer Levon Helm), they remain one of the most influential acts in 60s rock and their concert film, The Last Waltz, stands as one of the greatest moments in rock history. With their 1968 debut, Music From Big Pink, the Canadian troubadours (Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel) gave definition to the genre of ‘Americana’ with their blues-meets-country-infused R&B. Even the most casual music fan knows the chorus to ‘The Weight’ and their song, ‘The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down’ is one of the best rock music ever put to tape about the Civil War.

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9. Leslie Feist

Top 10 Best Musicians In Canada

Leslie Feist is a top Canadian musician and guitarist, performing both as a solo artist and as a member of the indie rock group Broken Social Scene. Feist’s songs are really beautiful without being pretty. They have the counter-intuitive and never-formulaic structure of folk songs — so often times, my brain  races to analyze a dropped bar, an extended bridge, a missing chorus (pop sacrilege!) — but I am best served by letting the music wash over me. Doing it differently without making a point of just how differently. This might be my definition or a good definition of a great musician.

8. Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings

Top 10 Best Musicians In Canada

Top 10 Best Musicians In Canada

Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings are among the top 10 best musicians in Canada as their music group is highly rated in the country. Masters of the spoonful-of-sugar approach to songwriting: win them over with memorable pop hooks, but also sneak in a little something extra. They’d sing a simple song, but deepen the flavour with the richness of a jazzy chord sequence (“Undun”) or unexpected feel change (“No Sugar Tonight”) to make things a little more interesting. On the other hand, “American Woman” is among the simplest songs ever written — just a caveman-level dumb riff that goes on and on and it works brilliantly.

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7. Bruce Cockburn

Top 10 Best Musicians In Canada

Best Musicians In Canada

As a top Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist, Bruce Douglas Cockburn have won many awards and received Earth Day Canada’s Outstanding Commitment to the Environment Award in 2010, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. On November 19, 2012, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, at the 2012 SOCAN Awards in Toronto. On February 15, 2017, he received the People’s Voice Award in Kansas City from Folk Alliance International. On September 23, 2017, Cockburn was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame at a ceremony held at Massey Hall in Toronto. Bruce Cockburn is admired for the way how he lives his life, for his social service and his love his writing makes him outstanding. He is a great guitar player and an amazing inspiration. His body of work stands up there with the best.

6. Bryan Adams

Top 10 Best Musicians In Canada

Everyone knows this crooner outside of Canada for his 80s hard-rocking hits ‘Summer of 69’ and ‘Cuts Like a Knife’ or his heartfelt love ballads that dominated the 90s, ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You’ – which still holds the record for longest unbroken run at No. on the UK singles chart – but this top Canadian musician and prolific songwriter is so much more than the soundtrack to school dances. With an unmistakable raspy voice and gift for writing incredibly catchy songs, few things are more cherished by Canadians than maple syrup, hockey and Bryan Adam’s ‘Run To You’.

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5. Buffy Sainte-Marie

Top 10 Best Musicians In Canada

It’s stunning to hear just how artistically and politically relevant the songs Buffy wrote 50 years ago are today. The world has changed but we’re still catching up to her. Even now she still leads us, her work is a beacon in today’s landscape of apolitical comfort music. Her songs reject the idea of revolution, or any other destructive or false solutions. Her music is angry, and its love is fierce, but it is music of reconciliation, of resolution.

4. Gordon Lightfoot

Top 10 Best Musicians In Canada

Frankly speaking, I’ve been a fan of Gordon’s since forever. Since I can remember, He was the first musician I thought of as one of the top 10 best musicians in Canada and in the whole world too due to his impeccable abilities when it comes to music. On June 16, 2014, Lightfoot was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by SOCAN at the 2014 SOCAN Awards in Toronto. On October 23, 2015, Lightfoot was honoured with a 4-metre tall bronze sculpture in his hometown of Orillia, Ontario. The sculpture, called “Golden Leaves – A Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot” features Lightfoot sitting cross-legged, playing an acoustic guitar underneath an arch of golden maple leaves. Many of the leaves depict scenes from Lightfoot’s 1975 greatest hits album, Gord’s Gold.

3. Leonard Cohen

Top 10 Best Musicians In Canada

When I was 12 years old my friend gave me the greatest hits of Leonard Cohen, the one with the yellow cover where he’s looking into a mirror, and I absorbed that record. I breathed it in, I drank it, I fell utterly in love with “Famous Blue Raincoat” and the atmosphere and the energy and the particular oddness of it. It’s more than the recording, it’s more than the lyrics, it’s more than the melody. There’s something about it that creates a space, and it’s the one thing you hope to do as a musician is to create that space, in a song, to create that space where I want to be.

2. Neil Young

Top 10 Best Musicians In Canada

Top 10 Best Musicians In Canada

Canadians have this idea about themselves, at least it’s been my experience, that we’re sweet and we’re nice, but that is not entirely true. We’re polite, and I think that’s very different, but deep at our core, there’s an edge to us. And the reason why Neil Young is really where it’s at is because he always played nice with mother nature, but he didn’t play nice with anybody else. Neil walked away from this place and kept that rusty blade that was his mind, and over the course of decades, it never got dull. In fact, it got sharper and he started throwing it at different people. Neil never stayed nice.

1. Joni Mitchell

Top 10 Best Musicians In Canada

Top 10 Best Musicians In Canada

As one of the 20th century’s most celebrated and influential artists, Joni Mitchell is the very face of folk music and yet equally at ease in the worlds of rock, pop, jazz and blues. A fixture of the 6os folk scenes in Greenwich Village and Laurel Canyon, Mitchell first got her start during university in Calgary before busking in the streets of Toronto. With ‘Woodstock’ she created the anthem for an entire generation, even though it was Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young that made it famous. Truly one of the top 10 best musicians in Canada, the enduring popularity of her albums Blue, Court and Spark, defy trends and convention and her music has been sampled from everyone from Janet Jackson to Prince. She’s one of the best if not the greatest so her ranking as the top on this list is very much merited.

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