Leonard Cohen was one of the most popular Canadian celebrities of all time. After starting his career as a poet and novelist, Leonard went on to become a famous singer-songwriter, exploring themes like sexuality, religion, depression, and romantic relationships in his work. Leonard Cohen was one of the inspirations for Steven Clark and Matthew Bissonnette's 2002 film Looking for Leonard.
One of rock and roll’s greatest songwriters and performers of all time, Neil Young has worked both solo as well with bands like Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The Grammy award winning musician’s notable albums include After the Gold Rush, Harvest, Harvest Moon and Ragged Glory. He strongly backs environmental and disability issues too.
Joni Mitchell is one of the most popular Canadian singer-songwriters. Widely regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, her songs reflect her feelings about joy, romance, disillusionment, and confusion. Apart from being a musician, Joni is also a visual artist who designs most of her album covers. In fact, she calls herself a painter derailed by circumstance.
Alanis Morisette is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter and actress. Renowned for her mezzo-soprano voice, Morisette has been named by Rolling Stone as the Queen of Alt-Rock Angst. A recipient of 13 Juno Awards and seven Grammy Awards, Morisette has released several successful albums, including Jagged Little Pill, which was named in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.
Paul Anka is a Canadian-American actor and singer-songwriter. As a songwriter, he has contributed to the success of popular musicians, such as Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Jackson. He has also contributed to the theme of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Also known for his business ventures, Anka is credited with opening the popular restaurant and club, Jubilation.
Canadian musician, songwriter, and film composer Robbie Robertson became popular following his association as lead guitarist and songwriter with the rock group, The Band. He is credited for playing a key role in popularizing the Americana music genre. He also had a successful career as a solo artist. As a film composer, he has often collaborated with director Martin Scorsese.
Canadian singer, songwriter, and actress Carly Rae Jepsen has been active in show business since 2007. Interested in music from an early age, she pursued musical theatre at the Canadian College of Performing Arts. She held a series of odd jobs before getting a break as a singer and actress. She is the winner of three Juno Awards.
Neil Peart was a Canadian songwriter, author, and musician. Best known as the drummer of the popular rock band Rush, Peart was nicknamed The Professor for his technical proficiency. In 1983, Neil Peart became the youngest person ever to be inducted into the Modern Drummer publication's Readers Poll Hall of Fame.
10 Chad Kroeger
12 Mac DeMarco
Canadian singer Mac DeMarco is best known as the pioneer of the blue wave or slacker rock type of music. He described his music as jizz jazz. A multi-instrumentalist, too, he is skilled in the guitar, the drums, and the keyboards. He is fond of vintage musical equipment.
Amy Jo Johnson is an American-Canadian filmmaker, actress, singer, and songwriter. Over the years, Johnson has been honored at several important film festivals including Long Island Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. A multi-talented personality, Amy Jo Johnson has also directed a couple of films like Tammy's Always Dying and The Space Between.
PartyNextDoor is a Canadian rapper, singer, and record producer. He grew up listening to rappers, such as Jodeci, Boyz II Men, Blackstreet, and 112 and was inspired to pursue a career in music. His first mixtape was a moderate hit. Since then, he has released a few albums and several singles. He has been nominated for the Grammy Awards twice.
15 K. D. Lang
19 The Weeknd
One of the most successful Canadian recording artists, singer-songwriter, the Weeknd, holds several chart records and has won numerous awards, including three Grammy Awards. Despite a difficult childhood marred by drug abuse and violence, he persevered and worked hard to emerge as a beloved music star. He is actively involved in philanthropy.
Canadian singer and songwriter Justin Bieber was discovered via YouTube and subsequently went on to become a teen pop sensation. By age 25 he became the youngest solo artist to achieve seven number-one albums in the US. Bieber has received many accolades, including a Grammy Award. He’s also had his share of controversies and run-in with the law.
Success came early to Canadian singer and songwriter Avril Lavigne. At fourteen, she performed with Canadian icon, Shania Twain, and at sixteen, bagged a two-album recording contract with Arista Records. Her debut album Let Go released soon, became a huge success, made her a teen idol and earned Grammy Award nominations. With subsequent albums, her popularity has only increased.
22 Shania Twain
Widely regarded as the Queen of Country Pop, Shania Twain is the best-selling female artist in the history of country music, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide. She is also one of the best-selling music artists ever. According to Billboard, Shania Twain is the 13th Greatest Music Video Female Solo Artist ever.
Michael Bublé is a Canadian record producer, singer, and songwriter. He gained international recognition after releasing his fourth studio album It's Time. Also known for his charity work, Michael Bublé was part of a charity concert where he pledged a donation of A$50,000 to those affected by the Black Saturday bushfires in Australia.
25 Adam Gontier
26 Rick Danko
Canadian singer and The Band member Rick Danko initially performed as a rhythm guitarist and bassist for The Hawks. Part of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Danko struggled with drug addiction and was once even arrested in Japan for smuggling drugs. He died in his sleep after a performance.
28 Jessie Reyez
Jessie Reyez is a Canadian singer and songwriter. She started playing guitar as a child and soon began writing songs as well. She pursued a career in music after high school. Initially, she struggled a lot but was able to carve a niche for herself in a few years. She received the Juno Breakthrough Artist Award in 2018.
30 Edison Chen
Known as a "bad boy" once, Canadian-born Hong Kong actor/singer Edison Chen is now a doting dad to his daughter with his Chinese model wife Qin Shupei. The actor who has appeared in films such as the Infernal Affairs trilogy, was part of a nude photo scandal back in 2008.
Multi-dimensional Persian-Canadian musical artist and broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi is best known for his CBC show Q. Part of the folk-rock group Moxy Früvous, he has also launched a few podcasts. He was dragged into a sexual assault controversy, involving multiple charges, but was later acquitted of all charges.
Claire Elise Boucher is a musician whose music incorporates elements of various genres like electronic, hip-hop, and R&B, which reflects her hard-partying and volatile lifestyle; she once tried sailing down the Mississippi River in a houseboat built by her and a friend before the boat was impounded. Open about her drug use in the past, Boucher now advocates against hard drugs.
The frontwoman of the Swedish death metal band Arch Enemy, Alissa White-Gluz is also known as the co-founder of the metalcore band the Agonist. She was once known for performing in over 250 shows a year across the globe. A true-blue vegan, she has won the Libby Award from PETA.
Best known for her Grammy-winning and Billboard-charting single Black Velvet, written in memory of Elvis Presley, Alannah Myles is the daughter of legendary Canadian broadcaster William Douglas Byles. She was later seen in Eurovision and also sang the Canadian national anthem at Toronto All-Star Game in 1991.
36 Karen David
39 Deborah Cox
40 Jann Arden
41 John Kay
John Kay is a German-born Canadian singer, guitarist, and songwriter. He is credited with co-forming the popular American rock band Steppenwolf for which he served as the lead vocalist. He is also credited with contributing immensely to the success of the band. In 2004, he was inducted into the Canada's Walk of Fame.
42 Lindsay Ell
Canadian country singer Lindsay Ell is best known for her Billboard-topping album The Project. Calgary-born Ell learned to play the guitar while traveling to country music camps with her father. Her hit tracks such as I Don’t Love You and What Happen In a Small Town later catapulted her to fame.
43 Terri Clark
Terri Clark is a Canadian country music artist who is popular in both Canada and USA. Born into a family of music lovers, she began her career playing gigs at bars. Her first single was a moderate success and helped her get a footing in the music industry. She has since released numerous hit albums and has won many awards.
44 Hank Snow
Hank Snow was a Canadian-American country music artist who had an extensive career spanning half a century. He rose to fame in the 1950s and released around 140 albums during his career. He endured extreme difficulties as a youngster and sought solace in music, eventually becoming one of the most influential artists in all of country music.
Born into a family of musicians, Canadian-American folk singer Martha Wainwright initially studied drama but later began her music career, performing at coffee-houses. She is talented songwriter, too and has performed as part of the duo known as the Wainwright Sisters, with her half-sister Lucy Wainwright Roche.
46 Adam Cohen
47 Raine Maida
48 Skip Spence
50 Brett Kissel
Canadian country singer Brett Kissel is best known for his number one hits such as Drink About Me and A Few Good Stories. Raised on a cattle ranch in Alberta, he has often related his experience of rural life in his lyrics. He recorded his first album at 12.