Famous Canadian Musicians

Canada has been inhabited by the aborigines, French and English and their culture is an amalgamation of the three. Similar to their culture and traditions, the Canadian music is also influenced by the three communities. Each aboriginal community had developed a distinct style of music but the Chanting tradition which used a variety of hand-made instruments became quite popular. Eventually as the French colonies began to settle in the country, the music evolved to incorporate the classic fiddle playing style and the musicians began to use instruments such as violins, guitars, drums, flutes and trumpets. After the great depression the music moved towards a more popular culture and thus came into being Canadian jazz and Canadian rock. Pianist Oscar Peterson and singer Hank Snow were some of the greatest musicians of that era. The country has also produced some great rock musicians like Neil young and Leonard Cohen. The great legacy of the country’s music is carried forward by the musicians like Bryan Adams, Nelly Furtado, Shania Twain and Celine Dion. Here we present to you a collection of biographies on some of most the famous Canadian musicians. Read on to know more about their life stories, timeline and achievements. You will also find some interesting facts and trivia about these personalities.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Neil Young

Neil Young
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: November 12, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Canadian

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.

 2 Alanis Morisette

Alanis Morisette
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Famous As: American-Canadian singer-songwriter
Birthdate: June 1, 1974
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Canadian

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.

 3 Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: November 5, 1959
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Canadian
Canadian rock guitarist and singer Bryan Adams, known for his cult classics Everything I Do and Summer of '69, has won 20 Juno Awards and a Grammy. The Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee is also an avid animal rights activist and a professional photographer who has held several exhibitions.

 4 Paul Anka

Paul Albert Anka
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Famous As: Singer, Songwriter
Birthdate: July 30, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Canadian, American

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.

 5 The Weeknd

The Weeknd
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 16, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Canadian

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.

 6 Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes
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Famous As: Singer & Songwriter
Birthdate: August 8, 1998
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Canadian

Canadian pop singer Shawn Mendes is known for catchy and soulful folk-pop songs. Stitches, Treat You Better, There's Nothing Holding Me Back, In My Blood, If I Can't Have You and Senorita are some of his popular and chartbuster songs. He was named by the Time Magazine in 2018 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

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 7 Neil Peart

Neal Peart
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Famous As: Musician, Songwriter
Birthdate: September 12, 1952
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Canadian
Died: January 7, 2020

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.

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 8 René Angélil

René Angélil
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Famous As: Record Producers
Birthdate: January 16, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Canadian, American
Died: January 14, 2016
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 9 Gordon Lightfoot

Gordon Lightfoot
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Famous As: Singer, Songwriter
Birthdate: November 17, 1938
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Canadian
Canadian folk-rock sensation Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr. is best known for his chart-topping tracks such as If You Could Read My Mind and Ribbon of Darkness. He set the tone for the folk-pop genre in the 1960s and 1970s. The 16-time Juno-winner has earned the Governor General's Performing Arts Award.

 10 Victor Garber

Victor Garber
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Famous As: Television actor, Film actor, Singer, Musician, Stage actor
Birthdate: March 16, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Canadian

 11 Michael Bublé

Michael Buble
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 9, 1975
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Canadian, Italian

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.

 12 Deadmau5

Deadmau5
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Famous As: DJ
Birthdate: January 5, 1981
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Canadian
Six-time Grammy-nominated Canadian electronic music artist and DJ Joel Thomas Zimmerman, better known as Deadmau5, soared to fame with his house music albums. He gained recognition for his collaborations with Steve Duda as part of the groups WTF? and BSOD. He also produced techno music under the pseudonym Testpilot.
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 13 Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 27, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Canadian, French

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.

 14 Amy Jo Johnson

Amy Jo Johnson
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 6, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Canadian, American
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 15 Finn Wolfhard

Finn Wolfhard
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Famous As: Actor, Musician
Birthdate: December 23, 2002
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Canadian

Best known as Mike Wheeler from Stranger Things, SAG Award-winner Finn Wolfhard has also appeared in It and its sequel. He was a vocalist and guitarist for the band Calpurnia and formed the indie-pop duo The Aubreys. Named to Forbes 30 under 30, he has also directed a short film.

 16 Mac DeMarco

Mac DeMarco
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 30, 1990
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Canadian

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.

 17 PartyNextDoor

PartyNextDoor
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: July 3, 1993
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Canadian

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. 

 18 Cory Monteith

Cory Monteith
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 11, 1982
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Canadian
Died: July 13, 2013

A talented young man whose life was snatched away too soon, Cory Monteith was a Canadian actor, singer, and musician who rose to fame after playing a role in the TV show ‘Glee.’ Despite being a great actor, he had a troubled life involving substance abuse and alcoholism that eventually caused his death at the age of 31.

 19 Noah Reid

Noah Reid
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 30, 1987
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Canadian

 20 Adnan Sami

Adnan Sami
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 15, 1971
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Canadian, Indian, Pakistani, British

 21 Deryck Whibley

Deryck Whibley
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 21, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Canadian
Canadian singer Deryck Whibley, or Bizzy D, is best known as the lead vocalist, guitarist, and keyboardist of the rock band Sum 41. He made headlines for his marriage with Avril Lavigne and their subsequent split. He later launched a solo career and appeared in the movie Dirty Love.

 22 Sarah McLachlan

Sarah McLachlan
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 28, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Canadian
Canadian singer Sarah Ann McLachlan is best known for her signature ballads and her bestselling album Surfacing. The three-time Grammy-winning and nine-time Juno-winning artist has also launched a free music school for disadvantaged youth and works against animal cruelty. She also launched the Lilith Fair, to promote female music artists.

 23 Robbie Robertson

Robbie Robertson
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Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: July 5, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Canadian

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.

 24 Gordon Downie

Gordon Downie
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Birthdate: February 6, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Canadian

 25 Geddy Lee

Geddy Lee
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Birthdate: July 29, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Canadian
Canadian singer Geddy Lee soared to fame as the lead vocalist, keyboardist, and bassist of the rock band Rush. He and his bandmates of Rush were the first to win the Officer of the Order of Canada as a group. He also released a solo album, My Favourite Headache.

 26 K. D. Lang

K. D. Lang
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Famous As: Singer, Songwriter
Birthdate: November 2, 1961
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Canadian
Grammy-winning Canadian pop and country singer Kathryn Dawn Lang, better known as K.D. Lang, has delivered hits such as Constant Craving. She is openly lesbian and a champion for LGBT rights and animal rights. She performed at the 1988 Winter Olympics closing ceremony and the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony.

 27 Jessie Reyez

Jessie Reyez
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: June 12, 1991
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Canadian

 28 Brett Dier

Brett Dier
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 14, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Canadian
Canadian actor Brett Dier is best known as Michael Cordero Jr. from the popular series Jane the Virgin. Fans also loved him in the Canadian series The L.A. Complex and Bomb Girls, and as C.B. in the sitcom Schooled. He has appeared in several TV movies, too.

 29 Luke Macfarlane

Luke Macfarlane
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 19, 1980
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Canadian
Canadian actor Luke Macfarlane is best known for his performance as Scotty Wandell in Brothers & Sisters. He has appeared in countless Hallmark Christmas movies. Fans also loved him as RAC Agent D'avin Jaqobis in the sci-fi series Killjoys. He came out as gay in a newspaper interview.

 30 Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: July 22, 1973
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Canadian, American

 31 Jessica Lowndes

Jessica Lowndes
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 8, 1988
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Canadian

 32 Rick Genest

Rick Genest
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: August 7, 1985
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Canadian
Died: August 1, 2018

 33 Paul Shaffer

Paul Shaffer
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: November 28, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Canadian, American

 34 Diana Krall

Diana Krall
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Famous As: Jazz Pianist
Birthdate: November 16, 1964
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Canadian

Diana Krall is a Canadian jazz singer and pianist. With several gold and multi-platinum albums under her belt, Krall is regarded as one of the best-selling artists of her generation. In 2009, Billboard called her the second-greatest jazz artist of the 2000–09 decade. In 2004, she was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.

 35 Denny Doherty

Denny Doherty
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Famous As: Singer, Composer, Songwriter, Actor
Birthdate: November 29, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Canadian
Died: January 19, 2007

 36 Alex Lifeson

Alex Lifeson
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Famous As: Composer, Guitarist
Birthdate: August 27, 1953
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Canadian

 37 Devin Townsend

Devin Townsend
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Famous As: Singer, Musician, Guitarist, Songwriter, Record producer
Birthdate: May 5, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Canadian

 38 Alissa White-Gluz

Alissa White-Gluz
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Famous As: Vocalist
Birthdate: July 31, 1985
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Canadian

 39 Rick Danko

Rick Danko
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: December 29, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Canadian
Died: December 10, 1999

 40 Adam Gontier

Adam Gontier
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 25, 1978
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Canadian
The former lead singer and guitarist of Three Days Grace, Adam Gontier is now part of the supergroup Saint Asonia. While in rehab for addiction, he wrote several songs, such as Never Too Late. An animal lover, the Canadian singer once called his dog Mabel his “first born.”

 41 Ramin Karimloo

Ramin Karimloo
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 19, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Canadian, Iranian

 42 Darrin Kenneth O'Brien

Snow
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Famous As: musician, singer
Birthdate: October 30, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Canadian

 43 Nicole Appleton

Nicole Appleton
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Famous As: Actor, Singer
Birthdate: December 7, 1974
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Canadian

 44 Peaches

Peaches
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: November 11, 1968
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Canadian
Canadian musician Merrill Nisker was fighting thyroid cancer in 2000, when she suddenly changed her name to Peaches and worked on a phenomenal album named The Teaches of Peaches. The queer singer has gained followers for her gender-oriented lyrics and her sexual gestures during her stage performances. 

 45 Cindy Breakspeare

Cindy Breakspeare
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Famous As: Miss World 1976
Birthdate: October 24, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Canadian, Jamaican

Cindy Breakspeare is a Canadian-Jamaican jazz singer, musician, and beauty queen. She was crowned Miss World 1976, becoming the second Jamaican to clinch the crown. She later became a recording artist and entrepreneur, founding a Rastafarian craft store called Ital Craf. She was once in a relationship with reggae musician Bob Marley that lasted until his death.

 46 Coyote Shivers

Coyote Shivers
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 24, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Canadian

Coyote Shivers is a Canadian actor and musician best known for his association with bands like Sharkskin and The Dave Rave Conspiracy. Over the years, Shivers' trouble with relationships has overshadowed his professional achievements; his ex-wives and ex-girlfriend have claimed that he has troubled them with a pattern of sexual, psychological, and physical abuse.

 47 Glenn Gould

Glenn Gould
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Famous As: Pianist
Birthdate: September 25, 1932
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Canadian
Died: October 4, 1982

 48 Jacqueline MacInnes Wood

Jacqueline MacInnes Wood
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 17, 1987
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Canadian

 49 Richard Manuel

Richard Manuel
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Singer, Pianist, Musician
Birthdate: April 3, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Canadian
Died: March 4, 1986

 50 Howard Shore

Howard Shore
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Famous As: Composer, Conductor, Film score composer
Birthdate: October 18, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Canadian