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.

Vote for Your Favourite Canadian Musicians

 1 Alanis Morisette

Alanis Morisette.
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: June 1, 1974
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ottawa, Canada

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.

 2 Neil Young

Neil Young.
5
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: November 12, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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.

 3 Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams.
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: November 5, 1959
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kingston, Ontario, Canada
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 Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell.
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: November 7, 1943
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Fort MacLeod, Canada

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.  

 5 Paul Anka

Paul Albert Anka.
0
Famous As: Singer, Songwriter
Birthdate: July 30, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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.

 6 The Weeknd

The Weeknd.
26
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 16, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Scarborough

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.

Recommended Lists:

 7 Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes.
27
Famous As: Singer & Songwriter
Birthdate: August 8, 1998
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada

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.

You May Like

 8 Carly Rae Jepsen

Carly Rae Jepsen.
2
Famous As: Singer, Musician, Songwriter
Birthdate: November 21, 1985
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mission

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.

Recommended Lists:

 9 Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves.
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 2, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon

The star of John Wick, Speed and The Matrix films, Keanu Reeves has displayed his wide range as an actor, time and again. The humble Canadian actor has also famously given away his money to recognise the work of crew and to enable the production team to hire good actors.

 10 Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne.
12
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 27, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Belleville, Canada

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.

 11 Neil Peart

Neal Peart.
0
Famous As: Musician, Songwriter
Birthdate: September 12, 1952
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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.

 12 Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling.
0
Famous As: Actor & Musician
Birthdate: November 12, 1980
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, Ontario, Canada

Ryan Gosling began his career as a child actor and gained recognition as an adult after starring in the commercially successful film, The Notebook, in 2004. Half Nelson, The Ides of March, The Big Short, La La Land and Blade Runner are some of his other popular films. He is also a musician and his band is called Dead Man's Bones.

Recommended Lists:

 13 Deadmau5

Deadmau5.
1
Famous As: DJ
Birthdate: January 5, 1981
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Niagara Falls, Canada
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.

 14 Shania Twain

Shania Twain.
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 28, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Windsor, Canada

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.

Recommended Lists:

 15 Finn Wolfhard

Finn Wolfhard.
0
Famous As: Actor, Musician
Birthdate: December 23, 2002
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vancouver

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 Michael Bublé

Michael Buble.
1
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 9, 1975
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Burnaby, Canada

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.

 17 Gordon Lightfoot

Gordon Lightfoot.
2
Famous As: Singer, Songwriter
Birthdate: November 17, 1938
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Orillia
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.

 18 Cory Monteith

Cory Monteith.
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 11, 1982
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Calgary
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 Amy Jo Johnson

Amy Jo Johnson
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 6, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dennis, Massachusetts, United States

 20 Sarah McLachlan

Sarah McLachlan.
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 28, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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.

 21 Robbie Robertson

Robbie Robertson.
0
Famous As: Guitarist, Producer
Birthdate: July 5, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada

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.

 22 K. D. Lang

K. D. Lang .
0
Famous As: Singer, Songwriter
Birthdate: November 2, 1961
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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.

 23 Geddy Lee

Geddy Lee.
0
Famous As: Singer, Musician
Birthdate: July 29, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
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.

 24 Paul Rodgers

Paul Rodgers
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Musician
Birthdate: December 17, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Middlesbrough, England

 25 Gordon Downie

Gordon Downie
1
Birthdate: February 6, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Amherstview, Ontario

 26 Diana Krall

Diana Krall.
0
Famous As: Jazz Pianist
Birthdate: November 16, 1964
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Nanaimo, British Columbia

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.

 27 Paul Shaffer

Paul Shaffer
0
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: November 28, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

 28 Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen.
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 21, 1934
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Westmount
Died: November 7, 2016

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.

 29 David Foster

David Foster.
5
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: November 1, 1949
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Canadian musician, composer, and arranger David Foster is a prominent figure in the international music scene and has worked with the likes of  Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez, and Madonna. The winner of 16 Grammy Awards, he has also been nominated for the Academy Awards thrice. He launched the David Foster Foundation to help sick children.

 30 Jessica Lowndes

Jessica Lowndes
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 8, 1988
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada

 31 Alan Thicke

Alan Thicke
4
Famous As: Actor, Songwriter, Composer, Television presenter, Voice actor, Comedian
Birthdate: March 1, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kirkland Lake
Died: December 13, 2016

 32 Devin Townsend

Devin Townsend
2
Famous As: Singer, Musician, Guitarist, Songwriter, Record producer
Birthdate: May 5, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vancouver

 33 Adam Gontier

Adam Gontier.
0
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 25, 1978
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
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.”

 34 Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber.
5
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: March 1, 1994
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, Canada

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.

 35 Victor Garber

Victor Garber
1
Famous As: Television actor, Film actor, Singer, Musician, Stage actor
Birthdate: March 16, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London

 36 René Angélil

René Angélil
1
Famous As: Record Producers
Birthdate: January 16, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Montréal, Québec, Canada
Died: January 14, 2016

 37 Chad Kroeger

Chad Kroeger.
4
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: November 15, 1974
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hanna, Alberta, Canada
Chad Kroeger gained fame as the lead singer and guitarist of the rock band Nickelback, delivering hit singles such as How You Remind Me and topping the Canadian charts. He later co-founded the band The Suits XL and also collaborated with major artists such as Santana and Avril Lavigne.

 38 Alex Lifeson

Alex Lifeson
1
Famous As: Composer, Guitarist
Birthdate: August 27, 1953
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fernie

 39 Rick Danko

Rick Danko
0
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: December 29, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Norfolk County, Canada
Died: December 10, 1999

 40 Darrin Kenneth O'Brien

Snow
0
Famous As: musician, singer
Birthdate: October 30, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Toronto

 41 Mac DeMarco

Mac DeMarco.
1
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 30, 1990
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Duncan

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.

 42 Adnan Sami

Adnan Sami
0
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 15, 1971
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England

 43 Glenn Gould

Glenn Gould
0
Famous As: Pianist
Birthdate: September 25, 1932
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
Died: October 4, 1982

 44 PartyNextDoor

PartyNextDoor.
1
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: July 3, 1993
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mississauga, Ontario

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. 

 45 Cindy Breakspeare

Cindy Breakspeare.
1
Famous As: Miss World 1976
Birthdate: October 24, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Toronto

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 Howard Shore

Howard Shore
0
Famous As: Composer, Conductor, Film score composer
Birthdate: October 18, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Toronto

 47 Richard Manuel

Richard Manuel
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Singer, Pianist, Musician
Birthdate: April 3, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Stratford
Died: March 4, 1986

 48 Deryck Whibley

Deryck Whibley.
1
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 21, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Scarborough
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.

 49 Paul Gross

Paul Gross
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 30, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 50 Tamia

Tamia
0
Famous As: Singer, Musician, Actor, Model
Birthdate: May 9, 1975
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Windsor