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My Favorite Canadian Singers

Updated on February 15, 2015

Have you checked out any good Canadian Musicians lately?

I'm from Canada and I've always enjoyed discovering music and singers from there. Canada is a big place and this is reflected in the music. From the Celtic scene in the Maritime Provinces to Hippie Acoustic in Vancouver, I'll share some of my favorites with you. There are the well-known artists such as Sarah McLachlan but I hope you'll discover (and enjoy!) some of the lesser-known Canadian artists here. Please let me know your favorite Canadian Singers in the comments section.

My Favorite Albums from Sarah McLachlan

Sarah McLachlan: my favorite Canadian Singer

Sarah McLachlan is well-known around the world for her hauntingly beautiful and emotional songs. She has won numerous awards including 2 Grammy Awards and 4 Juno's. Sarah McLachlan is part of the famous Lilith Fair, featuring top female artists from many countries and a wide array of music genres. She was originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia but now resides in Vancouver.

David Usher: An amazing Canadian Musician

David Usher was born in England but he is now living in Montreal. He got his start as front-man for the band "Moist" (also worth checking out) but started his solo career from the late 90's on. He has a very interesting, unusual voice that is hypnotic and mesmerizing, which you don't often hear. His albums are varied enough that you can play over and over again and not get tired of them.


"Devil by my Side" lyrics

My favorite David Usher Song

Believe in hope,

Believe in faith,

Believe in things I can't fight,

Believe in truth,

Believe in slavery,

But it's only the television kind,

Believe that light will find a way,

Believe in jets as they blow into the sky

Believe in you, believe in me,

And all of these things,

Devil by my side,

And the freaks are out we're in force tonight,

And you opened me wide,

'Cause it's cold in there and it's warm outside

Believe that hate will never die,

Believe in sex and love in a dangerous time,

Believe in grace and your intelligence,

Believe in exploring the corners of the mind,

Believe your truth is not my truth,

That God can exist with many faces at one time,

Believe that we will find a way through all of these things,

Devil by my side,

And the freaks are out we're in force tonight,

And you opened me wide,

'Cause it's cold in there and it's warm outside,

Hard when you realize that you'll never have what you're trying to find.

Do you listen to Canadian Musicians?

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Music from Diana Krall

Diana Krall: the Best in Canadian Jazz

She is a jazz pianist and singer, who has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide. She was the best selling female jazz artist in the 1990's and into the 2000's. She has won 3 Grammy Awards and 8 Junos. Her music displays a variety that keeps you interested; her voice is beautiful and hypnotic.



Leslie Fiest is a solo singer-songwriter and also a member of the group Broken Social Scene, which is a popular Canadian Band. She hails from Calgary and has won numerous Junos over her career. She has a bit of an unusual voice, which is quite addictive.

Mushaboom - Feist

Feist Music

Nelly Furtado

Hailing from Victoria, BC, Nelly Furtado has sold an impressive 20 million albums worldwide. She struck it big in 2000 with "I'm Like a Bird" and has continued to produce more hits in rapid succession. She is well-known for experimenting with different vocal styles and instruments so you never know what the next song is going to bring.

Music from Nelly Furtado

Say it Right Lyrics from Nelly Furtado

Songwriters: Hills, Nathaniel; Furtado, Nelly; Mosley, Timothy;

In the day, in the night

Say it right, say it all

You either got it or you don't

You either stand or you fall

When your will is broken

When it slips from your hands

When there's no time for joking

There's a hole in the plan

Oh, you don't mean nothing at all to me

No, you don't mean nothing at all to me

Oh, you've got what it takes to set me free

Oh, you could mean everything to me

I can't say that I'm not lost and found

I can't say that I don't love the light and the dark

I can't that I don't know that I am alive

And all of what I feel I could show you tonight

Oh, you don't mean nothing at all to me

No, you don't mean nothing at all to me

Oh, you've got what it takes to set me free

Oh, you could mean everything to me

From my hands I can give you, something that I made

From my mouth I can sing you another brick that I laid

From my body I can show you a place, God knows

If you know this place is holy, do you really want to go?


The Tragically Hip

These guys are oldies but goodies. I used to rock out to them when I was in middle and high school (and I'm 31 now). They hail from Kingston, Ontario and have won an unbelievable 18 Junos. Their music is kind of blues/acoustic and I all I know is that it keeps me coming back for more.


Great Lake Swimmers

Hailing from Ontario, Canada this band is centered around Singer-Songwriter Tony Dekker. They've released 4 albums since 2003, with their latest one, "Lost Channels" coming in 2009. The band is known for their entrancing melodies that are both upbeat and mournful all at the same time. Dekker has a voice that is unforgettable.

Great Lake Swimmers

Moving Pictures Silent Films (Live) - The Great Lake Swimmers

Have you heard of Great Lake Swimmers?

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Blue Rodeo: Canadian Music Legends

Hailing from Toronto, Blue Rodeo has released 12 albums, but achieved their biggest hit and worldwide popularity with "Lost Together." They've sold over 3 million records and are best known for their soulful blend of country and pop. Their live performances are acclaimed as being interactive and an experience not to be missed.

Music from Blue Rodeo


The Be Good Tanyas

Hailing from Vancouver, this trio first played together in a tree planting camp before forming a band and touring around North America. They could be described as kind of a mix between folk, country and bluegrass, but what makes them special are their hypnotic harmonies. They've released 3 albums in the 2000's, and as of now have split up to pursue their own projects. However, they do occasionally play together at special concerts or festivals.

The Be Good Tanyas Music

Littlest Birds - The Be Good Tanyas


Loreena McKennit

Loreeena McKennit is an accomplished Canadian musician, hailing from Manitoba, who has sold more than 14 million albums. Her music is an interesting mix of Celtic and Middle-Eastern Themes and she is known for her soprano voice. She is a talented musician, playing the harp, accordion and piano. She has won numerous Canadian and International awards for her hypnotic, soulful music.

Who is your favorite Canadian Musician?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I just discovered Kathleen Edwards. Not bad. Not bad at ALL....

    • Jimformation LM profile image

      Jimformation LM 6 years ago

      Hmmmm, there are a ton of good ones. Some favourites: Moist, I Mother Earth, Our Lady Peace, Tragically Hip, Sarah McLachlan, Tea Party... Alas, you'll notice these are mostly from the 90's. Can't say I follow too many today :)

      Great lens and great list!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Besides Leonard Cohen and Diana Krall listed here, I really enjoy Loreena McKennitt, Garnet Rogers, and the Rankin Family.

    • Mistalina profile image

      Mistalina 6 years ago

      Thank you for highlighting Canadian music. I enjoy Hawksley Workman and City and Colour.

    • azac profile image

      azac 6 years ago

      The Guess Who or Blue Rodeo

    • KarenHC profile image

      Karen 6 years ago from U.S.

      My favorite Canadian Musician listed on this page is Sarah McLachlan, but I enjoy some of the others as well (there are a couple that I'm not familiar with). Very nice lens!

    • drs2biz lm profile image

      David Schroeter 6 years ago from St Kilda, Victoria, Australia

      I like music from "The Band". I know it's retro, but these guys were fantastic musos and even Bob Dylan seemed to think so ;)

    • javr profile image

      javr 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Nelly Furtado is from my island. This lens has been blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 6 years ago

      I have a few, most notably Paul Brandt (love his deep voice) and the band Great Big Sea.

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 6 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      A few I like are Bryan Adams, KD Lang, Jan Arden, Susan Aglukark.

    • HMQ profile image

      HMQ 6 years ago

      +1 for The Tragically Hip!