Celebrate Canada Day with The Biggest Canadian Singles of All Time - The JUNO Awards

The impact of Canadian music on both the domestic and global stages is undeniable with Canadian artists consistently ranking among the best-selling musicians of all time. As Canada Day approaches, we celebrate not only the country’s rich history and cultural diversity but also the extraordinary musical contributions of its artists. From legendary icon Celine Dion to the modern-day sensation, Drake, Canadian artists have gifted the world with some of the biggest and most iconic songs to date.

In honour of Canada Day, we are delving into the songs that have not only captivated audiences at home but also resonated globally, becoming the best-selling Canadian singles of all time. Taking into account the ever-evolving landscape of music consumption and sales calculations, we explore various formats and sales figures to provide a comprehensive overview of the country’s musical exports and their impact.

Best-Selling Singles: Physical 

1. Celine Dion – “My Heart Will Go On” (1997): 18 million sales

Celine Dion‘s “My Heart Will Go On” is not just a song but a global phenomenon. Released as the theme for the blockbuster film Titanic in 1997, it became one of the best-selling singles of all time. This power ballad garnered numerous accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Original Song and an impressive four Grammy Awards, notably Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Despite initial hesitations about including a pop song in the film, “My Heart Will Go On” became an integral part of the movie and has since evolved into a timeless classic.

#DidJUNO: Celine Dion only did ONE take when recording the song? 

2. Bryan Adams – “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” (1991): 15 million sales

Bryan Adams‘ “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You,” released in 1991, became an international sensation solidifying Bryan Adams’ status as a top rock artist. As the theme song for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, it achieved widespread success, including an unprecedented 16-week run at number one on the UK Singles Chart. The song also earned a Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. 

3. Paul Anka – “Diana” (1957): 10 million sales

In 1957, a young Paul Anka released “Diana”, a song that catapulted him to stardom and established him as one of the first teenage pop sensations. At just 16 years old, Anka penned a song that captured the hearts of millions, reaching number one on the Billboard R&B Best Sellers chart and peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. The song’s widespread appeal resulted in sales of over 10 million copies worldwide, an impressive feat for such a young artist.

Best-Sellings Digital Sales 

1. Rihanna Ft. Drake – “Work” (2016): 32.5 million sales

In 2016, Rihanna and Drake joined forces to create “Work,” an iconic collaboration that soared to the top of charts. The song’s unique blend of dancehall and reggae vibes, coupled with an infectious chorus, mesmerized audiences and contributed to its massive success. “Work” not only dominated the airwaves but also earned Rihanna and Drake a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

2. Carly Rae Jepsen – “Call Me Maybe” (2011): 18 million sales

Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe,” released in 2011, became an undeniable global sensation, topping the charts in over 18 countries and establishing Jepsen’s status as a rising pop star. The song’s catchy melody and relatable lyrics resonated with listeners of all ages, earning critical acclaim and multiple Grammy Award nominations as well as the JUNO Award for Single of the Year. “Call Me Maybe” not only defined the early 2010s pop era but also solidified its place in pop culture history

3. Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello – “Senorita” (2019): 16.1 million sales

“Señorita” by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, released in 2019, was an immediate global hit, praised for its sultry lyrics and the chemistry between the two artists. Its Latin-inspired rhythms and steamy music video made it a summer anthem, dominating charts worldwide. The song’s success not only solidified Mendes and Cabello’s status as dynamic duo but also earned them critical acclaim, including a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. Additionally, Mendes took home the JUNO Award for Single of the Year, cementing “Señorita’s” impact on Canadian and global pop music

By Stream Equivalents 

1. The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights” (2019): 5.31 billion streams

“Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd swiftly became a defining hit of 2019, captivating global audiences with its irresistible blend of ’80s-inspired synth-pop and a memorable melody that dominated charts. In addition to its widespread appeal, the song shattered numerous records, cementing its place in music history. It currently holds the record for the most streamed song on Spotify of all time. Moreover, “Blinding Lights” enjoyed an impressive run of over a year within the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, becoming one of the longest-charting songs in history.

2 – The Weeknd – “Save Your Tears” (2020): 4.6 billion streams

Another major hit from The Weeknd, “Save Your Tears,” is a standout track from The Weeknd’s critically acclaimed album After Hours that made waves upon its release in 2020. The song encompasses The Weeknd’s signature style, a seamless blend of retro-pop and contemporary R&B, featuring atmospheric hooks and emotive lyrics. “Save Your Tears” quickly rose to popularity, securing high positions on charts around the world, proving The Weeknd’s impact on modern music.

3 – The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber – “Stay” (2021): 3.81 billion streams

The collaboration between The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber, “Stay,” swiftly rose to the top of charts worldwide, showcasing a seamless blend of their respective styles. The Kid LAROI’s melodic rap and Justin Bieber’s smooth vocals combined with the track’s catchy hook received widespread acclaim for the fresh yet familiar sound and infectious energy it brought to fans. 

Featured image: 2017 JUNO Awards. Bryan Adams performs “You Belong to Me”. The Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, On. April 2, 2017. (Photo: CARAS\iPhoto).