Women Take the Stage: Historic Wins at The 2022 JUNO Awards - The JUNO Awards

From the legendary Liberty Silver to the JUNOS most decorated artist Anne Murray, many talented women have made history on the JUNOS stage. This year, to celebrate International Women’s Day, we wanted to shine a spotlight on the incredible achievements made by women at The 2022 JUNO Awards. A major breakthrough for female artists in the male-dominated rap and production categories, Haviah Mighty, Hill Kourkoutis, and Charmaine each made history as the first women in their respective fields to win a JUNO award.

Haviah Mighty

Since the release of her Polaris Music Prize-winning LP 13th Floor in 2019, Haviah Mighty has been widely recognized as one of the most promising voices in Canadian hip-hop. The first hip-hop artist and the first Black woman to ever receive a Polaris Music Prize, Mighty broke new ground once again at The 2022 JUNO Awards Broadcast when she became the first female artist to win the Rap Album/EP of the Year award. 

A skilled songwriter, vocalist, and performer Mighty’s JUNO-winning mixtape Stock Exchange is a testament to her rapid-fire flow and incisive lyrics. Dedicating her JUNO Awards performance to women in the industry, Mighty assured audiences, “for those of you who haven’t heard of Haviah Mighty, I’m gonna be back on this stage to show you why I’m here. I’m gonna be performing and this one is for women in hip-hop thank you so much.”



Taking home the JUNO award for Rap Single of the Year at the JUNO Opening Night Awards, Zimbabwean-Canadian rapper Charmaine was another female rap artist who made JUNOS history this past year. Nominated for her debut single “BOLD,” the infectious and unapologetic track is a message of self-love, empowerment, and confidence. “I believe if you really genuinely believe in the talents that God gave you, you can accomplish anything,” Charmaine told CARAS.

When asked about the process of creating and releasing her first rap single, Charmaine shared an important reminder of why recognition and representation in rap and hip-hop are so important for female artists, “I [was originally] signed as a singer so I was making a lot of singing songs and R&B songs and things like that. One day I just came into the studio and my producer was like, ‘do you want to try rapping?…’ I’ve always loved rap music, but I never thought I could be an actual rapper.”

Hill Kourkoutis

Joining a select group of female producers and engineers who have won or been nominated for major awards in North America, Hill Kourkoutis became the first woman to win the JUNO award for Recording Engineer of the Year. Nominated for her work on Sate’s gritty blues-rock single “Howler” and Tania Joy’s heartfelt country-soul song “The Drought,” both tracks exemplify the true breadth of Kourkoutis’s talent and her exceptional technical abilities.

When asked about the significance of her award and what it may mean for women in music production, she told Billboard, “I truly believe this is a turning point in our industry and as visibility and representation increase and more opportunities are presented, we will be seeing many more women being recognized for their incredible work in the technical fields. There is so much talent within our community and we have barely scratched the surface – this is an exciting time, and I am looking forward to what the future holds.”

Featured image: Hill Kourkoutis, winner, Recording Engineer of the Year. JUNO Opening Night Awards. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, On. May 14, 2022. Photo: iPhoto/CARAS