The music of Canada has reflected the diverse influences that have shaped the country. Indigenous Peoples , the Irish, British, and the French have all made unique contributions to the musical heritage of Canada. The music has subsequently been heavily influenced by American culture because of the proximity and migration between the two countries. Since French explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived in 1605 and established the first permanent Canadian settlements at Port Royal and Québec in 1608, the country has produced its own composers, musicians and ensembles.
Canada's music industry is the sixth largest in the world, producing many internationally renowned artists. Canada has developed a music infrastructure, that includes church halls, chamber halls, conservatories, academies, performing arts centres, record companies, radio stations and television music video channels. Canada's music broadcasting is regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences administers Canada's music industry awards, the Juno Awards, which first commenced in 1970.
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The Canadian hip hop scene was first established in the 1980s. Through a variety of factors, it developed much more slowly than Canada's popular rock music scene, and apart from a short-lived burst of mainstream popularity from 1989 to 1991, it remained largely an underground phenomenon until the early 2000s.
"The Bum Rap", was released in 1982. For the most part the infrastructure simply was not there to get most artists' music to the record-buying public. Even Toronto—Canada's largest city and one of its most multicultural—had difficulty getting an urban music station on the radio airwaves until 2000. As a result, if a Canadian hip-hop artist could get signed, it was very difficult for them to get exposure—even if their music videos were played on MuchMusic, many artists simply could not get their records into stores or played on the radio.
Beginning in 1998, a sequence of events spurred by the anthemic collaborative single "Northern Touch" finally brought hip hop back into the mainstream of Canadian music. Artists such as Devon, Maestro Fresh Wes, and Dream Warriors did manage, for a brief time in the late '80s and early '90s, to break into the mainstream.
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Rush originally formed in August 1968, in the Willowdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, composed of bassist, keyboardist, and lead vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. The band and its membership went through a number of re-configurations between 1968 and 1974, achieving their current form when Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey in July 1974, two weeks before the group's first U.S. tour.
According to the RIAA, Rush's sales statistics also place them fourth behind The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith for the most consecutive gold or platinum albums by a rock band. Rush also ranks 79th in U.S. album sales with 25 million units. Rush has won a number of Juno Awards, and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994.
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