Arcade Fire, the Montreal orchestral-pop band recognized across the world, has won the 2011 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. The Suburbs beat out competition from Eminem, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Lady Antebellum.
This is the first time a Canadian act has won in the Album of the Year category since 1997, when Celine Dion’s Falling Into You took the top prize.
Though the night wasn’t as great for other Canadians such as Drake and Justin Bieber, the win for Arcade Fire came as a huge upset. Lady Antebellum had won five awards that evening and could have taken the Album of the Year award as well.
Traditionally, the Grammys have more or less snubbed Canadian acts for awards. As well, the Grammys have had a reputation for awarding albums based on record sales. This has caused some musical acts to be very critical of the awards.
Maynard James Keenan of Tool said in an interview: “I think the Grammys are nothing more than some gigantic promotional machine for the music industry. They cater to a low intellect and they feed the masses. They don’t honor the arts or the artist for what he created. It’s the music business celebrating itself. That’s basically what it’s all about.”
Still, Canada finally had a reason to celebrate in an American-dominated award show.