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Bieber will steal the Junos away from The Weeknd

Here’s a quick rundown of our Backstage Pass columnist's Juno predictions for who will win and who should win on Sunday night.

Justin Bieber performs during the 2016 Purpose World Tour at Staples Center on March 20, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Justin Bieber performs during the 2016 Purpose World Tour at Staples Center on March 20, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

It was 2012 when the Juno Awards lost their prestige.

Not surprising when you award a mediocre jazz singer with the country’s biggest music nod for a – wait for it – Christmas album.

What the hell were the Junos thinking when they gave Michael Bublé the Juno for Album of the Year for his album, Christmas? Yeah, a bunch of covers like Jingle Bells, White Christmas (feat. Shania Twain) and Santa Baby sang in a poor man’s Harry Connick Jr. voice is the best Canada produced in 2012? Embarrassing.

It’s not that surprising that it won, though, as the entire crop of Album of the Year nominees was laughable, at best. Drake should have easily taken that award, especially looking at his competition in Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, Bublé and Justin Bieber.

But, because Album of the Year is based partially on sales, we gave the country’s top music award to a guy who didn’t even write his own music. But, come on, Santa Baby.

While the award is still based partially on sales, at least there won’t be any cover albums up for the award this year, as five truly deserving artists have made the cut for Album of the Year at this Sunday’s Juno Awards in Calgary.

Here’s a quick rundown of my Juno predictions for who will win and who should win on Sunday night.

Album of the Year

Who will win: Justin Bieber (Purpose)

Why: Bieber sold more than 1 million copies of his latest album Purpose and it’s no surprise it did so well on the charts. Bieber gained a ton of respect on his new album, in which he wrote all 13 tracks, along with co-contributors throughout. The album is solid, tight and is a true glimpse of who that cute 13-year-old boy has become.

Who should win: The Weeknd. Abęl Makkonen Tesfaye dropped a bomb on all of us when he released Beauty Behind the Madness in 2015 – bangers that get in your bones and infect your head. The Weeknd has been taking the world by storm in 2015, playing major festivals across Europe and North America and he’s just begun. Look for big things from the Weeknd in future.

Artist of the Year

Who will win: Justin Bieber

Why: Again, Artist of the Year is based partially on sales, and Bieber’s fifth studio album reached more than a million people. It’s a great album and should be in the mix of contenders. Three tracks from Purpose topped the Billboard charts last year.

Who should win: The Weeknd. Again, Toronto’s Abęl Makkonen Tesfaye will take a back seat to Bieber, based on sales. If you compare the two albums side by side, The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness is an album for men, while Bieber’s is more for adolescent boys trying to find themselves. The Weeknd listeners shower in sin, while Beliebers hope for salvation.

Instrumental Album of the Year

Who will win: Afiara Quartet and Skratch Bastid (Spin Cycle)

Why: The Afiara Quartet joined forces with modern day DJ Skratch Bastid to take listeners on a sonic trip to uncharted musical territory. Four Canadian composers wrote four separate quartets for Skratch Bastid to remix. The result is a classic mash-up that allows the composers to remix their own remixes live. Sounds fun. Afiara really nailed something here and it’s quite spectacular.

Who should win: The Afiara Quartet and Skratch Bastid. The Junos will get this one right, but it will be a tough decision. Montreal-based Esmerine will be hot on their heels in this category and they deserve to be in the mix.  

Rock Album of the Year

Who will win: Bryan Adams (Get Up)

Why: Because he’s Bryan Adams.

Who should win: Death From Above 1979’s The Physical World is groovy punk at its finest. 10 years between records and these cats barely skip a beat. DFA proved on this record that it wasn’t a fluke a decade ago. These cats can roll and they deserve a nod for putting in tireless work.

Juno Fan Choice Award

Who will win: Alessia Cara

Why: Alesia Cara nailed it when she wrote a song that every 17-year-old girl in the country could relate to in Here – a coming-of-age anthem that describes teenage partying and the pressure that comes with it. She signed with Def Jam records last year and hasn’t looked back.

Who should win: Coeur de pirate. Beatrice Martin opened a brand new can of worms when she started singing more in English last year. She took a risk on her latest record, Roses and it paid off big time. She’s been gaining thousands of non-French speaking fans ever since it dropped last year. Martin really put herself out there this time around and she needs to be recognized for that alone.

The Juno Awards take place Sunday night at 8 p.m.