Sound Check

2012 Juno Nominations Announced: Shocks and Snubs

Rapper Drake has been nominated for four Junos this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren C …

This year's Juno nominations prove that the indies can run with the big boys.

Today in Toronto, the 41st annual Juno Award nominees were announced with some musical shocks, snubs and surprises.

Leading the nomination pack this year are popular artists like Nickelback, Hedley, and Drake with four nominations each. (No surprises here!) However, they will have some stiff competition with indie artists like Feist, Dan Magan and City and Colour also raking in quadruple nominations each respectively. This year, it seems like the Juno committee woke up and took notice of the amazing indie talent that has us all mesmerized.

See more: Nickelback, Drake, Feist among Juno leaders

However there were a few artists who were noticeably snubbed. What happened to Alberta's favourite country star and eight-time Juno winner, Paul Brandt? The philanthropic star flawlessly returned in 2011 after a four-year hiatus with his tenth album, "Give It Away" and it is surprising to see that he was not considered in the "Country Album of the Year" category. Also noticeably absent is another Alberta star, Jann Arden. Arden, like Brandt, is an eight-time Juno winner and it was a bit of a let down to see that her album, "Uncover Me 2," was not nominated.

In a shocking twist, the Junos announced that 'Star Trek's' Captain Kirk, William Shatner, will host this year's ceremony in Ottawa. A Montréal native, Shatner has become a legend in his own right and will be a welcome addition to the show. Last year, Drake brought in the cool and this year Shatner will bring in the charisma. I wonder if he will give us a taste of his album, "Seeking Major Tom," during the broadcast?

See more: Deadmau5, Blue Rodeo performing at the Junos

In addition to Shatner's charisma, it was also announced that some new performers have been added to the bill for the April 1st award show. Nickelback and Hedley have joined the roster and Sarah McLachlan is scheduled to join Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees, Blue Rodeo, on stage during their performance. They join previously announced musical guests Feist, deadmau5 and City and Colour.

The Juno's will air on April 1st live from Ottawa, Ont., and promise to be an exciting occasion honouring the best in Canadian music.

For a full list of nominees, head here!

Follow me on Twitter @GraceS35

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