March 15, 2023

Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday March 15, 2023

Avril Lavigne confronts topless protestor at Junos

A wildly unpredictable Juno Awards unfolded on Monday as a topless protester charged the stage, leading to some feisty words from Avril Lavigne, while an absent the Weeknd emerged as the top winner this year.

With a few twists and turns, Canada’s biggest celebration of music did away with its typically tame proceedings shortly after the broadcast got under way. Lavigne was interrupted by a topless woman who leapt on the stage wearing pasties with paint on her that read “land back” and “save the green belt,” a reference to Ontario’s decision last fall to open a protected area of land for housing.

The pop-punk princess appeared blindsided by the crasher and proceeded to swear at her, demanding she get off the stage. The person was quickly escorted away by security.

Unfazed, Lavigne moved on to introduce a performance by Punjabi-Canadian singer and rapper AP Dhillon.

She returned later to accept this year’s fan choice award with a few choice words and another expletive.

The unexpected moment set the tone for an energetic Junos that saw the Weeknd’s smash hit Dawn FM earn him album of the year, adding to four wins he scored at a Saturday industry event, including artist and single of the year for Sacrifice. (The Globe and Mail)

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