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Indie sensation Feist makes it 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Juno wins with triumphant homecoming

Canadian indie sensation Leslie Feist is counting a little higher than her hit single, "1 2 3 4," after raking in five trophies at the Juno Awards following an exceptional year of international accolades and commercial success.


CALGARY - Canadian indie sensation Leslie Feist is counting a little higher than her hit single, "1 2 3 4," after raking in five trophies at the Juno Awards following an exceptional year of international accolades and commercial success.

Sunday's splashy televised bash served as a triumphant homecoming for the Calgary-bred singer, who took the night's biggest awards, including best single, album and pop album.

That was on top of trophies for best artist and best songwriter, which Feist won at a private ceremony held Saturday. The petite singer jumped in the air and clicked her heels as she took the podium at the industry-only event.

"I made a record with my buddies in a house, people's ears were open to it for whatever incomprehensible reason, and then those people brought me more people in my world," Feist said Saturday in an acceptance speech that was scrawled in black ink on her hand.

In the end, Feist swept all five categories she was nominated in, while industry veterans Celine Dion, who had six nominations, and Avril Lavigne, who had five, were shut out entirely.

Jazz crooner Michael Buble, nominated for five awards, walked away with the fan choice award.

The only other multiple winner was country-pop band Blue Rodeo, named group of the year Sunday after the disc, "Small Miracles," took top adult alternative album and the single, "C'mon," took best video on Saturday.

Halifax quintet Wintersleep was named best new group and Calgary's Paul Brandt took country recording of the year for his disc, "Risk."

But the night belonged to 32-year-old Feist, a delicate-voiced crooner born in Amherst, N.S., who started out shouting with a Calgary punk band as a teen. She later became known as an indie-rock poster girl with Toronto bands By Divine Right and Broken Social Scene, then as a Parisian ex-pat with sultry jazz leanings that earned her a best new artist Juno in 2005.

But it was an iPod TV commercial - featuring her song, "1 2 3 4" and accompanying video - that catapulted her to mainstream success last year. Record sales soon followed and her eclectic disc, "The Reminder," garnered four Grammy nominations in February and a Brit Award nomination for best international female.

Feist, who has managed to achieve a rare combination of mainstream appeal and street cred, boasted Saturday that the pinacle of her newfound fame has been an appearance on the children's show "Sesame Street."

"And it was the best day of my life!" she gushed Saturday in her second acceptance speech of the night. "I'm sorry, Junos, but the Muppets trump everything."

It's the second year in a row that an artist has swept the Junos with five wins - last year's "it" girl, Nelly Furtado, achieved the same feat with a series of club-thumping hits and the chart-topping disc, "Loose."

Dion had led the nominees with six nods for her two discs, the francophone "D'elles" and English-language "Taking Chances", regarded by many as a comeback of sorts after a successful five-year residency in Las Vegas. Lavigne, meanwhile, had five nods going in for her disc, "The Best Damn Thing," and the summer single, "Girlfriend."

The show was to be hosted by comedian Russell Peters and was to feature performances by nominees including Lavigne, Anne Murray, Buble, Hedley and Feist.

Other wins over the weekend included Serena Ryder for best new artist, Finger Eleven for best rock album and Montreal's Arcade Fire, who took best alternative album for their disc, "Neon Bible." That disc also took the prize for CD/DVD artwork of the year Saturday.

Rihanna's "Good Girl Gone Bad," was named best international album.



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A look at the winners:



Juno fan choice award: Michael Buble

Single of the year: "1 2 3 4," Feist

Album of the year: "The Reminder," Feist

New group of the year: Wintersleep

Group of the year: Blue Rodeo

Country recording of the year: "Risk," Paul Brandt

Pop album of the year: "The Reminder," Feist

 
 
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