Corey Hart and his wife Julie Masse are shown in a handout photo. orey Hart’s sizzling contributions to pop music will be in focus at the Juno Awards on Sunday, but the hitmaker says this year he’ll be recognizing another significant personal milestone at the event. Nearly 26 years ago, Hart was introduced to his wife, Quebecois singer Julie Masse, when they handed out the Juno for group of the year together live on the broadcast. (Juno Awards/Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences photo)

Corey Hart’s hall of fame induction at the Junos marks another special occasion

The Juno Awards air Sunday on CBC-TV

Corey Hart’s sizzling contributions to pop music will be in focus at the Juno Awards on Sunday, but the hitmaker says this year he’ll be recognizing another significant personal milestone at the event.

Nearly 26 years ago, Hart was introduced to his wife, Quebecois singer Julie Masse, when they handed out the Juno for group of the year together live on the broadcast.

But it wasn’t originally supposed to happen that way — an 11th-hour scheduling snafu is how the stars aligned for the couple back in 1993.

“If I hadn’t been pig-headed, opinionated or following my inner voice, I never would’ve met her,” said Hart, ahead of his induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

The performer was initially set to hand out album of the year, but Juno producers shuffled presenters and asked him to announce video of the year instead.

Hart was on his way to the dress rehearsal when he got the call about a change of plans.

The “Sunglasses at Night” singer-songwriter says he rejected the idea on the spot, thinking it “was a demotion” for a musician to hand out a visual prize.

“That just doesn’t feel right,” he remembered telling the producers. “So, no problem I just won’t present this year.”

A few minutes after hanging up, the producers called back with another offer — he could pair up with Masse, a rising francophone star, to pass out the group of the year award.

Hart was immediately on board.

Masse was coming off her sophomore album that night and picked up best new female artist.

READ MORE: Juno Awards returning to Saskatoon next year for the first time since 2007

When host Celine Dion welcomed the pair onto the stage, their casual banter was magnetic. They announced the Barenaked Ladies as the winners of the Juno.

As Hart made his way back to his seat, Masse’s manager stopped him to gush about their stage presence.

“He quickly garbled out to me that Julie was going to be pursuing a career in English,” Hart said.

“He thought we looked like we had great chemistry together. I don’t think (this) is what he imagined when he made that comment.”

Months later, Hart wound up in the studio working alongside producer Tom Lord-Alge on Masse’s single “One More Moment.” More songs followed as production moved to Morin-Heights, Que.

The pair was in love by the following year, he said.

“Literally from the time we started seeing each other in the summer of 1994 we’ve never been apart for more than a few days,” he said.

Both Hart and Masse were in crumbling marriages at the time, he said, and those quickly dissolved.

“It was complicated,” he added.

The couple had three daughters before they wed in 2000, and a son after they tied the knot.

When Hart began to ease out of Canada’s music industry the family settled in Barbados.

In more recent years, Hart, now 56, and Masse have collaborated on each other’s work. She appears as a backup singer on his upcoming EP “Dreaming Time Again,” due for release on May 3.

Masse, 48, will also join him on stage when he closes out the Juno broadcast performing some of his biggest hits.

“There’s an empathy and an understanding that only another artist can relate to,” Hart said.

“We’re very simpatico together.”

The Juno Awards air Sunday on CBC-TV.

David Friend, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Update: Possible drowning at Pigeon Lake involved man and woman from Edmonton

Bodies recovered from Pigeon Lake’s northeastern shores.

134 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

First day over 100 cases since July 31

Lacombe resident creates labyrinth near Breton

Marsha Duggan encourages others to use their imagination

1 in 7 Albertans have been tested for COVID-19

56 additional cases Thursday, 1,107 active cases remain in the province

#EndBikeTheft campaign comes to Lacombe

CACPC and 529 Garage partner to register bikes in central Alberta

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

13-year-old charged in death of boy, 10 in Maskwacis

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit have laid a manslaughter charge against a 13-year-old boy from Maskwacis.

‘Caught up in the frenzy:’ Oilers 50/50 draw breaking ticket sale records

Previous record was held by Toronto Raptors fans when a 50/50 raffle reached $2 million

Alberta jury trials to resume next month at offsite locations due to COVID-19

About 12 locations across Alberta may host the trials in halls, hotels and community centres

Alberta school curriculum to focus on basics, keep out political bias: minister

NDP education critic says the kindergarten to Grade 4 changes should have been implemented a year ago

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada plans $3.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. in aluminium dispute

The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1

Walmart to make face masks mandatory for customers across Canada

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

Most Read