Buffy Sainte-Marie wins 2015 Polaris Music Prize

Folk icon wins Canada's top honors and $50,000 in cash


Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Power in the Blood has won the 2015 Polaris Music Prize. The annual award honors the best album from Canada as selected by a jury of music journalists, bloggers, and broadcasters.

The 74-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter and activist, whose extensive discography has focused on issues pertaining to indigenous peoples, as well as topics of war and religion, beat out acts like Drake (If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late), Tobias Jesso Jr. (Goon), The New Pornographers (Brill Bruisers), BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah (Sour Soul), Caribou (Our Love), and CoSigned post-punks Viet Cong (Viet Cong).

Along with bragging rights, Sainte-Marie receives a $50,000 cash prize. Past winners include Arcade Fire, Feist, Fucked Up, Caribou, Owen Pallett, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and last year’s Tanya Tagaq.

This year marked the third time Caribou and Drake had been nominated for the Short List; for Braids and The New Pornographers, it was the second time. The remaining artists were all first-time nominees.

Viet Cong, who are in the process of changing their name after being accused of cultural appropriation and racism, were in attendance but introduced by Dan Boeckner (of Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs) as simply “Dan, Matt, Monty, and Mike.”

Polaris Music Prize 2015 Shortlist:
Alvvays – Alvvaays
BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah – Sour Soul
Braids – Deep in the Iris
Caribou – Our Love
Jennifer Castle – Pink City
Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
Tobias Jesso Jr. – Goon
The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers
Buffy Sainte-Marie – Power in the Blood
Viet Cong – Viet Cong

Below listen to the title track to Buffy Saint-Marie’s Power in the Blood.