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.

Just Posted

Rock Stock 2019: “It’s going to be better than last year”

For some young musicians this will be their eighth year performing at Rock Stock in Prince Rupert

First ever Indigenous Symposium educates teachers in Prince Rupert

Cedar weaving, drumming for reconciliation and basic Sm’algyax lessons were offered to educators

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Playing with the big boys: CHSS’ junior rugby team too good for their league

Coach says this is one of the best high school rugby teams he has seen in Prince Rupert

Red cedars dying in Prince Rupert from drought

There was a 75 per cent decline in precipitation for the months of February and April

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

ICBC urging drivers to slow down this May long weekend

Speed is number one cause of car crash fatalities: ICBC

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read