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

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Three projects on the North Coast awarded funding

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Hagensborg Water District purchases new fire truck; prepares for conversion to CCRD

Approximately $1.3 million of the district’s infrastructure grant has been transferred to the CCRD.

Nuxalk Nation receives over $4 million in funding for Big House

The funding is joint federal, provincial and municipal and will support 24 infrastructure projects

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Time to protect B.C.’s unique glass sponge reefs, conservation group says

Climate change is a “serious and immediate threat” to the 9,000-year old sponges: study

Most Read