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First slate of this year's winners announced by the East Coast Music Awards

Neon Dreams, Classified, Keonté Beals, Rich Aucoin, and Rose Cousins are among the initial winners

HALIFAX — Neon Dreams, Classified, Catherine MacLellan, Les Hay Babies, and Beòlach are among the initial winners of the 2021 East Coast Music Awards.

The awards were announced Thursday evening as part of a show livestreamed on the ECMA’s social media platforms that included live performances and a special tribute to Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, the late Rita MacNeil.  

Among the first slate of awards, Halifax's Neon Dreams took home album of the year honours for "The Happiness Of Tomorrow."

The fan's choice entertainer of the year is Cape Breton's Beòlach, while "In Full Bloom" by the P.E.I. band Sorrey is the pop recording of the year. Songwriter of the year honours went to Catherine MacLellan, also from Prince Edward Island.  

The remaining ECMA Awards will be handed out Sunday during a special virtual show hosted by Heather Rankin.

Next year's ECMA awards will be held in Fredericton — returning to the New Brunswick capital for the first time since 2008.

Here is the first slate of winners: 

- Album of the Year: Neon Dreams - "The Happiness Of Tomorrow"

- African-Canadian Artist of the Year: Zamani   

- Fans' Choice Entertainer of the Year: Beòlach   

- Fans' Choice Video of the Year: Kellie Loder - "Molded Like A Monster" (Director: Ashlea Wessell)   

- Francophone Recording of the Year: Les Hay Babies - "Boîte aux lettres" 

- Indigenous Artist of the Year: Silver Wolf Band   

- Pop Recording of the Year: Sorrey - "In Full Bloom"   

- R&B/Soul Recording of the Year: Keonté Beals - "KING"   

- Rap/Hip-Hop Recording of the Year: Classified - "Time" EP   

- Rising Star Recording of the Year: Mike McKenna Jr. - "At the Edge of the World"   

- Roots/Traditional Recording of the Year: Maxim Cormier - Maxim and Gervais Cormier: "Live at the Fortress of Louisbourg"  

- Solo Recording of the Year: Rose Cousins - "Bravado"   

- Song of the Year: Rich Aucoin - "Walls"

- Songwriter of the Year: Catherine MacLellan  

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 10, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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