Johnny Reid feeling the love

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In the music business for almost 14 years, Johnny Reid has connected with audiences on a whole new level over the last three.

In 2007, his sophomore album "Kickin' Stones" was a sales success, going platinum (over 80,000 units sold in Canada). It also earned Reid Canadian Country Music Awards for Top-Selling Album of the Year and Male Artist of the Year in 2008, as well as a Juno nomination for Country Recording of the Year.

In the music business for almost 14 years, Johnny Reid has connected with audiences on a whole new level over the last three.

In 2007, his sophomore album "Kickin' Stones" was a sales success, going platinum (over 80,000 units sold in Canada). It also earned Reid Canadian Country Music Awards for Top-Selling Album of the Year and Male Artist of the Year in 2008, as well as a Juno nomination for Country Recording of the Year.

Then, there came "Dance With Me" (2009).

It has been certified double platinum, meaning it has sold more than 160,000 copies.

Even better, the follow-up DVD, "Johnny Reid, Live at the Jubilee" was certified triple platinum in just three weeks.

"Dance With Me" has brought Reid six wins at the 2009 Canadian Country Music Awards. Now, the singer is nominated for four Juno Awards: Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Country Album of the Year and the Juno Fan Choice Award.

Reid said he was given the news of his Juno nominations by his manager while on tour, just after landing on a flight to Denver.

"It's an incredible feeling. It's really humbling," he said. His Scottish accent particularly clear on the "incredible."

Reid is originally from Scotland and came to Canada when he was 16 years old. Now 35, he spoke to The Telegram pre-Juno week, while stopped for a day of interviews in Toronto.

He had been in Switzerland just the day before.

"To be recognized (like this) by the Junos is a really big deal. It's a big deal for the genre. It's a big deal for me personally," he said.

While his music blends country with elements of soul and R&B, let's be clear: Reid leaves the categorizing to others.

"I've never called myself a country singer," he said. "I was very, very fortunate to find an audience in country radio."

In addition to attending the awards broadcast Sunday at Mile One Centre, Reid will also be performing.

"I look forward to getting up there and singing my songs and being myself," he said.

As for where the love comes from, Reid feels the lyrics connect people to his music.

The lyrics are fed by his family and his relationship with his wife of over 11 years.

"I've always said I had to be a fool to believe I'm the only person that feels the way I feel about my life, love, my family, my career," he said. "I've sort of made a living at telling the truth."

On "Dance With Me," Reid said there is one song on he would suggest for new listeners.

"I'm very, very proud of the song 'Thank You,'" he said.

Reid explained he encountered a woman named Jean backstage at a concert in the United Kingdom who told him the song was a favourite of her husband of 71 years, named Dave. Her husband had, at that point, only recently passed away.

"She said, 'He found a song that said exactly what he wanted to say (to Jean) before he left,'" Reid said.

He paused for a second.

"I hear these things time and time again and it's just a good feeling," he said.

The 2010 Junos will not mark Reid's first time in Newfoundland. He opened for Dwight Yoakam some years ago, and then there was the Salmon Festival in Grand Falls.

Following the Junos, he will be back again, on the same stage, in less than a month - set to play two sold-out nights in St. John's on May 7 and May 8, before heading across the province for a third sold-out show at the Pepsi Centre in Corner Brook.

Tickets in St. John's sold out even before his Juno nominations were announced, and all three shows will also feature George Canyon.

"I'm blown away by the response and I'm feeling a lot of love for you in Newfoundland and I'm looking forward to coming out," he said.

afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Pepsi Centre

Geographic location: Canada, Country Recording, Country Album Denver Scotland Toronto Switzerland Newfoundland St. John's United Kingdom Grand Falls Corner Brook

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