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

Locals shine in Rumble in Rock Creek

Young B.C. boxers slugged it out at the Rock Creek Fair Grounds last Saturday

Grand Forks woman assaulted in home invasion

The incident took place Wednesday morning

Students rock Greenwood Community Hall

Grade 6 and 7 students performed songs from every decade since the 1950s

Your flower garden could be harbouring invasive species

Seeds for invasive species often hid in wildflower seed packs

Interior Health study offers take-home drug testing kits to spot fentanyl

Interior Health to evaluate safety of at home drug testing kits aimed at reducing fentanyl overdoses

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Most Read