Sarah McLachlan was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the Juno Awards last night, and beyond her two performances, touching speech and philanthropic message, she looked phenomenal in two different looks at the ceremony. Fit, funky, joyous, 49, and killing it in a jumpsuit. Look at her in the center of the stage during the show's all-star finale rendition of Bryan Adams' classic Summer of '69.
From the start, Sarah knew Sunday was her big night. Not only was she receiving a career-spanning honour, but she also won her 11th Juno the night before for Best Adult Contemporary Album for her second Christmas record, Wonderland. And when Junos co-host Russell Peters poked fun at her in his opening monologue at the telecast, he made the easiest joke he could, by laughing about the omnipresence of her song "Angel" in the SPCA commercials:
"Oh my God, that reminds me - I left my dog in the car"
The audience laughed politely — remember, it's an awards show honouring the best in Canadian music — and Sarah shared the same reaction, and was a good sport. All night long though, she appeared to be in great spirits and quite playful, showing a different side than the sometimes sadface Sarah we've come to love.
By now, you've probably seen that Bill Clinton was the first face shown in Sarah's Canadian Music Hall of Fame induction video. His appearance left Vulture dumbfounded, but makes perfect sense when you consider the two are longtime friends, and that he spoke at a fundraiser for the Sarah McLachlan School of Music in 2012, weeks after that year's DNC. Sheryl Crow, Tegan and Sara (separately!) and former tour-mate Josh Groban also gave shout-outs in her highlight reel, which documented her career through charity work, mainstream success, Lilith Fair and beyond. Co-host and fellow inductee Bryan Adams presented her with the award.
During her speech, Sarah reflected on her influence and resonance beyond Canada's borders. She spoke a lot about the power of music, thanked her two daughters, and said:
"I'm grateful to be born in the country where rights of girls and women are respected. We Canadians are far from perfect, but we have a lot to offer to the rest of the world. Music lifts and unites us. I am immensely proud to stand here tonight and say that I am Canadian.”
Later in the night, she performed her 2004 single World on Fire, and rocked the house with the aforementioned Summer of '69 supergroup. Backstage, she let loose with Alessia Cara, who's really having a moment of her own, at the beginning of her career. Sarah's not afraid to pay it forward, and in between hustling for her foundation, or dropping a new single on Twitter, she's always been about girl power, and that has never gone away.
PS: Almost two years ago, I interviewed Sarah in Ottawa for nearly a half hour, and she appeared to be just as radiant and full of life as she was at the Junos. She also told me that one of the only ways a Lilith Fair-like festival could live on in the social media era would be if it was shepherded by Taylor Swift. I wonder if she'd say the same thing now?